SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Rising senior Alexa Edwards has committed to play at the University of Pacific and will sign with the Tiger's program in November. Edwards originally committed to UOP during her sophomore season.
"I wanted to be part of a program where I could make a difference," said Edwards. "I want to help build the culture and be part of the process. I have a lot of confidence where we are going to be in two or three years."
Edwards will play for Head Coach Greg Gibbons. Heading into his 10th season at the University of the Pacific, Gibbons has racked up an overall record of 158-114 for the Orange and Black and the Tigers have clinched eight 15-plus win seasons, which includes two 20-plus win seasons, as the Tigers finished 20-11 in 2012 and earned national ranking with a 24-7 record in 2014. His squads have totaled 24 All-Conference selections, an All-America nod, and a postseason appearance in the National Invitational Volleyball Championships (NIVC) in 2017.
"Alexa is as ready to play Division 1 volleyball as any previous players we have had come out of St. Francis," said Head Coach Alynn Wright. "She is ready mentally and physically for the demands of collegiate volleyball. I believe she will have an immediate impact at UOP just like she did here at St. Francis."
Gibbons also coaches Edwards' club team - Rage in Stockton.
"Club has made me the player I am today," said Edwards. "They have completely changed me. They have helped me develop a defensive and competitive mindset and are great coaches."
Despite the link to the coaching staff, it was still not a lock for her to join the Pacific program.
"I did not think I was going to play at UOP and go where my mom went," said Edwards referring to her Mom Cathy, who also played for the Tigers. "It came down to the coaches and it was between UOP and UCSB. I have known Coach Greg forever and I knew he was going to make me a better player and I would leave as a better person."
Edwards will also have the opportunity to play in front of her family with home games just 45 minutes down the road in Stockton.
"It means a lot to play in front of my family," said Edwards. "In the beginning of the recruiting process, I thought it was way to close but it is really its own little world at UOP. I will have my own time to do school and sports but on game days I will get to see my mom and dad."
Edwards, who also considered schools like Notre Dame and Michigan State early in her process, plans to study history and Spanish will a goal to get into law enforcement or the FBI.
Edwards has had a decorated prep career at St. Francis. She led the St. Francis team to CIF NorCal Semifinals, Sac-Joaquin Finals and Delta League Championship as a junior while recording 572 kills with a 317 hitting percentage, 56 blocks, 431 digs and 32 aces. She has won Delta League Player of the Year the last two seasons and earned numerous national honors including All-America honors by MaxPreps in 2016 and 2017.
With her senior season set to begin next week, Edwards is grateful to be back on the court after missing the spring with an injury.
"Being hurt made me appreciate the sport so much more," said Edwards, who was cleared last week after missing the club season wither Stockton-based Rage team. "People told me it would happen. I needed a break from volleyball. I realized how much I love it and enjoy going to tournaments. Thinking about not playing my last Holy Court made me really scared. It makes you realize how much you take for granted. It was kinda an identity crisis for me. Who am I without volleyball? I worked on getting better."
In addition to leading the volleyball program, Edwards added another role at the school after winning the election for Student Body Officer for Spirit.
"I am really excited and thankful my class and the school voted for me to be here," said Edwards. "I did it because I know what it takes to get people hyped from playing sports and volleyball. I feel like I can be that person because I am very high energy and an extroverted person. I am excited. I want more people to see not just the sports games and create the culture of Sister for Sister and supporting each other."
Edwards is looking to complete her time at SF with a team title.
"I am really hoping for State," said Edwards. "Last year we were really close and I think we have the team that could do it. If we keep building on the core of the team, we can really do it.
The Troubies have lost in back-to-back Section finals before making runs in the state tournament.
"We have been close the last two years," said Edwards. I feel this is the year for everything. I have a really feeling about it. I want the team to do well."
St. Francis opens the season on August 26 against Roseville.