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Larkin commits to George Mason volleyball

The Senator senior leaps to Div. I level after first learning the sport as a freshman

By Carter Eckl ceckl@nevadaappeal.com

After nine years of playing competitive soccer, Carson High’s Cami Larkin stepped into the Senator’s Morse Burley Gym as a freshman with a different attitude.

Larkin had been a student at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic School prior to making the jump to the most populous school in Northern Nevada.

Initially, Larkin’s intention was to try her hand at volleyball while continuing to play club soccer on the side.

However, that plan changed quickly once she found her passion for volleyball.

“I loved (soccer), but I just wanted something new,” Larkin said. “I was switching to a big public school and I thought why not switch sports too and make it a completely fresh start.”

After three-plus years of work, Larkin will head to the other side of the country to pursue a Div. I volleyball dream at George Mason University.

Learning a new swing

Carson High varsity volleyball coach Robert Maw said initially Larkin looked like anyone picking up a new sport for the first time.

Larkin, in her own words, said she barely made the freshman team. But by the end of the year had become a practice player with the varsity squad.

“It’s night and day,” said Maw of the growth he’s seen, “Cami’s upside is still so much more.”

The 5-foot-11-inch middle hitter led the Senators in kills last season with 160 kills and a 45.76 kill percentage while also posting a team-high 40 blocks.

She earned an honorable mention all-Sierra League honor after her junior season, but both Larkin and Maw still feel she’s coming into her own.

“You have to learn from your mistakes quicker because the next ball is coming at you. The mental game was the thing I had to adapt to the most,” said Larkin.

Since her freshman season, Larkin joined Silver State Club volleyball and has continued to fall in love with the sport.

Trekking across the country

Larkin will pen her National Letter of Intent in October to make her signing official, but she couldn’t wait to get going.

Despite a dead period restricting her from meeting the coaches and the team, Larkin and her dad flew to Fairfax, Virginia to see her new home over the summer.

“I was obviously pretty eager so my dad and I went on our own.” Larkin said. “We are still trying to plan an official visit in the spring so I can meet the coaches that I’m super excited about.”

It’ll be a serious jump in speed as George Mason plays in the Atlantic 10 conference, but Larkin’s high school coach isn’t concerned about Larkin performing at a higher level.

“I think they see the same thing I see but I think really it’s somebody who has a really unexpected upside who is going to do well for them,” said Maw. “Her leadership speaks volumes for her as well, on and off the court.”

Along with the new opportunity, Larkin said the strong will of the coaching staff was a big draw for her personally.

Once she gets to Virginia, the newest Patriot says she plans to study environmental engineering.

“I’m so grateful to all my coaches and teammates for helping me get this far,” said Larkin. “I don’t want to stop playing yet and I want to keep enjoying what I love.”