High School Sports

Colleyville star headed East to continue volleyball career

Colleyville Heritage 2019 setter Grace Koper announced on Twitter that she's committed to Alabama-Birmingham.

"I felt very comfortable and at home on the campus," Koper said. "It's half-way between my family in Dallas and my extended family so I'll have a great support system while I'm there."

Koper recorded a team-high 1,440 assists last season and added 313 digs, 55 aces, 46 kills and 23 blocks. She was voted District 8-5A Setter of the Year and named 5A all-state by both the Texas Girls Coaches Association and Texas Association of Volleyball Coaches.

The Panthers went 39-8 in 2017 and are coming off their first regional final appearance since 2013. They've gone 75-17 and 28-0 in district the past two seasons.

Koper was district Newcomer of the Year in 2016 after recording 484 assists, 177 digs and 47 aces.

Grace Koper had no idea why she was tapped to play setter last season, but it’s worked out well. Stephen English senglish@star-telegram.com

"I meet a few players at camp and they were all extremely nice and welcoming," she said. "The current players answered all of the questions I had about campus life and how to handle being a student athlete."

UAB announced the hiring of new head coach Amy Pauly in January.

"What sold me was coach Pauly. I knew from the first time I talked to her she was someone I wanted to play for," Koper said. "Her vision for what she wants to do with the program and how I can help her make that vision a reality, made me feel like I could have a positive impact on her program."

Koper attended the Star-Telegram's Tomlinson Honors earlier this month after being named a player of the year candidate.

She felt the time was right to commit.

"It was time because I found the right school for me and I knew I couldn't pass this opportunity up," she said.

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