AKRON — Wadsworth setter Haley Beavers and Brunswick middle hitter Gabrielle Bulic have been named honorable mention All-Ohio by the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association.
As a result, both talented seniors will be recognized tonight when they participate in the annual District 3 All-Star Matches. The doubleheader begins at 6 p.m. and will be played at Akron Ellet.
“I honestly didn’t expect to be named All-Ohio, so this was a nice surprise,” said Beavers, who led the Grizzlies to their third straight Suburban League title and a berth in the Hudson Division I Regional semifinals.
“I am very excited about it, and I feel honored to represent Wadsworth in the all-star match. Not everybody gets to play, so I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity.”
Black River outside hitter Megan Mey and Highland setter Alex Schuhle also were chosen to play in the showcase for the top 12th-graders in Summit, Medina, Lorain and Portage Counties.
Mey will take the court for Brookside coach Ted Whitsel in the opening match, while Beavers, Bulic and Schuhle are slated to compete in the nightcap on a team piloted by Streetsboro’s Bill Smerglia.
Grizzlies libero Rachel Goddard also is on the latter roster, but is unable to attend because of her obligations with Wadsworth’s girls basketball team.
“I haven’t played with Gabbie or Alex before, so it will be fun to get the chance to do so because they are very good players,” Beavers said.
“It will also be nice to get to know them as teammates. They’ve always been my competitors, and the goal has always been to beat them. It will be a very nice change to play with them and try to win together.”
Bulic has signed a national letter of intent to play volleyball for the University of Michigan, while Schuhle and Mey are expected to graduate to the NCAA Division III level.
Beavers, however, will be ending her career this evening. The four-year letterwinner, three-year starter and two-time All-Medina County choice was courted by a number of colleges, but has chosen to focus on her classwork next fall.
“Volleyball has been great for me and it has given me a lot of opportunities, but I really feel in my heart that playing in college isn’t for me,” Beavers said.
“The only reason I thought about playing was the financial aid, but I decided that wasn’t a good enough reason. Plus, my academics are much stronger than my athletics — and I am much more academically driven, anyways.”
Though the 5-foot-5 floor general admits having mixed emotions about hanging up her sneakers, Beavers said she doesn’t have any regrets — and plans on going out with a victory over some of her talented peers.
“I am very happy with how the past four years have gone, and I wouldn’t have traded it for the world,” she said. “It was very challenging at times, but it was good for me and I will miss the program.
“I set a lot of goals in my freshman year, and I can honestly say that I accomplished almost all of them. It has been a successful run.”
Contact Brian Dulik at email@example.com.