By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Editor
(March 5, 2014) – Broad Run High School senior Taylor Austin has verbally committed to play college volleyball in-state as she heads down to Harrisonburg where she will play for head coach Lauren Steinbrecher at James Madison University starting in the 2014-2015 school year.
Austin hits her reason for wanting to attend James Madison with the great feeling the campus has — let’s face it, some in Virginia often forget about Disney World and call the purple-and-gold-ridden school JMU the happiest place on Earth.
“As soon as I stepped on the campus I just knew it was the place for me,” said the 5-foot-7 Austin. “I had visited other colleges but I didn’t have that same feeling that I felt at JMU. Then when I met the head coach and assistant coaches I knew that JMU was my No. 1 choice and that I would be very lucky to play for them.”
And the Division I Dukes will be very lucky to have Austin play for them. During her senior season in 2013, Austin led the Broad Run Spartans to a 21-11 finish including a 10-6 record against Conference 14 teams.
Under her leadership, the Spartans made a run at the VHSL 5A state title, falling short of the ultimate prize after losing to the eventual state champion in Atlee High School in the state semifinal. In that game, Austin had 20 digs.
Austin’s efforts last fall led her to be honored on the VHSL 5A All-State first team, the 2013 Cheers Sports and Viva Loudoun All-Loudoun Volleyball Team and as the Player of the Year for the VHSCA All-State team as well as the 5A North region and Conference 14.
Needless to say Austin has proven herself at the highest level of high school volleyball, but in order to reach her maximum potential, she needed to start somewhere.
“I played my first volleyball match in fifth grade at Ashburn Elementary in a faculty versus student game,” Austin reminisced. “Ever since then I have never stopped. I have a real love and passion for the game. Playing volleyball is really who I am and being able to continue and play in college is really a dream come true. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
When Austin reports to practice sometime in the late summer, she will try to earn playing time for a Dukes team which finished 13-15 last fall, posting an 8-6 record in the Colonial Athletic Association.
“I have always been told I’m like an energizer bunny on the court, and I can’t wait to contribute and bring that energy to JMU,” said Austin who is a defensive specialist and libero. “I am very competitive and a hard worker. I will always give it my all every time I step on the court so I can help my team come out with a win.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently a sophomore at Syracuse University. Follow Owen on Twitter (@BigO_Gotimer) for up-to-date college signings and news. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete or a story on a Loudoun County graduate playing in college!