Philip Barbour’s Carpenter to play volleyball for Lady Bobcats

Submitted photo Maddi Carpenter, third from right, signs a letter of intent to play volleyball for West Virginia Wesleyan College while surrounded by family and friends.

PHILIPPI — Philip Barbour’s Maddi Carpenter recently made it official with a letter of intent to play volleyball for the Lady Bobcats while pursuing a degree of higher learning at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Carpenter was a four-year starter at the setter position for the Lady Colts, and picked up three additional varsity letters between the ropes for PB’s swim team. Along with being a member of the three-time defending West Virginia Class AA State Champion volleyball squads for PBHS, she is also the school’s all-time set-assists leader with a whopping 4,114 assists during her prep career.

“I really like the inclusiveness that the game of volleyball brings,” said Carpenter. “Everyone has a different job and we all have to connect in order to make the sequence work. I like how everyone believes in one another, and works on building confidence.

“It’s a sport where there’s a position for every girl, regardless of their athletic build. Whether you are 5-foot or 6-foot, there’s something for you to do. The intensity is always there; it’s fun to win, plain and simple,” she said.

“Your teammates become your closest friends, and that bond never breaks. We have each other’s backs and always will, along with the coaches. One of my favorite things is that our coaches (Heather Halfin and and Brittany Freeman) never stop pushing us, and they both believe that we can always grow as players and individuals.

“I love being a state champion too,” Carpenter said. “Honestly, we’ve won the state title three out of my four years in high school. After an emotional loss my freshman year, I knew I never wanted to experience that feeling again. The next few years we came back and I was determined to get my sister a state championship her senior year, along with my other sister’s first state championship. I was determined to put Philip Barbour on the map, and now, thanks to all the girls and coaches, people fear us.”

Carpenter was humble when describing what her experience of donning the Columbia blue and white while representing Barbour County has been like.

“It’s meant the world. I’m extremely blessed to have had all the opportunities volleyball has offered me,” she said. “From helping out with middle schools to participating in the North-South All-Star game, it’s been awesome. A big part of our school’s success is the community. They’ve always supported us in any way they can.

“It’s very sad to see my high school career come to an end,” Carpenter added. “Volleyball has been my favorite part without a doubt. There was never a day where I wasn’t excited to be with my team and get better. Our drive and determination helped put us at the top.”

After helping the PB volleyball program hang three state banners on the wall at the Colts’ Corral, Carpenter is slated to walk across the commencement stage at the Barbour County Fairgrounds with a 4.29 cumulative GPA in tow. Her tentative plans include majoring in the medical science field at WVWC.

“My mom (Rochelle Carpenter) told me that ‘Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God,'” she said. “I want to excel and I think that Wesleyan is the right place to do that both academically and athletically. The class sizes are just right, and I’ve heard their programs are rigorous, but I’m willing to accept that challenge.

“Also, all the people I’ve met there so far are amazing,” said Carpenter. “Both coaches genuinely care about their players and want the best for them. The girls on the volleyball team are so much fun to be around. Nevertheless, I’m close enough to home that my family and friends will be able to come watch, and I’ll be able to go back and help the girls whenever I can.”

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