Van Dyke honors word, signs with Bluefield
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Last year, Van Dyke verbally committed to play volleyball at Bluefield (Va.) College. One year later, she made it official by signing a letter of intent to play at the NAIA college Wednesday.
Van Dyke joins former Watauga teammates Colby Combs and Anna Church and Pioneers who have signed with the Virginia school. Van Dyke will play for the Rams in 2013.
Van Dyke said she had no temptations to change her mind and go to another school.
“I’ve had my heart set on it,” Van Dyke said. “When I went up to visit I loved the atmosphere and it felt like home.”
Bluefield coach Brian Votaw would like to have Van Dyke right now. He said his top three defensive specialists are out with injuries, and the fourth-stringer is a walk-on.
The Rams are 9-11 this season.
“You can never have too much defense,” Votaw said. “I have a walk-on playing libero now who just wanted to be part of the program. Now she is going to be my starting libero. Whether (Van Dyke) is able to get into the starting lineup her first year, I don’t know. Maybe in her second year, she gets in right off the bat.”
Van Dyke has seen just a limited amount of Bluefield’s matches since she has been busy playing for the Pioneers. Van Dyke can’t see the Rams this Saturday since Watauga plays in a trimatch at Enka.
Van Dyke would like to make the trip to Bluefield to see the Rams play when Watauga’s season is over.
“I saw them play Virginia Intermont in Bristol, but I haven’t been up there to watch them play yet,” Van Dyke said. “I’m going to try to get up there at the end of the season and hopefully get in a couple of games.”
Votaw said he noticed Van Dyke play when he was recruiting Combs and Church last season.
Votaw is trying to rebuild the Bluefield program by building depth at all positions.
He was looking for taller players last season to play the front line, but he added that good defensive players are just as important.
“I was able to see her play last year when I was looking at Colby and Anna and my focus was mainly on getting them,” Votaw said. “Now I think I’ve got a pretty solid program with a lot of hitters and a lot of talent there.
Van Dyke said she’s looking forward to the reunion.
“I’ve been talking to Colby the past few months and she’s been telling me how great it’s been and what a joy it is to play there,” Van Dyke said. “I’m really excited to go.”