By David Fong
TROY — By her own admission, Kaylie Marshall is a homebody.
“Absolutely,” the Troy High School senior said. “I love being at home. My parents pay my bills and pay for my food — that sounds like the life to me. But I know that’s coming to an end soon and I know I’ve just got to do it. I’ve got to start living my own life.”
With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that when Marshall was exploring her college options, she narrowed the field to schools that reminded her of her hometown. Marshall found just such at place at Bluffton University, where she has committed to attend school and play volleyball next year.
“It’s really small, which made it an easy choice,” Marshall said. “It felt like home to me. The campus is a nice size. It’s like a village. It really did make me feel like I was at home.”
In fact, Marshall fell in love with the campus before she was offered the opportunity to play volleyball for the Beavers and would have attended school there regardless.
“When I went to visit there this past summer, I I knew I wanted to do there,” she said. “Fortunately, they also offered me the opportunity to play the sport I love while I go there.”
A defensive specialist, Marshall has been a part of the most successful volleyball run in school history. The past four seasons, the Trojans have captured four-consecutive Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division titles. This past season, the Trojans went undefeated through the regular season, captured a GWOC Tournament crown and were ranked in the state throughout the season.
Marshall will be joining a team that knows success, as well. Last season the Beavers went 19-13, captured at Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament title and made an appearance in the NCAA Division III regionals.
“I loved playing with my team (at Troy) and am really excited knowing I get to play volleyball for another four years now,” Marshall said.
Not only did she feel at home on Bluffton’s campus, but Marshall said she felt welcomed by her future coaches and teammates.
“The coach is really nice,” she said. “He really made me feel comfortable. Everyone there was really friendly. I knew I would fit in there.”
All things considered, Marshall said she’s ready to move on to the next phase in her life — even if she may get homesick from time to time.
“It’s going to be hard, but I think I’m ready,” she said. “You have to move on at some point. And besides … it’s only an hour away.”
Contact David Fong at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter @thefong