Blake Snider Signs With WVSU

New Bremen's Blake Snider signed her national letter of intent to continue her volleyball and academic career at West Virginia State University on Wednesday. Accompanying the senior is her father, Jay, mother, Jenn and Cardinals volleyball coach Diana Kramer.
Sports Editor

She was not sure if she was going to continue her volleyball career at the next level, but it was not until she saw former teammate Paige Jones play at Michigan did Blake Snider fully commit to wanting to play volleyball in college.

That decision was made three weeks ago while she and her New Bremen Cardinals teammates were fighting for a repeat state final appearance.

Better late than never.

But the Cardinals libero knew she wanted to continue the only high school sport she plays and made it official on Wednesday by signing with West Virginia State University.

"I was really late," the senior said. "But when I went to one of Paige's games I thought, 'wow, I really want to continue to play volleyball.' So I made a highlight video, sent it out to a few schools I was interested in and the West Virginia State coach reached out and the phone call went really, really well."

In her senior season, Snider played in 87 sets, tallying 260 digs — three digs per set — and 260 serve receptions to earn her All-Midwest Athletic Conference Honorable Mention accolades. For her career, Snider finished with 669 digs, 808 serve receptions in 268 sets played all while earning a pair of honorable mention selections.

The senior has also been apart of some great volleyball teams throughout her high school career. 

As a sophomore — her first season at the varsity level — the Cardinals made a regional appearance under coach Diana Kramer's first year. The next season, Snider and her teammates were state champions before ending her career as a state runner-up last week.

"When Coach Diana first came here, she brought up the idea about us going to state and we were like, 'yeah, we probably won't go to state,'" Snider said. "But we got so close after that first year and it brought that idea to life that we could make it.

"Winning it the next year was so crazy, but she is such a great coach. The way she coaches is so positive and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to even go to state these two years, especially this year when we weren't even supposed to go."

Snider will now take that successful high school career with her to West Virginia where that program is building on its own success.

Head coach Kris Kern — an Ohio native — had a career record of 762-82 as an Ohio high school coach as well as leading Logan Elm High School in Circleville to a final four appearance in 2016 with a 28-1 record. His teams have captured 19 conference titles, 33 sectional championships, 14 district crowns and two regional titles. 

And that success at the high school level has transitioned well to the collegiate stage where he turned the Yellow Jackets from a 6-22 team the year before he arrived to 14-16 in his first season and now a 25-11 record team this season. 

Snider said she loved the visit and the school. One of the factors of picking WVSU was that it was an out-of-state school — something she always wanted to attend — and that he school is by the Appalachian Mountains. She is currently undecided on a major.

"I love being outside," she added. "It's 10 minutes away from Charleston, which is a really nice city with opportunities, but the school itself is in a smaller town and surrounded by mountains. It is really pretty there.

"They have all these majors that I really like — they have a building for art and I am super into art. Everything is perfect."

While she is undecided on a major she said does know what her expectations are of herself are as she enters the program as a libero/defensive specialist.

"He (Kern) is recruiting a lot of good girls so it is definitely going to be competitive," Snider said. "And I am not expecting anything my freshman year. My goal is to get better and go to a school where I can get better. I don't want to just play, I want to have to work for it."