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Keith Inks Commitment with Williams Volleyball

12/19/2011

By Cory Clark
Jonesboro Sun Staff Writer

(Jonesboro, Ark.) — Everything fell into place for Jonesboro’s Nykia Keith during her senior season on the volleyball court.

A move from middle blocker to outside hitter drew the attention of Williams Baptist College volleyball coach Eric Newell, and on Tuesday, Keith signed a letter of intent to continue her career on the court for the Lady Eagles.

Keith was joined in a dual signing ceremony Tuesday by classmate Hayley Overbay, who signed to join the Lady Eagles’ softball team.

For a player who said she loves the game of volleyball, Tuesday was a very special day for Keith.
“I’m really excited. I love volleyball, and it’s pretty much my entire life,” Keith said. “I’ve been waiting for this day forever, and I’m just really excited about the next four years.”

Keith was named to the 6A all-state volleyball team as she helped the Lady Hurricane to an 18-14 record during her senior season and a berth in the 6A state semifinals.

Jonesboro coach Craig Cummings said it’s amazing how everything worked out for Keith this year.

“Everything happens for a reason, and I think this is that kind of a situation, because maybe if she stayed in the middle she doesn’t get this opportunity, and it worked out that she does,” Cummings said.

The Lady Hurricane coach said the Lady Eagles are getting a very coachable player who worked very hard to get to the next level.

“For us to be successful, we made a joint move from middle blocker to outside hitter, and it had a significant change for us, and I think it helped our team be as successful as we were in the state tournament,” he said. “It’s a credit to Nykia being able to make the change, and the work she had to put in, because it’s a quick change, and some people have a hard time dealing with that, and she embraced it.”

Keith, a native of Walnut Ridge, said she felt like she was in the right place when she visited the Williams campus.

“When I went there for my visit it just felt like home,” she said. “I grew up in Walnut Ridge, so I was already used to the area, and it’s really close to home, so my family can come watch me play anytime they want.”

Last year, Keith’s sister Whitney signed on to play basketball at Lyon College, and Nykia said it felt great to follow in her sister’s footsteps and have an opportunity to play sports on the collegiate level.

“It’s really awesome because we both really love sports and athletics,” she said.

Keith is also an integral part of the Lady Hurricane basketball team, and Cummings added that she is an example of how hard work can pay off for a dedicated athlete.

“She put in the effort to make herself better, and hard work goes a long way,” he said.

Williams is a four-year, liberal arts college at Walnut Ridge. The Eagles compete in the American Midwest Conference of the NAIA.

Story courtesy of the Jonesboro Sun

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