Next-level opportunity

By: Mark Vest | Woodward Talk | Published May 2, 2017

 Berkley High senior Paige Allen recently signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at Lake Erie College in Ohio. Berkley coach Chantelle Korson referred to Allen as a “phenomenal athlete.”

Berkley High senior Paige Allen recently signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at Lake Erie College in Ohio. Berkley coach Chantelle Korson referred to Allen as a “phenomenal athlete.”

Photo provided by Cindy Henderson

Berkley High senior Paige Allen recently signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at the collegiate level.

Allen will take her talents to Lake Erie College, which is an NCAA Division II program located in Ohio.

Allen — who expects to be a middle blocker at Lake Erie — appreciates the chance that is before her.

“It’s really special,” she said. “I know I’m going to get better, and I’m going to enjoy it. … Being able to live my dream is awesome.”

Berkley coach Chantelle Korson discussed what she thinks Allen can do for Lake Erie’s program.

“I think she’s a phenomenal athlete, and I think wherever they put her, she can put up a big block and a big swing,” Korson said. “I think they can develop her into a hitter or blocker, wherever they want to.”

Allen has also spent time playing for the Legacy Volleyball Club. Legacy’s coach, Terry Baughman, also offered some thoughts about what Lake Erie is getting in Allen.

“A really good volleyball player,” Baughman said. “She knows how to hit the ball; she’s getting smarter on the court. She’s learning to make good decisions out there, and because of that, she has become extremely effective as a blocker and as a hitter.”

One of Allen’s reasons for choosing Lake Erie was the improvement the program has made over the past couple of seasons. After inheriting a team that had finished 3-25 the season prior to his arrival, coach Kevin Foeman helped lead the Storm to a 9-20 finish in 2015 and 19-16 last year.

Allen said she is excited to see the team win more matches, and she will have an opportunity to do so with some teammates she has already taken a liking to.

“I’m looking forward to having a bunch of people who are serious about the sport and have the drive to be better and win,” she said. “The team’s very friendly. I’ve already made friends with a bunch of girls on the team.”

After college, Allen wants to pursue a career as a special education teacher. Going to Lake Erie will provide her with the chance to continue playing the sport she loves while receiving the education necessary to land a job she has wanted for a long time.

“It’s super nice,” said Allen, who acknowledged the support she has received from her mom, stepdad, coaches and friends at Berkley. “One of my big decisions on picking any school was making sure they had my major. … Having that there and then being able to play volleyball is awesome. …  I’ve wanted to be a special ed teacher since I was in seventh grade. That’s been super important for me.”

Aside from the skills she already possesses, perhaps the best news of all for Lake Erie is that Allen doesn’t seem prepared to settle.

“I think I have a lot more growing to do,” said Allen. “I think I can play up to a higher level than what I have been playing to. I think college will give me the opportunity to play up to my potential.”