Unity Christian senior commits to play volleyball at Penn State Beaver

Published 4:52 pm Thursday, May 11, 2023

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For The Washington Daily News

Carly Harbrige has been an athlete her entire life. She has always wanted to play on the college level and now she will have that opportunity. Harbrige officially committed to play volleyball at Penn State Beaver. Penn State Beaver is a Division III satellite location of Penn State University and competes in the Penn State University Athletic Conference with other satellite locations. It is located in Monaca, Pa. which is 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

The Chocowinity native signed her letter of intent in front of current and future teammates, coaches, family and friends Tuesday afternoon in the Unity Christian Academy gym. She’s played middle and outside hitter for the Warriors in addition to being on the back row.

Harbrige has attended UCA since third grade and started playing volleyball in sixth grade. “I’ve enjoyed working to get better and don’t mind staying after practice to work on my hitting or other skills. I’m really excited to get to keep playing in college.”

PSU Beaver head coach Sean Cleary said he loved what he saw on film not only on the court but off as well. Cleary said “When I watch film, I don’t only watch the girls on the court. Instead, I look at their body language and what they do when they aren’t in the game. I can see someone’s personality and character, which are both exceptional in Carly.”

Harbrige posted her Unity game footage onto a recruiting website which caught Cleary’s attention. He invited her and her family to Monaca for their spirit weekend. While there, Harbrige toured the campus and met the volleyball team.  “They were very welcoming when I was there,” she said.  “I knew I wanted to go to a school where I felt welcome and the people at Penn State Beaver made me feel that way.”

Harbrige also said it is a good fit due to the academics. She wants to go into sports medicine because of her previous experiences. She said she had to deal with various injuries such as runners knee and shin splints. She met with many athletic trainers who helped her with her injuries. These trainers inspired her to pursue sports medicine in college.

Cleary was in attendance for Harbrige’s signing day. He said he shows up to most of his recruits signing days. “I started doing this after COVID. It is a great moment for the players and I want to be with them to celebrate,” Cleary said. He added that most of his recruits are out of state as in-state recruits are hard to come by. He said he loved the maturity he saw in Harbrige.

Harbrige always tried to be a good leader for the Warriors.  “I have always tried to get better to set a good example for the younger players,” she said. “Being a good leader is about accepting any challenge thrown at you and overcoming it.”

Harbrige said she gave 100% effort every time she was on the court and spent time after practice hours improving her skills. She said she is great at digging and hitting and her favorite position is outside hitter.