The Emerald Ridge Jaguars’ most dominant defensive volleyball player will continue her career just 45 minutes from her hometown.
Leia Roy, who started for the past three seasons as the Jaguars’ libero, signed a National Letter of Intent on Dec. 18 to play at Northwest University in Kirkland.
The ceremony was held in front of family members, friends, classmates and coaches at the Emerald Ridge High School library.
Northwest Eagles head coach Steve Bain said Roy should compete for playing time right away.
“We just graduated Heather Shulke, who was a first-team all-conference libero for three years in a row,” Bain said. “Finding a player that can come in and compete at that position was really important to this year’s recruiting class. We think we’ve found that player in Leia.
“Leia was at the top of our recruiting list in terms of liberos in the area,” he added. “She has a great ability to pass and play defense.”
Roy said Northwest is the perfect fit athletically and spiritually. It is a Christian school which competes in the NAIA’s Cascade Collegiate Conference.
“When I visited the campus, I just thought it was a cool place,” Roy said. “It’s a place where I can play volleyball and where I can continue to study my faith. I know going from high school to college, the (outside) hitters are going to be hitting harder, and the players are going to be faster.”
Roy said she will do what it takes to succeed.
“I have a passion for volleyball,” she said. “I love practicing, playing and working hard to get better.
“I always wanted to play college volleyball. I wasn’t sure at the beginning of this season if it was going to work out. It ended up working out.”
Roy was proud she helped lead the Jaguars to the Class 4A state tournament in her final year of eligibility.
“It was an exciting year, especially for all of the seniors,” she said. “We went out with a bang.”
Sports editor Shaun Scott can be reached at 253-552-7002 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_shaun.