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5 PJC volleyball players sign to continue careers

Five sophomore volleyball players at Paris Junior College will continue their education and playing careers next fall at four-year schools. PJC athletic director Deron Clark, left, looks on as Abby Phillips and Ingrid Boatman (seated from left) sign. Standing behind them (from left) are Andrea Hurt, PJC volleyball coach Justin Maness, T'Asia Black, assistant volleyball coach Amber Jay, and Jordan Strickland. Black is going to North Carolina State University, Hurt and Strickland to St. Catharine's University, Phillips to University of Arkansas-Ft. Smith, and Boatman to Cameron University. (PJC Photo)
Five sophomore volleyball players at Paris Junior College will continue their education and playing careers next fall at four-year schools. PJC athletic director Deron Clark, left, looks on as Abby Phillips and Ingrid Boatman (seated from left) sign. Standing behind them (from left) are Andrea Hurt, PJC volleyball coach Justin Maness, T’Asia Black, assistant volleyball coach Amber Jay, and Jordan Strickland. Black is going to North Carolina State University, Hurt and Strickland to St. Catharine’s University, Phillips to University of Arkansas-Ft. Smith, and Boatman to Cameron University. (PJC Photo)

Several four-year schools will be getting the benefit of five talented players from the 2013-2014 Paris Junior College volleyball team.

Sophomores T’Asia Black, Andrea Hurt, Jordan Strickland, Abby Phillips and Ingrid Boatman have signed to continue their academic and athletic careers.

“T’Asia, Andrea and Jordan have contributed to much of our success the past two seasons,” said PJC volleyball coach Justin Maness.

“They show leadership skills on and off the floor and will be missed. All three excelled at the game of volleyball and the two schools they will be attending will benefit greatly from their dedication and play.  They are well deserving of going on to play and have put in the time and effort in order to make an impact at any program,” he said.

“Abby and Ingrid have also been assets to the program the past two years,” Maness said. “They have weighed heavily in our success, and will be great additions to their future programs.  Intensity and knowledge of the game will help them be immediate impacts at their future institutions.”

North Carolina State is the destination for Black. The Longview native was named 2013 All American Second Team, 2013 All Conference First Team, and 2012 All Conference Honorable Mention.

“I loved Paris and I’m sad I have to leave,” Black said. “As a player I’ve grown a lot here. The coaches really care about us while we’re here and when we leave. I’m excited about going to North Carolina and DI and being on television. It will be a whole different life. I’m ready.”

Hurt and Strickland will play for St. Catharine College in St. Catharine, Ky.

Hurt, from Copperas Cove, Texas, received 2013 All Conference Honorable Mention.

“I believe PJC was an excellent first step in my college career and playing, and I’m excited to play on,” said Hurt. “I went on a visit to St. Catharine’s in late January. I loved it except that the weather was cold and I’m Texan!”

Strickland, from Lexington, Ky., was named to the 2013 All Region and All Conference First Team and received 2012 All Conference Honorable Mention. She was also 2013 All Conference Setter of the Year.

“This is definitely a big change,” Strickland said. “The people are really friendly here, but going back home will be nice. It’s a different ball game down here. My two years I’ve gotten so much better. I’m going to miss my coaches, my team and Paris.”

Philips will attend Arkansas-Fort Smith. She was First Team All Conference in 2013 and received All Conference Honorable Mention in 2012.

“The coaching staff helped me a lot, especially during the summer,” Phillips said.

“I had a lot of improvement. I’m happy this season we finished fourth in the tourney. The freshmen and sophomores are amazing and the fans – I’ve never had a crowd that big. People had to stand up at our games and I’ve never had that before. I’m excited to go to Arkansas and the girls are very competitive. You’re never the best because everyone is always good and I’m excited for the competition.”

Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, is the destination of Boatman. She made the NJCAA 2013 All Academic Team.

“PJC was a great place to start,” Boatman said. “I enjoyed being a student and being on the team a lot, because we’re a big family including all the other sports teams. I’m excited about going to my new school and hopefully further my career.”

PJC finished second in conference with a 5-3 record. The non-conference/non-regional record was 22-2. The team ended fourth at the Region XIV tournament 2-2, and 29-8 for the overall season.

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