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Monroe volleyball’s standout setter, Tia Campanelli, signs to Central Methodist

Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 7:02 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Tia Campanelli parlayed her unselfishness on the court - confirmed by over 1,600 assists in her high school career - into a four-year collegiate scholarship. The staple and standout of the Monroe Catholic volleyball program signed her national letter of intent Wednesday to continue her athletic career and academics at Central Methodist University, an NAIA program in Fayette, Missouri.

“I really liked the area and the environment of Missouri itself and the campus,” Campanelli said after officially putting pen to paper in front of masked supporters. “My coaches were very nice and supportive people, my teammates were all really welcoming and all really wanted me to be a part of their team, it just made the whole experience pretty nice.”

Prior to signing, Campanelli visited the CMU campus that features buildings constructed in the 1850s, something many student-athletes being recruited this year did not get a chance to do. Still, this year was expectedly challenging to be seen by coaches outside of Alaska with canceled tournaments and travel restrictions.

“Typically you have to rely on your comp season’s tape in order to get recruited, but my comp season was actually canceled before we got the chance to go play any games or anything, so I didn’t have any recent tape to show my coaches or anything like that, so that was definitely a struggle.” the senior said.

The team’s leader in assists, Campanelli led the Rams to multiple state tournament appearances and was named Aurora Conference MVP in 2020. Now, she is joining a program that is currently 14-6 on the season and is competing in the NAIA National Championships.

“I’ll be transitioning more into a front row hitter as well, versus just setting,” Campanelli said of her role with the Eagles, who are led by head coach Coleman Lee.

On her senior night in November, Campanelli described her time with Monroe as ‘the best experience I’ve ever had in my entire life’, beginning in third grade when she would attend volleyball camps hosted by the school.

“Monroe is the community that raised me in volleyball,” she added. “[It has been] a total of nine years going through Monroe, so they have really supported me and groomed me into the player I am now.”

Campanelli will join Central Methodist this fall, studying nursing with plans of becoming a midwife.

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