Rachael Mashburn of Union Pines High School has made a commitment to become a member of the Sandhills Community College volleyball team this fall.
A first-team All Cape Fear Valley Conference pick this past season, the 5-foot-8 left-handed hitter from the right-side made the conference all-academic team her last three years. She was also voted team MVP by her teammates.
She follows another pretty good "lefty" from Union Pines to the Lady Flyers in Tiffany Hicks who was the Region X Conference Player of the Year for Coach Alicia Riggan's squad in 2015.
"We are so excited to have Rachael joining our Flyer family," Riggan says. "She comes from a winning program at Union Pines High School and she will transition smoothly on our right side this fall.
"We like her ability to swing or take a second ball if needed. She is a well-rounded player and brings a lot of energy and knowledge to the program".
Attending Thursday's signing at the high school were Mashburn's parents Robert and Anita Mashburn, Riggan, Union Pines athletic director Bobby Purvis, principal Andy McCormick and volleyball coach Toni Boney.
An all-around player with ball-handling ability, Mashburn led Union Pines, and the region, in service aces with 105, including 14 in one match, and was second on the team in kills and assists.
"I'm very proud of the progress Rachael has made," Boney says. "Watching her develop as a volleyball player over the past two years after an ACL injury has been phenomenal. Not only was she a leader on and off the court for the Union Pines volleyball program, and a role model, but she was a strong academic student as well.
"Rachael has such a positive spirit, kind heart, relentless drive and effort, and an uncanny ability to motivate her teammates. She was a driving force in our program and will truly be missed. We can't wait to see the great things Rachael will do on the collegiate level".
Mashburn plans to major in psychology at Sandhills. She was the 2016 Homecoming Queen at Union Pines. Other activities include: LEO Club, Student to Student Club (S2S), National Honor Society, FCA and Tri-M Music Honor Society.
"Ever since I first met Coach Riggan I knew Sandhills was going to be a good fit for me," she says. "The players welcomed me with open arms and it was really easy for me to feel comfortable around everyone.
"All in all, I have always heard great things about the volleyball program at Sandhills and there was no way I was going to let myself miss out on such a great opportunity to be part of it."
Hicks, the original "lefty", is currently enrolled in the Dental Assistant program at Central Carolina Community College where she made the Dean's List for the fall semester.