Tuesday, April 15, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot setter to Lindenwood

Leader sportswriter

The Cabot volleyball program had its first official college signee in the DeAnna Campbell-coached era Friday, as senior standout setter Bailee Uhiren signed her National Letter of Intent to play volleyball for Lindenwood University in Belleville, Ill.

Uhiren was a key player for the Lady Panthers all three years she was with the team, and her passion for the game itself had a lot to do with her wanting to take her game to the next level.

“Playing volleyball is more than just a sport to me,” said Uhiren. “It’s taught me a lot about life in general, the challenges I’ll have to face when I’m older. It’s helped me mold and grow into the person that I am today.”

Uhiren said Lindenwood was already on the short list of schools she was interested in attending, but it was when she visited the campus in Belleville that her interests grew.

“I went to go visit the school and just fell in love with it,” Uhiren said. “The volleyball program was very promising and they offered me a good amount of money to play. So I took the chance and decided to sign with Lindenwood.”

As a key starter in all three years she played for the Lady Panthers, Uhiren was part of a senior class that in many ways laid the foundation for success in the Cabot High School volleyball program.

This past season, the Lady Panthers advanced to the second round of the Class 7A state tournament before losing a 3-1 match to eventual state champion Fort Smith Southside. Campbell said she believes Uhiren will have no trouble taking the success she’s had to the next level.

“I think she’ll do great,” said Campbell. “She already has the skills and the smarts. She’s got a really high volleyball IQ. She gets this game inside and out, and she’s just always been a strong player.”

Because of the success and camaraderie her class had, Uhiren said she’s leaving a lot of great memories behind at Cabot, but added that she looks forward to the opportunity to make new ones at Lindenwood.