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Jamestown junior Maria Esch is the latest Eagles volleyball player to make her college choice, verbally committing to play for Division I University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Esch’s commitment comes roughly a week after her teammate Ellie Popelka committed to the University of South Carolina.
UNCG did not come into the picture for Esch until February, when she connected with the UNCG coaches while playing in a tournament in Washington D.C. After some email correspondence with the UNCG coaches, Esch set up a visit for early March.
While visiting the UNCG, Esch came away impressed with Greensboro as a city and what the area as a whole had to offer.
“The area is really fun,” she said. “Greensboro is a really cool city and I wanted a campus that was closed, but I would still be able to go out. There were a lot of possibilities [for things to do].”
One aspect of UNCG that Esch, who was named the Group 4A Player of the Year this season, found endearing was the honesty from the coaching staff.
While some schools can be disingenuous with their sales pitches to recruits, Esch said the coaching staff as UNCG was never unrealistic with their expectations and displayed an openness that other schools did not.
“One thing I really value is [honesty],” she said. “The coaches here were really honest about what they had to offer.”
Esch also said the coaches showed her a good time when she was on her visit, which included touring the UNCG campus, meeting and eating lunch with the team and watching a practice.
Prior to her visit with UNCG, Esch did not formally have a scholarship offer from the Spartans. However, her scholarship offer came during her visit and she chose to commit a few days later over the phone.
Esch said she expects to play outside hitter at UNCG, which is the position she plays for Jamestown and her travel volleyball team.