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Bryant V-baller to play at next level

April 12, 2012

Senior Bryant volleyball player Brianna White gets emotional as she signs her letter of intent to play volleyball for the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith on Wednesday afternoon at the Bryant gym. Beside her is her mother and father, Karen and Melvin Swift. See page 11 for another picture. Tony Lenahan/Courier

BRYANT – Bryant Lady Hornets senior Brianna White signed a letter of intent to play volleyball with the University of Arkansas Fort Smith Lady Lions on Wednesday afternoon in the Bryant gym. White joins a Lady Lions team that went 27-8 last year and made it to the NCAA Division II South Central Region Tournament.

“I think she’s really going to help their program,” Bryant Head Coach Beth Solomon said. “We’re going to hate losing her. She’s been our middle leader for three years now. It’s going to be hard for us to lose her, but we wish her the best.

“I’m just so glad. I’ve got to watch her grow up, not just on the court. This is a big deal for her and I couldn’t be more proud.”

White led the Lady Hornets with 46 solo blocks, which is an average of 2.5 per game. “That was the biggest thing this year was that her timing for her blocking finally coincided with how high her vertical is,” Solomon said. “She got her arms in the right place and she wasn’t blocking with her head anymore.”

White also averaged 7.0 kills per game and had a 74 percent hitting percentage while being named All-Conference in the 7A Central for three consecutive years, All-State her junior year and was named to the All-State Tournament Team her senior year.

Solomon spoke of how Bryant went to White during clutch time.

“We started realizing that, “Hey Brie, we have to have this point,” she would get it done for us,” Solomon said. “I got to hear comments [when White was a sophomore and junior] from other coaches that, “She was only a sophomore? You mean she hasn’t graduated yet?”

White was a part of a Lady Hornets team which participated in two state tournaments and she spoke of the journey there.

“This is weird,” White said. “I’ve come so far. From being on a team when we didn’t even go to state to being respected enough to teams saying, ‘Oh my God, Bryant’s here.’ We’ve changed the program and I’m honored to have been on this team.”

With a vertical of 34 inches, Solomon said White could out-jump the majority of the Bryant boys’ basketball team.

White said she is going to start her major in business, but that people say majors always change. She spoke of why she chose UAFS.

“They’re like family,” White said. “Even before I went to see them on my visits and stuff, I just love it up there. I love the people and the area and it’s really nice.”

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