PAOLA – Senior Mikayla White is headed to Northwestern Oklahoma State University on a volleyball scholarship.
Surrounded by friends and family, White signed a national letter of intent to play volleyball for Rangers in a signing ceremony held in the common area of Paola High School on Monday 29 November.
White started playing volleyball in the Lake Miola League when she was in fifth grade.
She then played club volleyball with the Junior Slammers in sixth grade, played with the Kansas City Fire and returned to the Junior Slammers.
White was an All-Frontier League and All-Tri-County Spotlight performer for the Paola, helping the Lady Panthers to a 20-game winning season and the Class 4A Substate Championship game.
Getting the chance to play college volleyball is more than a dream come true, White said.
“I never thought I would get this far in volleyball, especially starting so young,” White said. “I just really play volleyball. It has definitely been my favorite sport in my entire life. “
A trip to Northwestern Oklahoma State University was enough for White to know that this was where she belonged.
“Visiting there I really felt like I was a place I could fit in,” she said. “I met some really nice people, met the coaches and all the girls. It was just like home.
White, a passer and hitter for the Paola Lady Panthers, was recruited to lead the offense at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. She could also see some action on the hitter on the right side.
Lady Panther’s coach Kirby Kenny said it’s been an exciting day for White and the program.
I “am always proud when a player pursues his career at the college level,” said Kenny. “I have had the pleasure of coaching Mikayla since her first year and I know firsthand how hard she worked for it.
“Mikayla was a three-year letter recipient, starting passer and two-year college captain for our program,” Kenny said. “Mikayla is the type of leader others want to follow. She’s encouraging on the pitch, but also holds her teammates accountable and leads by example. I have no doubt that she will bring these qualities and skills to the field at Northwest Oklahoma State University and lead a successful career as a Ranger there.
White was a member of the Paola Lady Panther volleyball team for four years, joining the same year Coach Kenny joined the program.
“It was great to be in the program for the four years with Coach Kenny,” White said. “I think we both grew up during that time, I grew as a player and she grew as a coach.”
White plans to major in health and athletic sciences with a minor in kinesiology.
Mikayla is the daughter of Rob and Janea White.