Alexis Roecker was a successful Ottawa High School athlete, excelling in volleyball and basketball. She was put in a quandary in recent months.
She first decided to pursue a college volleyball scholarship. The next step was where. She felt Newman University in Wichita was the place.
Then came a change in coaches after she made a verbal commitment.
“I was facing whether I should sign somewhere else,” Roecker said. “There were a lot of emotions. It was a hard decision to stay or not. I waited it out.
“I met the new coach and I really liked her. I am excited to start playing.”
Roecker kept her commitment and signed Wednesday with the NCAA Division II program in the OHS library.
Natalie Rawson became the Jets coach on April 1. Rawson spent three seasons as an assistant coach for Midwestern State, an NCAA Division II program. She was an interim head coach for Louisiana-Monroe in 2009.
Roecker was sold on the school right away.
“The second I walked on campus I knew that is where I wanted to be at,” Roecker said. “The science department is really good. I want to go into pharmacy.”
The Jets play in the Heartland Conference, which has schools mostly in Texas and Oklahoma.
“It is something different,” Roecker said about the travel to those southern destinations.
Roecker took steps throughout her high school career. She was a four-year varsity player for the Cyclones, playing on the 2011 third-place state team. She was a member of three basketball state teams.
As a senior, her role changed from being a hitter to an all-around player.
“I had to take on some big roles this year,” she said.
Roecker responded with a big season as she compiled 316 kills, 341 digs, 24 aces, 7 solo blocks and 20 block assists.
The Jets, who won just four matches last year, are looking at her to fill an outside hitters role, but Roecker would not balk to playing in the back row.
Roecker’s decision to give up basketball was not easy.
“It was a big decision to play basketball or volleyball,” she said. “I will miss basketball a lot.”
The Cyclone senior said it was good to finally get the signing out of the way.
“I feel like I am taking another step,” she said.