AURORA | Jackie McBride used to think soccer would be her ticket to a college athletic scholarship, but it turns out a sport where she uses her hands all the time turned out to fit the bill.
After concentrating on playing club volleyball, the Rangeview High School senior-to-be landed herself a lot of interest in the sport and ended up choosing the University of Wyoming, which she announced via social media Sunday.
The 5-foot-11 McBride, an outside hitter, led Rangeview in a variety of statistical categories in the 2014 season, from kills (224 in 76 sets played) to total blocks (48) and finished second in digs (200) and service aces (30), while helping the Raiders to a 17-8 record. She was one of four All-East Metro Athletic Conference first team selections for coach Doug Walker’s Rangeview team.
“I think when I was younger I thought I might’ve ended up playing soccer in college because I thought I was better at it, but I decided to play club volleyball and I grew a lot,” said McBride, who was also a first team all-league soccer player for Rangeview as a sophomore.
“I got way more college attention than I was expecting and playing club made me realize how passionate I was about volleyball,” added McBride, who played for 303 Volleyball Academy.
That attention included interest from Kent State, University of Connecticut, Georgia State and the University of Nebraska-Omaha in addition to Wyoming.
McBride’s visit to Laramie in January showed her Wyoming was the right place for her, including competitiveness. The Cowgirls finished 23-8 overall last season and came in third in the final Mountain West Conference standings.
“I got to meet all the players and coaches and they were all super great,” said McBride, who plans to sign her national athletic letter of intent in November. “I really liked that and it wasn’t too far from home. They’re also a very competitive school and playing at a high level is important to me.”
— Jackie McBride (@Jackie_McBride_) July 27, 2015
The Wyoming volleyball team already has a standout from an Aurora high school on the roster in outside hitter Kayla Slofkiss, a Cherokee Trail graduate who will be a junior in the 2015-16 season. Four other Cowgirls played prep volleyball in Colorado in Cori Aafedt (Valley High School), Laura Beach (Lutheran), Courtney Chacon (Valley) and Mattison DeGarmo (Douglas County).
McBride joins a growing list of Aurora prep athletes who have headed to play at Wyoming in the past few years, following a group including Eddie Yarbrough and Tanner Gentry (football), soccer player Cristina Salazar, track standout Jordan Charles — all from Grandview — plus ex-Regis Jesuit basketball standout Marquelle Dent, former Cherokee Trail standout Taylor Burton and former Overland basketball star Austin Conway.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel, Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel