Ali Witt remembers back to sixth grade when she was practicing with her Club Fusion team in the facility near Marengo.
Witt watched the older girls with the club, those who were juniors and seniors, and constantly heard about which NCAA Division I colleges they would attend on scholarships.
“I would see the 18s going on to college and wanted to do that,” said Witt, now a junior at Prairie Ridge. “My dream has become reality.”
It will be another year, but the 5-foot-11 middle hitter committed to Illinois-Chicago on Tuesday night and will join the Flames in 2015. She was an All-Fox Valley Conference Valley Division player this season and will play again with Club Fusion in the spring and summer, likely on its 17 Black team. For the last few years, Witt made Fusion’s top team (Black) in her age group.
Witt drew interest from Loyola, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Northern Kentucky, which she just visited last weekend. But it was Flames coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley whom she called Tuesday with her commitment.
“I definitely loved the coaches [at UIC] a lot,” Witt said. “It felt different than the other schools. I looked at the other schools, then I kept coming back to how much I liked UIC.”
UIC was the first school Witt visited last summer, at which time she learned the Flames had an offer for her. She visited the school again in the summer and stayed with the team. She also has attended three matches this season.
“I’m very relieved and excited to work hard and be ready to play there,” Witt said. “I think I made the right decision. I had mixed emotions [through recruitment]. It’s exciting and stressful because of having to call all the coaches and trying to figure everything out. My coaches in Fusion definitely helped me along the way.”