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Berringer excited for upcoming season and UNC in 2010

Oak Ridge senior earns scholarship to North Carolina
By: Matt Long
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Oak Ridge High senior Kayla Berringer’s raw talent and skill on the volleyball court has earned her a full ride to the University of North Carolina. The outside hitter on the defending Sierra Valley Conference and Sac-Joaquin Section champions isn’t about to rest on her accomplishments, however. She’s been working hard on her physical fitness, as well as her volleyball skills, as she prepares for her senior season. The 6-footer participated on her club team, the Northern California Volleyball Club (NCVC) Moxie, which she helped to an 11th-place finish in the nation at the Junior Olympics held in early July. She’s also been working to improve her athletic ability at Pure Athletics. “I’m just preparing to play at a much higher level than high school or even club volleyball,” Berringer said. “I’m trying to get in the best shape and improve all aspects of my game and keep everything moving in the right direction.” Berringer, 16, chose North Carolina over the universities of Washington, San Francisco and San Diego, which all offered her scholarships. Her visit to the school in the town of Chapel Hill in May was perfect and she committed to them on June 3. “I loved it and it felt like how I imagined college would feel like,” Berringer said. “Everyone is so involved with sports and I love that. Sports play a huge part in the school and the community.” While visiting the school, Berringer toured the campus and hung out with the players on the volleyball team. She also took in a Carolina baseball playoff game and met with some of the schools’ coaches, including men’s basketball coach Roy Williams, who directed the Tarheels to a national championship this spring. “He just talked to me about how Carolina is the best school and even though when he was coaching at Kansas, he sent his kids to Carolina,” Berringer said. “He said even though I’m from California and have a lot of opportunities out here, it doesn’t compare to the experience of playing at Carolina.” North Carolina won the Atlantic Coast Conference last fall after being picked to finish fourth in the preseason poll and finished the year with a 22-11 record after losing in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Berringer is now preparing for her final high school season, where she hopes to lead the Lady Trojans to another strong season. Last year the team finished with a 41-4 record, which will be very hard to duplicate. “As a personal goal, I want to make the All-Metro team,” Berringer said. “For the team, I really want us to reach where we got last year or do even better. I definitely want us to win the league and the section again. It will be harder, as we lost a couple of key players, but a lot of the girls returning have improved. We’re going to have to work hard to achieve our goals.” Berringer’s coach at Oak Ridge, Becky Potter, is proud of Berringer’s scholarship and said it’s well deserved. “She improved tremendously last year,” Potter said. “She hits higher and blocks higher than anyone in the valley and will probably be the top senior in the area this year. “I think Carolina is a perfect fit for her. I think it was a smart choice and I’m happy for her.”