GRETNA – Gretna’s Amanda Young has a reputation in Nebraska for moving at break-neck speeds to be the first one to get to where she wants to go.
Whether that’s the finish line at a track meet, chasing down a volleyball or running through a brick wall. Wednesday, the junior-to-be for the Dragons continued that pattern by becoming the first known commitment to the Colorado State volleyball team’s 2016 recruiting class.
Young, a 5-foot-8 defensive specialist/libero, said she plans on only competing in volleyball for the Rams. Young also is a track standout, having finished first in the 200 at the Class B State Track Championships with a time of 25.17 seconds and her time of 12.56 in the 100 was good for second place. She also ran on Gretna’s third-place 1,600 relay and fifth-place 400 relay teams.
On the volleyball court, Young has developed a reputation as one of the hardest-working players in the state with a high motor. She had 316 digs and 124 kills playing as an outside hitter for the Dragons as a sophomore and she played this past club season for Nebraska Juniors 162.
“(Colorado State) has been my dream school for a long time,” Young, who was born in Greely, CO, – about 30 miles from the Colorado State campus – said. “It’s always been my dream. It’s crazy that it’s actually here.”
Young said the Colorado State camp was the only one she attended this summer, when she went to the elite skills camp in mid-July. From there, she was invited back to take part in the Rams’ college prep camp, which is when she received her offer.
“They told me they liked how hard I worked and my aggressiveness in the back row and my passion for the game,” Young said.
After receiving the offer, Young said she returned home to talk it over with her family, although she admitted the decision was pretty easy to make. Young targeted Colorado State this summer, thinking that if things didn’t work out with the Rams, she would still have next summer to explore her options in volleyball. If that still didn’t work, she said she would start looking at her track options. That’s all irrelevant now that her first option worked out.
Young said she credits a lot of her success to being surrounded by talented people – from Gretna coach Mike Brandon, to fellow Dragon standout Halie McArdle, to good friend and recent USC commit Raegan LeGrand.
“Halie and I have been competing against and with each other ever since we were little kids,” Young, who moved to Gretna in the third grade, said. “That’s helped push me to get where I am. Raegan and I have been playing basketball since we were younger. It’s fun to play with them. And, I’m surrounded by a lot of people at Nebraska Juniors who are willing to work as hard as I am.
“I just started at Nebraska Juniors two years ago, so that level of competitive volleyball is still new to me. I think I have a lot of room to grow the next two years.”
Colorado State went 28-2 last season, including 19-1 in the Mountain West Conference, before being upset 3-2 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by Cal State-Northridge.
Young is the fifth known member of the Class of 2016 to make a college commitment, joining Lincoln North Star’s Sarah Allick (Nebraska), Omaha Marian’s Brittany Witt (Creighton), Lincoln Southwest’s Allie Davis (Wichita State) and Papillion-LaVista South’s LeGrand (USC).