Friday, January 16, 2015

Norwalk HS volleyball stand-out commits to Nicholls State

NORWALK, Ohio — Norwalk High School senior Alexa Perry is taking her volleyball talents to the Bayou.

Norwalk's Alexa Perry digs for a ball
in a non-league match against
visiting St. Ursula.
(JEFF VAN NATTA/REFLECTOR)
Perry has committed to Nicholls State University to further her athletic career and study speech and language pathology. Nicholls is in Thibodaux, La., which is centrally located between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Perry won’t sign officially with Nicholls, a Division I college in the Southland Conference, until the April signing period, but will be on campus in August before the rest of the student body arrives.

“Coach (Tommy) Harold contacted me back in June of 2014 and expressed his interest in me as (a) libero,” Perry said, referring to being a defensive specialist.

“He said (Nicholls) was coming to Minneapolis, Minn. to watch me compete at nationals. He again contacted me in October for an update on my recruiting status. We stayed in touch, but it wasn’t really until November that coach Harold requested a college visit. My dad and I visited shortly after and by the end of the month they had made me an offer,” she said.
Perry, the daughter of Rick and Heather, had a few weeks to consider Harold’s offer as she was considering another one from Chicago State University. Although she liked the CSU coach and campus, she said “the volleyball program was in the midst of changes and Nicholls ended up being the perfect fit for me,” especially since its program is on the rise.

Norwalk High School senior Alex Perry rocks a Nicholls
State University volleyball shirt.
(CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE)
“I really like the campus and the weather,” Perry added.

Her father, Rick Perry, a long-time Norwalk firefighter, said Nicholls is perfect for his daughter because “she has the chance to go right in and compete” since the libero at Nicholls is a senior.

“It’s a competitive school and program,” he added.

Nicholls finished eighth out of 13 teams last season and made the Southland Conference tournament.

Alexa Perry’s mother is a respiratory therapist at Fisher-Titus Medical Center in Norwalk. Combining that with the NHS senior’s desire to help people and work with younger children who have speech impediments and inefficiencies, Perry said studying speech and language pathology is a good fit.

“I’m very excited for her choosing that field. I think it’s a perfect fit for her,” her father added.

This is the Truckers logo as seen on the wall of the
Norwalk (Ohio) High School gymnasium.
At Norwalk, Perry leaves a successful volleyball program, which has won five straight Northern Ohio League titles. She set a school record in serve-receive percentage (98) in 2013 and also led the Truckers in aces (41), digs (384) and serve receptions. In the 2012-2013 season, Norwalk was the state runner-up in Division II.

“I want to thank my parents. Without their commitment and support over the past six years, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Perry said.

She also is thankful for her NHS and Junior Olympics teammates and her J.O. coaches, Heath and Katrina Hamilton.

“They were a very positive influence during a crucial recruiting time. Thanks (also) to Corrie Kaple and Angie Kalizewski, who coached me during my high school career,” said Perry, who credits Kalizewski and Grace Hutchinson for teaching her to be “a consistent player.”

“Next I want to thank coach Grace Hutchinson and the NorthShore Volleyball Club. Coach Hutchinson gave me some great advice and had an impact on my final decision,” she said.

Perry’s older brother also is a college athlete. Isaac is a sophomore at Tiffin University, where he plays baseball and starts in the middle infield.

“He told me to go where my heart was and not to second-guess myself,” Alexa Perry said.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story first appeared as a feature Jan. 13, 2015 in the NORWALK REFLECTOR newspaper.

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