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Volleyball standouts, track stars and swimmers sign

Matthew Apgar -  
Sarah Hein warms up with the DeKalb-Sycamore girls swim team during practice at Huntley Middle School on Monday, August 29, 2016 in DeKalb.
Matthew Apgar - Sarah Hein warms up with the DeKalb-Sycamore girls swim team during practice at Huntley Middle School on Monday, August 29, 2016 in DeKalb.

Jasmine Kemp and Hannah Oehlberg have known for awhile where they'd continue their volleyball careers.

On Wednesday, the DeKalb seniors made it official.

Kemp signed a national letter of intent to play for Northern Illinois, while Oehlberg committed to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Also signing Wednesday was Sierra Long, who committed to Western Illinois for track.

Sycamore had three swimmers sign Wednesday – Sarah Hein with Illinois State, Riley Lohse with IUPUI and Camryn Anderson with McKendree.

Kaneland is expected to have its signing ceremony Friday, with Matt Richtman committing to Bradley for cross country and Lexi Abruzzo committing to Wayne State for softball. Clayton Hannula is expected to commit for track as well but has not announced his school.

Kemp said finally signing with NIU was relieving.

"It's like I'm finally moving on to the next chapter," Kemp said. "It's not over yet."

Kemp said she like meeting with the players and coaches, and another selling point of the school was it being in DeKalb.

NIU volleyball coach Ray Gooden said Kemp is a tremendous athlete with incredible potential.

"I think she has improved on her skill set and, with the amount of volleyball she has played, her confidence has improved," Gooden said. "She can do some things at the net that very few people can do, so we are excited to see what she is able to bring and how she is able to improve for our group.”

In addition to be a strong volleyball player, Kemp is one of the top high jumpers in the state. She said that there's a possibility of her competing for the NIU track team as well.

"Volleyball is my main focus, but I may be able to high jump on the side," Kemp said. "Maybe like two days a week going to track practice. But volleyball is my main concern right now."

She and Oehlberg combined to help lead the Barbs to regional and sectional titles last year and a Northern Illinois Big 12 East championship this year.

Oehlberg said she also visited Southeast Missouri State and Tennessee Tech before deciding on IUPUI.

"Their program is really competitive and is at the level I want to be at," Oehlberg said. "They have a good academic program too."

Long said the team and coaching staff was a big selling point for the Leathernecks, as was the nursing program at the school.

"Just the environment was real nice compared to other colleges I visited," Long said. "I really like everyone. It's not a very big team, but everyone is super nice and I think it was just a good fit overall."

Hein said her choice came down to Youngstown State and Illinois State, and she decided to stay in-state with coach Scott Cameron's program.

"I went on a visit out east and I kind of realized I didn't want to go too far," Hein said. "So when I went on a visit (to ISU) it just felt right. The coach really knows what he's doing and has a grasp and a knowledge of swimming. The girls are welcoming and nice. It just felt like a good fit for me."

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