Marian Central’s Caitlin Brocker knew the recruitment process for her positions, libero and defensive specialist, requires more patience than players at other spots.
“I learned that my sophomore year,” the 5-foot-5 Hurricanes senior said. “[Coaches] get the tall players first.”
The waiting, however, paid benefits for Brocker. As her senior season progressed, Missouri University of Science and Technology got to see more video of Brocker. The offer of preferred walk-on turned into a partial scholarship and Brocker accepted.
Brocker will sign her NCAA national letter of intent today at the high school and will attend the NCAA Division II school in Rolla next year. She plans on majoring in chemical engineering.
“We were talking in August,” Brocker said. “I was looking at some smaller schools, like [D-III] Rose-Hulman, but S&T stood out. They have a really competitive volleyball program. They won the [Great Lakes Valley Conference] West Division. It seems perfect for me.”
Brocker watched her sister Erin play for Saint Joseph’s College, a GLVC school in Rensselaer, Ind. She liked the league’s geography and what D-II schools had to offer.
“I had fun watching her,” Caitlin said. “I didn’t know if I wanted to dedicate my whole life to volleyball. At D-II, it doesn’t take up your whole life. And my parents were able to see a lot of her matches.”
Brocker started on Marian’s Class 3A state runner-up team in 2011 and played with the Sky High Volleyball Club’s 17 Red team last summer. Missouri S&T coaches saw her at Sky High’s national tournament in July, and she attended the Miners’ camp last summer.
Brocker committed last week, just in time to sign during the NCAA’s early signing period, which ends Wednesday.
Marengo’s Semro to Olivet: Marengo center fielder Megan Semro will join one of the nation’s top NAIA programs next year at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. Semro was a starter for the Indians each of the past two seasons as they won the Class 3A state championship (2011) and were runners-up (2012).
Semro signed her NAIA national letter of intent with Olivet at school Monday.
“I love the coach [Ritchie Richardson]. He’s a great guy,” Semro said. “The team was very polite and welcoming. It just felt right.”
Semro was a Northwest Herald All-Area first-team selection last season when she hit .365 with two homers and 33 RBIs. She played a strong defensive center field and hit cleanup for the Indians.
Last season, Olivet was 54-9 overall, 18-1 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament.
“It’s always been a dream to play college softball,” Semro said. “That I can fulfill that dream is great. During my junior year my coaches gave me encouragement that I could do that.”
• Joe Stevenson is a senior sports writer for the Northwest Herald. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @nwh_JoePrepZone.