Pratt headed to Moscow, Idaho

In a historic accomplishment for the Mount Si High School girls' volleyball program, star Miranda Pratt became the first Wildcat player to accept a full ride scholarship to a NCAA Division I college program.

Pratt, who will graduate from Mount Si in 2009, verbally committed to the University of Idaho on Friday, March 28 to play volleyball for the Vandals.

"I visited the school and I really liked it there," said an excited Pratt. "I decided even if wasn't for volleyball, I would still go there just for the academics, so it's a perfect fit."

Wildcat coach Bonnie Foote is also pleased.

"[Pratt] is the first Division I kid to receive a full ride, and obviously [for] her junior year it's big," Foote said. "It's exciting for her. I'm excited for her, [and] excited for our program."

Pratt is looking to study history or education in college. She chose the Vandals over schools such as Pacific Lutheran and Montana.

The timing of the commitment may be surprising to some, considering Pratt has one more year of high school ahead of her, but for the star Wildcat player, it was all about the fit.

"I liked how everything ran and I liked the people," Pratt said. "There was really no reason to wait. It was so perfect and now it's not as stressful."

Pratt was one of the keys to Mount Si's dream run to eighth place at the state 3A girls' volleyball tournament in Kennewick last November, a campaign that ended with the greatest day for Wildcat volleyball in over 15 years.

Idaho is a member of the Western Athletic Conference, and will have some people to replace come 2009, as five players, including two who play Pratt's outside hitter position, are scheduled to graduate. Pratt may get some time on that team as a freshman.

While Pratt is the first Wildcat to receive a full-ride Division I college scholarship, she is not the first from Mount Si to play Division I volleyball. Faith Hutcherson, another former star, just wrapped up her freshman year playing for Washington State, where she walked on. Hutcherson played sparingly last season. Another former Mount Si standout, Marissa Hill, just wrapped up a solid season playing for Division II national runner-up Western Washington.

The Wildcat college pipeline, which also includes former players Stephanie Sales (Pacific Lutheran University), Emily White (Bethany in California), Kristen Everett (Notre Dame de Namur in California), Amanda Frost (Bellevue Community College), and Maggie Olson (Central), will likely grow in future years. Senior Alisha Larion is expected to sign a college scholarship offer soon, and several other Wildcat players are college prospects.

Pratt hopes her peers will take more interest in the volleyball program.

"Volleyball is not a number one sport that girls play as teenagers," she said. "I think that they all need to come out and support Mount Si for the next years because this coach [Foote] knows what she's doing, and she is sending all these people away to college to play volleyball."

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