- By Evan Merrill Sports Editor
MOUNT CARMEL -- When Kassidy Drone first committed to Wabash Valley College, her parents, Dawn and Todd Drone said their eldest daughter was ear to ear with excitement at the thought of continuing her volleyball career.
Now, the Mount Carmel senior finalized her pledge by signing to play volleyball for her hometown Lady Warriors in a signing ceremony held at Mount Carmel High School on Tuesday night in front of a host of family, friends, teammates and coaches.
Drone kicked things off by thanking everyone for attending her signing, which she then made official shortly thereafter.
"I've always looked at Wabash because it's in my hometown so I'll be at home, but I've also looked at their nursing program, which is what I see as a career for my future. They have a really good nursing program and that's what I'm thinking about doing so it was a good choice."
Starting from her freshman year on, Drone's been an incredibly steady presence at setter for Mount Carmel. As a four-year starter Drone's amassed 1,494 career assists, 108 kills, 68 aces, 39 blocks and 145 digs. She recorded career-high in assists (600) and kills (46) this year, as she became more sure of herself at the net and grew into a more aggressive setter.
"She's not someone who's going to get mad when mistakes are made, she's not somebody who's so over the top excited when we do something great," Mount Carmel Head Volleyball Coach Kelsey Beckerman spoke of Drone back in October. "She's that middle line, understands when she needs to say something to somebody to boost them up but also understands when she needs to bring somebody down too. Just that dynamic of her working with her hitters, her working with her back row people. It's tough when you've had someone setting for four years and all of the sudden they're gone."
As one of Mount Carmel's key leaders and a team captain, Drone guided the Lady Aces to a level of success they haven't enjoyed in quite a while. They finished with an unprecedented 21-8 record this season, the program's first 20-win season in over a decade.
Having been around the same faces for the last four years, whether it be her teammates or coaches such as Kelsey and Trey Beckerman, it's going to be an adjustment of scenery for Drone, but one she's excited to acclimate to next year.
"It's really exciting knowing that I get to know and meet new people, but also have to compete with others for a spot," Drone said. "I think it'll be a new challenge and fun,"
"It's definitely going to be an adjustment, but I'll be learning new things that they'll be able to teach me. I'll be able to have new relationships with the players. I think it'll teach me a lot about relationships with people."
Wabash Valley College loses starting setter Kate Broster to graduation, opening up a setter vacancy for someone to fill. The Lady Warriors, who finished 14-22 this season also return freshman setter Valerie Ramos Allende at the position.
And her jubilance from when she first made her pledge certainly carried over to the signing. She had a constant smile on her face at just about every moment, regardless of who she was interacting with. It's a great opportunity for her, and she'll certainly be someone to monitor on the Lady Warriors for the next couple years.
"I'm super excited." Drone added.