Ooltewah senior Sloan Sullivan is planning to sign volleyball scholarship papers with Middle Tennessee State University today at the high school at 1:30 p.m.
Sullivan is a three-year starter for the Lady Owls, who this past fall went unbeaten against District 5-AAA competition in the regular season and tournament and also won the Region 3 tournament. Their 45-12 season came to an end at the state tournament in Murfreesboro, where MTSU hosted a portion of the tournament in the Murphy Center gymnasium.
"When we were there during the state tournament they had their pink-out game and we were all invited," Sullivan said. "I also went back up there and watched them play again."
Sullivan said she already had planned to decide between attending MTSU and Tennessee. When the offer to continue her volleyball career came from Blue Raiders coach Matt Peck, she accepted it.
"I liked the campus," Sullivan said. "It's not too far from home. It's close to Nashville. I like the coaches, and it's an opportunity to play volleyball."
Sullivan was an all-district and all-region selection this past season and a second-team Best of Preps player. She totaled 528 kills, 65 blocks, 140 aces and 882 digs.
"She's a very hard worker," Ooltewah coach Elaine Peigen said. "She's been a major player in our program the last three years. The biggest thing I can say about her is her versatility. She can play all the way around. That's going to be some hard shoes to fill next year. That kind of player comes around once every now and then. She's a good jumper; she can block, play defense; she can do it all."
Sullivan, who said she expects to focus on being a libero or defensive specialist at MTSU, has a 3.9 grade point average and will graduate in the top 10 percent of her class at Ooltewah. She said she's considering majoring in physical therapy.
"She'll be missed," Peigen said, "but I think she'll be a great asset at MTSU."
Contact Kelley Smiddie at email@example.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie.
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.