Incoming senior expected to be leader for Ladycats volleyball team
By Nolan Ruth
The Community News
Not for the first time, and not for the last time. That’s what comes to mind every time an Aledo athlete makes a commitment to play their respective sport in college. It happened again last week when volleyball star Mattie Gantt made her commitment to UTEP (University of Texas at El Paso).
“I am so blessed to announce that I verbally committed to play D1 volleyball at the University of Texas at El Paso,” Gantt said on a social media post. “I want to thank all of my friends, family, teammates, and coaches for making me the person and player I am today. Can not wait to be a Miner!”
Gantt, a senior at Aledo, is the obvious leader for the Ladycats volleyball this season. Last season she led the team in sets played with 79. In comparison, the closest to that number from a returning player is sophomore Vivian Parker at 62.
In those 79 sets, Gantt led the team with 681 assists, and of her 356 serves, 40 resulted in aces. All three stats were a team best. On top of that, she added 77 kills and 276 digs. Despite all of that, her eyes are looking ahead to the upcoming season.
“I just want to create that family environment that Aledo sports have,” Gantt said. “We’re just going to keep going, and hopefully go far. Getting to the state tournament would be great, that’s a dream for all of us.”
When asked about the decision, Gantt recalled how much she enjoyed the UTEP coaches.
“The coaches reached out and said they really liked me, and think I could grow there. So I said ‘Let’s go to El Paso!’ I really enjoyed the players and coaches. It was just a good competitive environment. I can’t thank those coaches enough for giving me this opportunity to play for them.”
Before Gantt heads to the western corner of Texas, she has one more volleyball season to go with the Ladycats, and will no doubt be looking to bring home the school’s first volleyball state title.