Coal Ridge’s Harlow signs with Kansas Wesleyan
As a standout four-sport athlete at Coal Ridge High School, senior Kaitlyn Harlow really felt that she’d pursue soccer at the next level, but that sport went out the door when a different sport became crystal clear last month. After visiting Kansas Wesleyan University to get a glimpse at the volleyball program, Harlow was hooked.
“For a long time I thought I was going to play soccer at the next level, I’m not going to lie,” Harlow said. “I’m more competitively sized for soccer, but Kansas Wesleyan started recruiting me as an outside hitter and I really started to think I could do this at the next level.”
Following a weekend trip to see the Coyotes’ facilities and campus, Harlow, the daughter or Ryan and Dania Harlow, said she felt really welcomed by the current group of players on Kansas Wesleyan, leading to her signing along the dotted line Wednesday afternoon.
“The opportunity to play volleyball at the next level really just presented itself and I couldn’t pass it up,” Harlow said. “I didn’t think I was big enough or talented enough to make it at the next level, but having schools pursue me really made me feel like I can do this.”
Stepping into a big role last season for the Titans at middle hitter, Harlow helped the Titans reach the state tournament yet again. On the court, Harlow finished with 171 blocks while adding a team-leading 48 aces and 93 blocks.
Most of those numbers, along with her obvious size and power at the net, led to the Coyotes and head coach Fred Aubuchon pursuing her talents.
And if there’s any indication of what Harlow can be when locked in, you’ll have to look no further than the second half of the season when she was a dominant force for the Titans, playing a prominent role in Coal Ridge’s run to the state tournament.
“I don’t think I changed anything other than my attitude,” Harlow said. “I started to just think, ‘you know what, this could be it for me.’ So I started to just have fun with it and enjoying playing with my best friends for the last time.”
“Kaitlyn started believing in herself and really started to put in the effort to be the best she could be,” Coal Ridge Head Coach Aimee Gerber said. “I think we started to see that drive in her in the second half of the year, and you can see just how talented of an athlete she is in the other sports she’s played. The love of the game has gotten into her heart, and she now knows the commitment and effort that will be needed at the next level, but she’ll be able to handle it.”
While at Kansas Wesleyan, Harlow will have a heavy workload off the floor as the senior will study to become an anesthesiologist. Going down that path will put her in pre-med and biomedical chemistry, while also being in the honors program.
The senior will make the trip to Kansas Wesleyan later this summer to begin her collegiate career as a member of the Coyotes.
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Coal Ridge 69, Grand Junction Central 23