GALION — Galion High School volleyball standout Samantha Comer will continue her athletic and academic pursuits at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio.
Surrounded by family and friends, Comer signed a letter of intent on Monday, Jan. 25 to play volleyball at the NCAA Division II institution. She said she met Notre Dame head coach Travis Hinkle at a volleyball showcase in Columbus and had a good experience, which resulted in a campus visit.
“I just loved the school,” Comer said. “It’s an amazing school. I loved the (volleyball) program. I know a couple of the girls on the team, so it just seemed like a perfect fit for me. And it’s a Christian school, so I loved that as well. I signed because I felt like that was the best option I had.”
Hinkle has been in charge of the Notre Dame program since 2018. In his first two seasons, Hinkle has directed the Falcons to an overall record of 39-29 and back-to-back appearances in the Mountain East Conference tournament, marking the first time that’s happened in the history of the NDC program. The Falcons record in MEC play is 17-15 under Hinkle.
Hinkle has a young squad this season with 13 freshmen and sophomores on the roster. Notre Dame begins its abbreviated 2020 season on Feb. 2. It was delayed from the fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Comer said she was also considering “a couple of other (Division III) schools” and had been in contact with West Liberty University in West Virginia, also a member of the Mountain East Conference, before settling on Notre Dame.
“It was more the affordability in the end and the program was just amazing,” she said. “I wasn’t really torn at all making the decision. It was kind of tough texting other coaches and telling them I decided to go to a different school. But I think I made the right choice.”
Comer said she’s looking forward to meeting her new teammates and continuing to build the Notre Dame program.
“I’m excited to meet the whole team and get along with them because I love just clicking with different girls and being able to jump right in and start something new,” she said. “I know a couple of the girls; I played club volleyball with them. So there’s a lot that I can learn from them. I’m hoping that I can come in right away and compete with them and work well as a team with them.”
Comer has not formally declared a major yet, but said she is considering majoring in psychology.
Comer was a two-time Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association All-Ohio selection — honorable mention in 2020 as a senior and third team in 2019 as a junior. She was a four-time All-Mid Ohio Athletic Conference selection, earning first-team honors in 2018, 2019, and 2020, and garnering second-team recognition in 2017 as a freshman.
Comer, who played outside hitter and middle hitter for the Lady Tigers, finished her career with 1,115 kills, a .413 kill percentage, a .262 hitting percentage, 156 blocks, 736 digs, and 78 aces. As a senior, Comer led the MOAC with 316 kills and 3.9 kills per set.
Comer was part of a Galion squad that captured four consecutive MOAC championships, compiling a league record of 50-2 and an overall record of 77-19.
“I’ll miss my friends, especially my volleyball friends, because we’ve been together since we were in elementary school,” Comer said. “We’ve been playing volleyball for the longest time. It’s going to be bittersweet to see them go off and do their own thing. But, definitely, Galion High School, the track team, the volleyball team, I’m going to miss it a lot.”
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