Makenzie Webber described her excitement level as through the roof after signing her national letter of intent to accept a volleyball scholarship to Cal State Monterey Bay on Tuesday.
The El Capitan High senior volleyball star made her college choice official during a short ceremony in the gym in front of her teammates, friends, teachers and family.
“It’s official. They can’t take it back now,” joked Webber. “This seals the deal.”
Webber is one of six area athletes who have signed their national letters of intent within the past week.
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Chowchilla High has three athletes sign during a ceremony on Thursday with Avery Fitch (Cal State Bakersfield) and Ally Tomlinson (Northwestern College) signing for softball and Logan Gomes (Simpson University) signing for baseball.
Buhach Colony’s Paytin Mercado signed with Southern University for softball last week and Atwater’s Katie Bettis signed with Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont for softball on Tuesday.
It was an emotional moment for Webber as she reflected on everything that led to her receiving a scholarship offer.
For the past few years she’s spent nine hours per week, just traveling to Stockton and back for club volleyball practices. She’s traveled all over for volleyball tournaments.
“My sophomore year my parents had a talk with me,” Webber said. “They said if we’re going to do this (club volleyball), you’re going to have to make a commitment. Club volleyball helped me develop my skills and put me on a good stage for recruiters to see me play.”
There was also the work Webber did in the classroom. She currently has a 4.3 GPA. Webber led the Gauchos with 160 kills in 12 Central California Conference matches this season.
“She’s an amazing leader and captain,” said El Capitan coach Araceli Moreno. “She’s an amazing athlete as well as student. She’s been a straight A student all the way through high school. Her work ethic is amazing too.”
Webber is the first El Capitan volleyball player to sign with a four-year school straight out of high school.
“She’s always working hard. She never complains,” Moreno said. “She’s always going to be there early. She’s willing to do whatever she can for the team.”
She said Cal State Monterey Bay became an easy decision.
“First of all, it’s a really small school,” Webber said. “It feels united. It’s a close-knit community. The coach like to run her program like it’s a Division I program. She really pushes the girls. I can’t wait to get there and be a part of the team. Last year I attended a (volleyball) camp there. This year I’ll be helping run the camp.”