Baylor's Rachel Travis has accepted a scholarship offer to play volleyball at Tennessee Tech University and plans to sign Wednesday.
Travis was first recruited at TTU by coach John Blair, who retired after last season. New coach Dave Zelenock came in at the first of the year and continued to recruit her.
There was a period of time during her senior year at Baylor that Travis was unsure if she wanted to continue playing volleyball beyond high school. After consulting with her parents and considering the time she had invested in the sport, she made her decision.
"It just kind of hit me," Travis said. "I've been playing for so long, I don't know if I could really decide to move on without volleyball being part of my life. I think Tennessee Tech is a perfect fit for me."
Travis visited the Cookeville campus on her own in January, then took an official visit in February.
"You get a much better feel how things are going to go when you meet the players and get to watch them practice," Travis said. "I just kind of fell in love with it after that."
Despite an ankle injury that caused her to miss almost thee weeks last season, Travis ended up with 415 kills, 368 digs and 70 aces and helped the Lady Red Raiders to a third-place finish in the Division II-AA state tournament. She routinely appeared on all-region, all-state and Times Free Press Best of Preps teams throughout her career, which included 1,963 kills, 1,728 digs and 304 aces.
"Since she's played here she's had an instrumental role," Baylor coach Sarah Lail said. "She's been on varsity since eighth grade. She's had a huge impact as a player, both offensively and defensively. She's one of those that people will come up and ask me, 'Hasn't she graduated yet?' We'll definitely miss her as a player, but we're happy for her opportunity. She was a great player at our school and I know she'll do great there, too."
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Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.