Youngling signs to play at John Brown University | AspenTimes.com
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Youngling signs to play at John Brown University

Ben Husband

John Brown needed a good volleyball player.

And that got just that out of Michelle Youngling.

“I am so excited,” Youngling said. “I don’t think that I have ever been this excited before in my life.”

The Aspen High School senior outside hitter signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at the University in Siloam Springs, Ark., Thursday.

“This is a dream come true for me,” she added.

After recruiting Youngling the past two years, JBU offered the two-time Western Slope Conference player a full-ride scholarship.

“We are excited that Michelle has decided to on to JBU,” JBU volleyball coach Robyn Gordon said. “She has great power and quickness, and should be able to make the transition to college volleyball quickly.”

Gordon added that “Michelle will definitely challenge our returning outside hitters for game time.”

After being scouted by numerous universities across the country, Youngling said she chose John Brown because she was comfortable there during her recruitment trip.

“The minute I stepped on the campus, I felt that I could fit in,” she said. “I felt like I didn’t have anything to worry about – I felt at home there.”

Aware of the challenges ahead of her, Youngling said she’s ready to work even harder.

“I’m definitely going to have to work a lot this summer to prepare myself,” she said.

The University, a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), is in the Southwest Region and a member of the NAIA Sooner Athletic Conference.

Last year JBU won a bid to the NAIA Southwest Regionals before losing to to the runnersup of the national tournament.

“Coaching,” said Youngling is one of the key ingredients for her ability to play at the collegiate level.

“My high school coaches and club coaches have put a lot of effort into supporting me,” she said. “And they knew what my goals were and they helped me work really hard.

“Sometimes I didn’t want to put in the extra work,” she continued. “But all of my coaches kept me going.”

After being named honorable mention all-state volleyball her junior year, Youngling was named to the WSC all-conference team, honorable mention all-state and honorable mention all-Colorado this year.

Over the past two seasons, Youngling totaled 369 kills – team leader and ranked in the top ten of Class 3A each season.

“The one thing that I can probably take from high school into college are the fundamentals that I learned,” she said. “There are so important to know and the coaches that I have had whipped me into shape.”

And now that the AHS-team MVP has finally chosen a school, she’s relieved that the decision process is over.

“I am so glad that it’s all over,” she said. “I think it was good for me, in a way, to go through all of the decision process, all of the aspects of the other schools. But it was also very stressful, but I’m so glad that it’s finally all over.”


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