Paige Dacanay knew the ‘L’ for her volleyball position, while designating libero, also could stand for “last” to be recruited.
It’s understood in the volleyball world that the tall girls get picked first, then the shorter girls who fill less glamorous, yet still valuable, roles get their shots.
The 5-foot-3 Prairie Ridge senior was fine with that. In fact, it worked out to her advantage because she gained more college attention this winter with Club Fusion’s top team, 18 Black.
Dacanay will sign with Northern Illinois University and will attend the DeKalb school on an NCAA Division I volleyball scholarship. Dacanay had some scholarship offers a year ago, but more schools were interested in the past few months. Her decision came down to Loyola (Md.), Wisconsin-Green Bay and NIU.
“Being on the top team, I got more interest,” said Dacanay, who played on Fusion’s 17 White last year. “And I know the smaller girls get picked last. Playing on Black and our high school season really helped me.”
Prairie Ridge was 30-9 overall, 11-1 in the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division, tying for the title with Crystal Lake South.
“NIU was my favorite,” Dacanay said. “When I walked onto the campus, I just had a feeling of excitement. I’m excited to get there and try to compete my first year.”
Dacanay was on the Wolves’ varsity team for two seasons. She worked her way through other programs and then joined Fusion two years ago.
“It’s hard work,” she said. “I’ve always worked hard. With Fusion White, I got a lot of playing time and led the team in assists. Being on Black now has been a really good experience.”
• Joe Stevenson is a senior sports writer for Shaw Media. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @nwh_JoePrepZone.