Obtaining a scholarship to play at the next level in any sport is special.
But when an athlete becomes only the second person in a program’s entire history to achieve the feat, it makes that accomplishment all the more special.
By signing with Rio Grande on Monday afternoon, Bradley joined her high school head coach, Sarah Prosch, as the only pair of athletes in Portsmouth High School history to sign to play college volleyball at the next level.
For the libero, the accomplishment brings with it a feeling of pride.
“(Signing with Rio) feels great,” Bradley said. “I’m ready to play any position that they assign me to.”
Same goes for Prosch, who is more than happy to welcome Bradley into the next-level club.
“It’s very exciting,” Prosch said. “She’s the first person that I’ve had sign (with a college program), so that’s thrilling.”
Bradley, who served as Portsmouth’s libero throughout the duration of her career with the Trojans, was a three-time All-OVC and a two-time All-Southeast District honorable mention selection in a Portsmouth uniform.
The scrappy backline player — who played her travel volleyball with the Southern Ohio Spikers — won the OVC’s Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2015 and obtained her 1,000th dig on October 26 to become the first player in school history to accomplish the feat.
“It does (feel great to be the first player in school history to reach 1,000 digs),” Bradley said. “However, (Sarah) Prosch, my teammates, and the entire coaching staff helped me obtain that goal.”
“Baleigh’s one of those girls who is all over the place on the volleyball court,” Prosch said. “She’s definitely going to be missed. She’s just an all-around great kid.”
However, Bradley is much more than just a volleyball athlete.
In addition to her volleyball exploits, the multi-sport standout has also excelled on the softball diamond, as Bradley earned an All-OVC accolade in 2015 for her play as an outfielder. She also proved to be a quick study in the waters, as Bradley won the Portsmouth swimming unit’s Rookie of the Year Award, along with the Silver Cap Award, in 2016 and followed that up by being named MVP and First-Team All-Scioto County on a title-winning county squad in 2017.
When one combines those exploits with her work in the classroom, where Bradley will graduate with honors and is a part of the National Honor Society, along with her cheerleading, art club, and bible club exploits — in addition to her work as a youth member at Christ Community Church — the result is a can’t miss student-athlete.
“Baleigh’s a constant hustler,” Prosch said. “She lays everything on the line, and every practice, she’s always there working hard. In addition to those qualities, she was a great leader and communicated very well with her fellow teammates.”
However, Bradley credits much of her success to the very teammates that she had the pleasure of playing with over the course of her multi-sport career.
“It’s been great,” Bradley said. “(My teammates) helped me with a lot of things. We’re like sisters. We have that kind of bond with each other.”
Now, Bradley and her loved ones get to relish in the opportunity that the senior has created for herself.
“It’s great having my family and friends here today,” Bradley said. “I really appreciate how much they’ve done for me.”“I’m
“I’m excited for Baleigh,” Prosch said. “She’ll do well, as long as she keeps working hard.”
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7