Highland graduate Makenna Belcher will follow up a stellar athletic career with the Scots by going to Ashland University to join that college’s volleyball program.
Belcher, who will major in occupational therapy, found a lot to enjoy about Ashland when she visited the school.
“When I went on campus, it was a nice, homey feeling,” she said. “I loved the team. It felt like family when I got there.”
She also looked at Wittenberg and Youngstown State, but felt the Ashland campus was more to her liking, although the decision-making process did take a while.
“During quarantine, I was kind of talking with them,” she said. “After, I got talking to them again and then it was a few months before I committed.”
Belcher was a four-year varsity starter for Highland. Over her time with the Scots, she feels her biggest improvements involved the mental aspect to the game.
“Just my confidence and how confident I was on the court,” she said. “When I was a freshman, I was so nervous, but now I’m so confident.”
Being part of a state finalist team as a junior played a big role in that.
“I started getting more confident my freshman year, but it was really my junior year,” she said. “We made a long postseason run and I took more of a leadership position.”
After moving up from being a freshman to a leader on some very good Scot teams, Belcher noted that it will be an adjustment to start over with a new program.
“It’s just going to be different coming in as a baby again,” she said. “I’ll just keep working hard at practice to be one of the top players.”
She’ll also work to be part of the same sort of atmosphere that she’s experienced with Highland over the past few years.
“I’m hoping to make some close friends,” she said. “I’ve played with these girls my whole life, so I’m looking to find a family there.”
She added that the friendships and community she’s been part of while at Highland did a lot to make her years there special.
“I’ll miss being with my friends,” she said. “I’ve played club with them since third grade. I’ll also miss all the good times and sports at Highland. Our community is like a big family and we’re all so close.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS