One day — one hour even — was all the time Kennedy Croft needed to decide.
Croft, a soon-to-be junior and volleyball standout at Tumwater High School, announced via Twitter on Friday that she committed to play at Gonzaga University. She briefly attended a morning session at the school’s four-day camp before her family flew to Hawaii to celebrate her grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary.
“I went (to Gonzaga), and I was like, ‘I’ve never been here before, but this is super cool,’” Croft said. “I met with coaches, it all just kind of flowed.”
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“Kennedy left there feeling so excited,” said Tana Otton, Croft’s mother and Tumwater’s volleyball coach. “The camp, the coaching staff — everything was so right. Then we had to leave.”
Now, Croft will get to go back.
“The big part of it was how (first-year coach Diane Nelson) viewed me as a player,” she said. “She understood what kind of player I am — I’m not a huge, 6-3 person, but she understood what I can bring.”
Something along the lines of a high kills-per-game average. Croft reset her own single-game kills record at Tumwater (31) during the Class 2A state tournament last November. She was also selected as The Olympian’s All-Area volleyball player of the year, and is the reigning 2A EvCo MVP.
She helped lead the T-Birds to a fifth-place finish at the state tournament in 2015. Tumwater won the state title in 2014 when Croft was a freshman.
Nelson offered Croft — who also had offers from Eastern Washington and Portland — on Friday. Croft said she consulted her mother and her club coach at Puget Sound Volleyball Academy — former Washington State University All-American setter, Stephanie Papke. With the go-ahead from both parties, Croft promptly committed.
“I’m pumped,” she said.