Lincoln East’s Duch Headed To Delaware, GICC’s Benton to Emporia State
LINCOLN – There is an old adage that it’s not how you start, but how you finish that matters. Lincoln East senior Lexie Duch proved that true this week when she committed to playing volleyball at the University of Delaware.
Duch, a 5-foot-9 setter/defensive specialist, admits she got a late start in the recruiting process, but couldn’t be happier with where she ended up.
“I’m so honored to have a chance to play for Delaware,” Duch, who committed on Wednesday morning, said. “I loved everything about the school. I’m grateful and thankful for the opportunity to play for them.”
Duch said she didn’t get proactive in the recruiting processes until March of this year – relatively late by volleyball standards. She had been looking at schools such as Doane and Nebraska Wesleyan locally, but she always had an interest in going to Delaware.
With military parents, Duch moved quite a bit growing up. She was born in Texas, moved to Ohio when she was two, then moved to Delaware when she was four. She was there three years before her family moved to Nebraska, where they have been ever since. But, Duch said she has a set of grandparents in Delaware as well as two aunts and uncles.
This spring, Duch reached out to the Delaware coaching staff to gauge their interest in her as a player and wound up going out to their camp in July. From that point on, she remained in contact each week with Delaware Associate Head Coach Cindy Gregory. It was this past Tuesday night when Gregory extended an invitation to Duch to be a walk-on for the Blue Hens. After taking a night to sleep on it, Duch called the next morning to commit.
“When I went out for the camp, the campus just blew me away,” Duch said. “And it will be nice having a lot of family only 20 minutes away.”
Duch had 120 kills, 40 assists, 72 digs and 40 ace serves as a junior for the Spartans. She played this past club season for Nebraska Juniors 172, where she was a defensive specialist. That versatility is part of what Delaware liked about Duch, she said.
The other perfect fit for Duch was the academics of the school. Duch plans on majoring in Pre-Law.
“Now that I’m committed, it’s nice. Recruiting is kind of stressful,” she said. “The academics at Delaware are everything I wanted. Seventy per of all their pre-law students get accepted into law school.”
Duch also said she is grateful to have a family that is supportive of her volleyball career. She gave a lot of credit for her development to Nebraska Juniors coaches Ryan Gray and Gwen Egbert and said University of Nebraska Volleyball Director of Operations Lindsay Peterson had heavily influenced her as a player and a person.
Delaware struggled last season, going 11-17 overall and 3-11 in the Colonial Athletic Association. But, the Blue Hens have made the NCAA Tournament four of the last seven seasons and in 2011 they defeated American in the first round before falling to Penn State in the second round.
Duch becomes the 14th known player in the Class of 2015 to commit to a Division I school. The Class of 2014 had a total of 17 DI commits.
Also recently, Grand Island Central Catholic outside hitter Emma Benson committed to Division II Emporia State. The 5-foot-10 senior is the second Nebraska player to commit to the school this summer, joining Millard South’s Jamie Hauptmann.
Benton holds the single-season kills record at Central Catholic.