WHITE HALL — It was a milestone signing for the White Hall volleyball program when Patience Walker put pen to paper and officially signed with Henderson State on Wednesday.
With the signing, Walker became the first-ever player from the four-year program to sign to play volleyball in college.
“It’s exciting to have a player sign to play in college,” second-year White Hall coach Steve Powell said. “It’s real exciting and it’s a privilege and honor for her to sign.”
Walker did look at going to LSU or Kansas State before choosing to play volleyball at Henderson State. It was not much of a surprise she chose to play for the Lady Reddies since she had worked out at their camps over the summer.
“I am pretty excited and Henderson is the one I zoned in at,” she said. “I think it would be better for my grades and it has a lot of places to help me study.
“I actually though I would be playing basketball, but I like playing volleyball and I’ve been talking to the coach over the summer.”
When Powell stepped in to be White Hall’s coach two years ago, he saw the potential for Walker to play collegiately.
“When I first saw her play, I thought she knows what’s going on,” he said. “A lot of our offense went through her.”
Walker is an outside hitter and she will be playing the same position at Henderson State. Walker said the plan is to have her redshirt during her freshman year.
“I think it’s going to be the best thing because the game moves faster at the college level,” she said.
Powell said he would not be surprised if Walker does see some playing time this upcoming season, though.
“Patience is a very hard worker and will stay in the gym and will do everything she needs to so she can play,” he said. “Her coach said if she gets to where she catches up to the speed of the game, she could take the redshirt off.”
One of the main assets Walker brings to Henderson State is her jump serve, which she worked on over the summer.
“She needed to work on her j ump serve to play at the next level,” Powell said. “She got it down pretty good and people don’t want to stand in front of it.”
Henderson State, which is located in Arkadelphia, went 4-28 and 0-16 in the Great American Conference last year.