PIKETON — Last week, Piketon senior Emily Legg decided to keep in the family.
On Thursday, she signed her letter of intent to play volleyball at the University of Rio Grande, following in the footsteps of her brother Evan and her former high school teammate, Aleaha Pelphrey.
“I’ve always had Rio in the back of my mind, with Aleah (Pelphrey) going there and my brother going there,” Legg said. “The team was very welcoming when I took my visit. I really liked it.”
In her four years at Piketon, Legg has helped revive a Redstreak program to competitiveness with a devastating spike on the court and great leadership qualities off the court.
“You have athletes that come through, but adding her character to her athletic ability, that is every coach’s dream. That’s going to be very hard to replace,” Piketon volleyball coach Allison Robbins said.
Legg’s choice came down to Rio and Ohio Christian University in Circleville. But in addition to her family and friends already with the Redstorm, Legg also pointed toward Rio Grande volleyball coach Bilina Donaldson, who often brings her mini-camps to the Piketon area.
“I know my best volleyball is ahead of me. I haven’t reached my peak yet, and I know Coach Donaldson will help me reach it,” Legg said.
Donaldson is thrilled to have Legg join her team as well. She expects Legg is contribute — if not start — on a team that currently sits at .500 in a tough KIAC slate.
“She’s got nice big hands and nice long arms and legs, as a coach you love to see that,” Donaldson said. “She’s a good kid from a good family…we’re looking forward to have Emily there to push other players and challenge positions, hopefully step in and take a spot.”
With a familiar faces all around the Rio campus, Robbins is confident that her senior leader will fit like a glove in her new home.
“There are so many girls that she’s played against that are currently at Rio Grande. Familiar faces will always make you a little more comfortable,” she said.
But before Legg moves East, she still has plenty of items to check off her to-do list. The most notable? A sectional championship, which the Redstreaks have not yet earned in her first three seasons at Piketon. But after three years of teetering on the ledge, Legg finally feels that the ‘Streaks are ready to get over the hump.
“…just how much my team has team has improved recently. You can tell the difference,” she said. “We’re more of a family now. Playing with them…we’re just more capable of winning.”
Reach Alex Hider at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931 or on Twitter @PDTSportsWriter