Senior Kirby Neale signs with SMU

By Amy Laube | Head Copy Editor

Last Wednesday, senior Kirby Neale became the second Marshfield High School volleyball player this year to sign her letter of intent to play at the collegiate level. Neale, a middle hitter, has decided to attend Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Wash., to study civil engineering next fall.

The signing ceremony occurred after school in the Pirate Hall foyer, attended by Athletic Director Bryan Trendell, Neale, KCBY reporters, and various staff members, family and friends. NCAA rules dictated that a representative from the university was not allowed to be there due to conflict of interest.

Neale discovered Saint Martin’s earlier this school year after searching for schools with good engineering programs on Google; there were several factors that appealed to her about the university.

“It’s a small school,” Neale said. “It’s close-ish to home, and it has a good engineering program.”

According to the College Board, Saint Martin’s University has a total of 1,426 enrolled undergraduates. Her mother, Karen Neale, highlighted the difficulty in finding a school small enough that possessed all of the other necessary aspects.

“She wanted a small school, and it’s hard to find a small school that has engineering,” Karen Neale said. “I feel good that the process is over.”

Kirby chose Saint Martin’s over Carroll College in Helena, Mont. One of her reasons for this decision was the ability to play volleyball as a freshman next year.

Kirby appreciated her parents’ input and support throughout the whole process, but ultimately she realized the choice lay with her, and her alone:

“I consulted with them a little bit, but it was my decision, not theirs.”