Lady Hounds’ senior inks LOI on Jan. 9 –
By Mark Carpenter –
Another Adams County student/athlete has made the decision to continue their athletic career at the collegiate level. In a letter of intent signing ceremony held on Jan. 9, Manchester High School senior Katie Sandlin confirmed her decision to become part of the Rio Grande University volleyball program.
An multi-sport athlete, Sandlin had some options in front of her and in fact, had originally made up her mind to play college softball before a whirlwind recruiting month made her go with the Redstorm volleyball program.
“I think I might be a better softball player but deep down I really like playing volleyball better, “ said the Manchester senior.
Up until about a month ago, Sandlin had not decided on a school to continue her volleyball career, then the whirlwind process with Rio began.
“I really like Rio, it’s a small campus,” said Sandlin. “I only met the coach like a month ago when I was there for a visit and we just talked. They had seen me play before and he asked me to come to Rio and so that is where I will be.”
On hand for the signing ceremony was Rio Grande volleyball assistant and recruiter Eric Landrum and he shared his thoughts on signing Sandlin and her future role in the program.
“I typically handle recruit tours and there we try to learn as much about them as we possibly can,” said Landrum. “We send recruits back and forth between our coaching staff so everyone gets involved and everyone is familiar with athletes like Katie. As far as Katie is concerned, I was told that “we have a girl that is an athlete’, and when I hear that, I am on board.”
“Multi-sport athletes like Katie have always translated well for us and from there , it became a task of getting her on campus as soon as we could, which happened to be in December. All of this happened with a month and she seems like a really great kid and here we are today.”
“We bring athletes on campus for a reason and we want Katie to compete, which only makes us better,” Landrum continued. “Right away, she may not be a varsity player but she certainly has the opportunity to make some noise in the very near future. Right now her immediate goal needs to be to come in and compete, learn as much as she can, enjoy the process, and be comfortable. Make strides your first year and go from there.”
For the final two years of her high school career, Sandlin’s coach was Kaci Compton, who had glowing praise for her graduating senior.
“Katie was our MVP last season and one of the hardest workers in the gym,” said Compton. “She was a leader on and off the court and would always instruct our younger players in her own gentle way, never bossy.”
The Redstorm are a NAIA program and are coming off a disappointing 5-29 campaign, after going 23-14 and 26-8 the previous two seasons.
While at Rio, Sandlin plans to study Radiology.