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Bobbitt signs to play volleyball at VU

By B.J. Hargis

Sullivan had one of its best volleyball seasons in school history in 2017. As a result, the Lady Arrows had a second player that will be extending her volleyball career.
Recently, libero Lexi Netherlain signed to play at Missouri S & T and on Tuesday, Sullivan middle hitter Ryli Bobbitt signed a letter-of-intent with Vincennes University.
“I am really excited,” said Bobbitt, who was part of a 30-6 team this year that won the Class 3A Sectional. “To be honest, I was never confident enough to believe that something like this could ever happen.
“I would like to thank my parents and my family, who always supported me and believed in me. I can’t thank my teammates and coaches who were always there for me.”
Sullivan coach Sue Chagnon was very excited for Bobbitt, who had 81 total blocks with only five errors.
“I am so happy that Ryli has this opportunity,” said Chagnon. “I think it is going to be a good fit for her.
“She is going to be close to home and have the opportunity to play college volleyball. Those closest to her will be able to see her play on the next level. I will be making trips from Missouri to Vincennes.”
Vincennes University coach Gary Sien said that Bobbitt is part of a big class.
“We usually carry 14-15 players,” said Sien, whose Lady Trailblazers finished an injury-plagued 2017 season with a 30-12 record. “Ryli is the sixth player that we have a committment from already.
“We are very happy to have her sign with us.”
Bobbitt had 218 kills with a hitting percentage of .272 as a senior. In 2016, she was part of a Western Indiana Conference championship team.
“Obviously winning the sectional this year was the highlight of my career,” said Bobbitt. “When we beat Vincennes in the semifinals, we knew we had won the sectional championship.
“It was so rewarding because they had beaten us in the second or third game of the season. We had not clicked together as a team back then. My teammates have meant so much to me. I will miss them, but it is time for a new chapter of my life to begin.”
Bobbitt, the daugther of Jon and Tricia Bobbitt, said that she plans to major in nursing with a goal of becoming a CRNA eventually.
“They have a really good nursing program at VU,” said Bobbitt, who said she thought about going to DePauw or the University of Evansville but was happy that Vincennes offered her a chance to continue her athletic career. “After my two years as a player, I can stay there and concentrate on getting my four-year degree.
“I am very thankful of this opportunity.”
Chagnon said that Bobbitt worked very hard to make this happen and she expects nothing less from her moving forward.
“She is going to be able to do whatever it takes to succeed on the next level,” said Chagnon. “This is going to have a chance to play on a good junior college team.”
Sien said that Bobbitt is a good student-athlete and should fit right in at VU.
“I tell all my recruits that they are going to be playing against bigger and faster players,” said Sien. “We are now in Division I of the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association). We face kids that are being recruited to play in the Big Ten and SEC.
“But I tell all the girls don’t be afraid to fail. Everybody is going to fail at some point. It is going to take awhile for everyone, including Ryli, to fit in and find their way. But know that we believe in them and expect them to succeed or we would not have signed them.”
Sien said that Bobbitt brings the Lady Trailblazers versatility.
“We like to have young women that can play multiple positions,” said Sien. “We believe that Ryli can help us in more than one position. As a coach, you like to have a lot of flexibility.
“We have signed a really good class of recruits and aren’t done yet. We could end up with eight or 10 recruits, which is really unheard of at this level. I am very excited to get to work and see how all the pieces fit together. Ryli is a good kid from a good family and we like to think she will be a big part of our success over the next two seasons.” 


Photo by B.J. HARGIS: Ryli Bobbitt, front, center, is surrounded her parents Jon and Tricia Bobbitt, after signing a letter of intent to play volleyball at Vincennes University. Also included in the back are Sullivan volleyball coach Sue Chagnon, VU volleyball coach Gary Sien, Sullivan assistant volleyball coach Kim Rinck, Sullivan assistant principal Sarah Hannon and Sullivan athletic director Otto Clements.


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