GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. On Wednesday, two high school seniors committed to their college of choice and signed their National Letters of Intent.
From the Palisade Bulldogs volleyball team, Nicole Herod signed on to play for Colorado Northwestern Community College in Rangely. Herod is set to play as a libero, and while she's excited for the next adventure, she'll miss what she's leaving behind.
"I played with these girls for four years, and there were a lot of tears when we stopped playing together," said Herod. "(Coach) Wendy and Allie were amazing and taught me to be a better person as well as a better player."
"It is kind of like a proud parent," said Nicole's head coach at Palisade Wendy MacAskill. "I can remember Nicole coming in as an incoming freshman and certainly seeing her grow over the four years. It's amazing, and for them to get that opportunity to go to the next level, it's just a great opportunity."
Nicole isn't going into college athletics without a sidekick. Close friend and Central High School volleyball player Rayleigh Norton signed her Letter of Intent to play at Northwestern alongside Nicole.
Rayleigh, a setter, went out her senior year as a two-time SWL All-Conference player and a captain. Now she's excited to take her game to the next level and help build the Spartans program.
"It's an exciting feeling," said Norton. "I'm glad to finally be committing with a team, and it's also nice knowing I'm going to be playing with my best friend in college, too."
"She's one of the best, hardest workers that we've had in this program," said Rayleigh's head coach from Central Jennifer Armendariz. "It's very bitter-sweet to see her leave our program but very exciting for her for this opportunity."