When Logan Belford came to Western Nebraska Community College, little did she know that she would be playing at the Division I level after her time in Scottsbluff was up.
Belford, of Ft. Collins, Colorado, made it official recently after signing to play volleyball at St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. Belford said it has always been a dream of hers to play at the Division I level.
“It has always been a dream for me and it is exciting for a dream come true,” she said. “This has always been my dream and I have always worked hard for it. It kind of has been a goal for me so it is nice to know I met that goal for myself.”
St. Francis is definitely farther from home than she is now, but she is going there because of how pretty the campus is plus she does have relatives in the Pittsburg area, which is only a couple hours from St. Francis.
“As soon as I stepped on campus, I fell in love with the school. Then, I really liked the coaches and players and I had a really good time,” she said. “It is going to be interesting but I do have family out there so I will be close to family which will be nice. It is also part of the country I have never seen before. It is a new experience and I am very excited for it.”
The move to Pennsylvania will be interesting but she is joining a St. Francis volleyball team that went 5-22 last year and plays in the Northeast Conference against teams like Robert Morris, Farleigh Dickinson, and Central Connecticut State.
In her time at WNCC, Belford became a well-rounded player capable of playing the front row and the backrow. Her sophomore season is where she stepped up playing in 75 sets compared to just 25 her freshman year. Last November Belford finished with 79 digs, five ace serves, and 34 kills. She didn’t mind playing either position and said she became a well-rounded volleyball player in her two years here.
“I have improved a lot and I have my coaches to thank for that. I have become a well-rounded player in my two years here,” she said. “I like playing the outside just because I like getting those big hits and blocks, but I also enjoy the back row because it is more of the analytical part of the game.”
Belford not only excelled on the court, but also in the classroom and was active in helping people as a student ambassador. She said that it took some time to juggle volleyball and academics, but she succeeded.
“It was hard and it definitely took me awhile to balance between the two,” Belford said. “But once I got into a groove of how things were going, it was easy for me.”
Belford and the other five sophomores have also set a standard as all six sophomores are headed to a four-year school to play. The last time all the sophomores signed to continue playing was 2012. Three of this year’s sophomores are headed to the DI level, just like in 2012. Besides Belford, Enna Masaki signed with UTEP and Kaila Tuisamatatele signed with Southern Mississippi.
“It is really cool,” Belford, the Biology major and Chemistry minor, said. “I am really excited for everyone getting to move forward and I am looking forward to all the Spring Break trips in visiting them all.”
While her time at WNCC is almost up as she prepares to walk the stage in May and graduate, she said she will miss all the friends she made here.
“It has been really awesome [being here],” she said. “I love these girls dearly. They are like my family to me and I will miss them a lot. It will be really hard leaving here and I will definitely miss them.”