Benet’s Ontko, Haggerty make college choices

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(Pictured right: Benet’s Lara Ontko)

The school that sent six girls to Division I schools just two years ago is back at it.

Benet’s Lara Ontko (Class of 2011) and Meghan Haggerty (Class of 2012), who helped lead the Redwings to a 33-5 record and a berth in the Class 4A supersectional last fall, have recently made verbal commitments to attend Division I universities.

Ontko, a 5-foot-11 outside hitter who plays club for Sports Performance’s 17-1 team, has committed to play volleyball for the University of Mississippi.

“I fell in love with the people, campus and general feel of Ole Miss,” Ontko said. “I knew right away it would be the right decision for me.”

Benet coach Brad Baker said Ontko, who is going to Mississippi as a backrow player, has the potential to develop into an all-around threat.

“Lara is a super athlete who has great skills in all areas,” he said. “She has always been a force on offense, but her defense and passing have really improved over the past few years. With her overall skills and want to be great, it would not surprise me if she finds a way to be a six rotation player.”

Haggerty, a 6-foot-2 middle hitter, verbally committed to play volleyball for the University of Wisconsin.

“I was very impressed with coach Pete Waite, his staff and their commitment to winning Big Ten and national championships in the future,” Haggerty said. “Another important factor was the impressive line up of talent on the current roster and the huge amount of talent committed for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons.

“The future is very bright for Wisconsin volleyball and I want to be a part of it,” Haggerty said.

Haggerty, who plays for Sports Performance’s 18 Elite team, led Benet in blocks and hitting percentage last fall. She also considered Michigan State, Illinois, Ohio State, Minnesota and other schools in the Big 12 and Big East conferences.

“The University of Wisconsin is getting a dynamic volleyball player who will be a force in the Big Ten,” Baker said. “She is a high flyer who posses an extremely fast arm. She will be a great teammate and no doubt is someone the Badgers will be lucky to have in their program.”

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