One way or another, Jasmine Battle and Kelsea Nova were determined to go to the same college and continue their volleyball careers together.
Thanks to Indiana Tech coach Kirsta Solberg, their wish came true.
The Bowsher seniors and Glass City Volleyball Club teammates recently signed with the NAIA school in Fort Wayne, Ind., meaning they will have another four years together on the court.
It s awesome, Nova said. I was so happy. [Indiana Tech] isn t too far away, but it s nice having a really good friend go with you. We re already talking about what our dorm room is going to look like and what she s bringing with her and what I m bringing with me.
The pair first developed a close friendship after Battle transferred from Central Catholic following her freshman year.
Since then, their kinship has blossomed on and off the court. We instantly clicked, Battle said. We started off as really good friends, and now we re best friends, and we re with each other all the time.
Nova met Solberg at a volleyball camp over the summer and quickly formed a bond. After finding out Indiana Tech had her preferred major sports management and visiting the school, Nova was sure it was the right fit for her.
The next step was getting Battle hooked.
Nova provided Battle s contact information to Solberg, who had been interested in Battle for quite some time and didn t realize she was still unsigned.
I was thinking about going to Owens, but Kelsea had been talking to Indiana Tech a lot, Battle said. I went with Kelsea and her mom on a visit one day, and we got to play with some of their players at an open gym. Then [Solberg] invited me back for another visit with my parents because I really liked the school and the campus a lot.
Once Battle got her parents on board, the final step was the easiest signing her letter of intent with Nova.
It s kind of weird how we did end up picking the same college, Battle said. If I would have ended up going to Owens, then Kelsea wanted to go to Owens with me. But then I [reminded] her she was going to Indiana Tech, and she said, Well then you re coming along.
Battle and Nova believe their success on the court is tied directly to one another s play. In fact, the two spend much of their time in close physical proximity in the front row, with Battle a middle hitter and Nova an outside hitter.
Both were first-team All-City selections in the fall and both hope to carry those accolades over to the next level.
We ve already gone to a couple of gyms with some of the [Indiana Tech] players, so we kind of already know what to expect, Battle said. We ve already gotten a feel with how we ll incorporate ourselves into the team.
They also enjoy keeping the atmosphere light, even in tense moments.
We re probably the silliest players out there, Nova said. When we get in tough situations, Jasmine and I can make up the funniest joke and just start laughing and get the whole team going.:
She added, We are the most excited players out on the court, by far. We re also both very determined so we have a lot in common.
Soon you ll be able to add college teammates to that list of commonalities.