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Lafayette junior Julia Howard has committed to play volleyball at the next level.
The Lafayette High setter has decided to spend her next four years at school with a similar name: Lafayette College, a Division I school.
“The name is a very interesting coincidence,” Howard joked. “Luckily we have different colors and mascots.”
An all-region second-team selection and first-team all-conference selection, Howard recorded 828 assists, 194 digs, 92 aces and 70 kills during her junior campaign that ended with a loss in the 3A East semifinals.
Howard said Lafayette College, which is located in Easton, Pennsylvania, possessed many of the same traits as Lafayette High, which attracted to her to commit to the Leopards in early May.
“The size of the school and the community really drew me to the school,” she said.”It was a nice feel that it was a small community with something like 2,500 kids and no graduate students, so the professors are really focused on you as an undergraduate. The sense of community that everyone brought, everyone really seems to care about each other and really work hard to show a sense of school spirit and commitment to the school. It reminded me of my high school.”
Getting to play Division I volleyball at a smaller university proved to be a positive for Howard, who said she appreciated the ability to form bonds with her teammates and classmates within a smaller student body.
With almost a quarter of Lafayette College’s student population consisting of varsity-level athletes, Howard said Lafayette College seemed like a perfect opportunity to play Division I athletics as well as get a quality education at a solid liberal arts college.
She also said Coach Terri Dadio Campbell, who is entering her 13th year as the head coach at Lafayette College, was a major draw.
“I visited twice and she had everything laid out for me and made sure I enjoyed my time,” Howard said. “When I talked with the girls on the team they really seemed to like her. It seemed like a really good relationship between the coach and the players for the volleyball program that I know does not exist everywhere. She seemed to be a good fit for me as a coach.”
With her college decision out of the way, Howard said having the decision finalized was a big weight off her shoulders and allowed her to focus on getting better on the hardwood and in the classroom during her upcoming senior year.