With future at Penn State set, Liberty Benton’s Karis Willow eyes a state title

Karis Willow - 13abc Athlete of the Week
Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 11:56 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Karis Willow is one of the top volleyball players in the state, and the Liberty Benton junior is living out her dream after committing to the university she’s had her heart set on since she was a child. Growing up watching her older sisters on the court, Karis fell in love with volleyball at a young age.

“It wasn’t really until seventh or eighth grade that I was like wow, I really love this. I just loved coming (to the gym) every day. You know this is what you want to do for your life when you don’t mind the conditioning, you don’t mind the hard practices,” said Willow.

“Her work ethic is really strong. She’s just a joy. Her talent is phenomenal. She has been blessed with such a gift in her athletic ability. In volleyball particular, she’s a smart player,” mentioned Head Coach Julie Todd.

All of her hard work is paying off, from a young age Willow wanted to be a Nittany Lion. In September, she received an email to play for Penn State, fulfilling her childhood dream.

“I am still in awe, I’m speechless about everything that has happened in the past year. When you put on your jersey you’re representing your family, your school, your community. So when I put on my Penn State jersey, I can’t wait to represent them too.”

Willow still has some unfinished business before she takes off for college. On Friday, Willow and the Liberty Benton Eagles are making their second appearance at the volleyball state semifinals with the goal of bringing home around state championship.

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