Allie Petry has been playing on the top team of the Nebraska Elite club volleyball program in her age group since she was 12.
It was in the eighth grade when Iowa State started showing interest in Petry, now a junior at St. Albert.
On Thursday, that relationship resulted in a chance to continue her career at the Division I level.
During an unofficial visit to the school, ISU coach Christy Johnson made the 5-foot-7 Petry an offer, and later in the visit she accepted. She will join the team in 2021 as a walk-on, with the hopes of eventually earning a scholarship.
“When I was young, I always dreamed of playing Division I volleyball somewhere, but I never really thought it could actually happen,’’ Petry said. “In the past few years, my coaches have just believed in me and I just made it happen.’’
Petry is expected to compete at defensive specialist or libero for the Cyclones. As a high school player with tremendous leaping ability, she’s the top option at outside hitter for the Saintes. Last year, she ranked 12th in Class 2-A with 3.72 kills per set. As a six-rotation player, she also ranked second on the team with 3.55 digs per set.
Petry said she believes she’ll adjust her game when she reaches Ames.
“I’ve never just focused on back row,’’ she said. “It’s going to be different, but it will be nice to focus on one thing.’’
On Thursday’s visit, Petry said Johnson made the offer in her office when they arrived. Then they toured the school, which included an Iowa State practice.
“During their practice, Coach came over to us, and I just told her that that’s where I wanted to go,’’ Petry said. “They were super excited.’’
Petry missed almost her entire freshman year with a broken vertebra in her back. She was in a brace for 3½ months.
“I wasn’t sure then if I wanted to continue playing volleyball,’’ she said. “But after I came back, I just knew I wanted to play Division I.’’
Petry is used to playing with Division I-caliber athletes in club play. Her Nebraska Elite teammates include Nebraska recruit Rylee Gray, UNO recruit Shayla McCormick and Arizona State recruit Allie Gray.
South Dakota also showed some interest, but Petry has known for a long time where she wanted to be.
“This process has been super long,’’ she said. “It was a great feeling to get it over with and commit to the school that I wanted.’’