Local Sports

Taking the next step

— Lindsey Whittington combined a great work ethic with outstanding ability to become a force on the volleyball court during her career at Sebring High.

Her talent didn’t go unnoticed as Whittington signed a volleyball scholarship with Eastern Florida State College on Wednesday.

“This is the best day of my life,” said Whittington. “At first I just played volleyball for fun, but I fell in love with the sport, worked hard and I knew I could play at the next level.”

Whittington played a key role as the setter in the Blue Streaks potent offensive attack with a team-high 353 assists, 67 kills, 87 digs and 23 aces. She was selected to compete in the prestigious FACA All-Star Volleyball Tournament.

“Lindsey had amazing stats even though she shared setting duties during the season,” said Sebring volleyball coach Venessa Sinness. “Lindsey was the first Sebring player to be chosen to play in the FACA All-Star event and that’s quite an accomplishment.

“She was very competitive but had great sportsmanship and was always positive.”

Whittington has an excellent opportunity to earn playing time as a freshman for Eastern Florida State College, which is located in Melbourne.

“I’m very excited to have Lindsey join our program,” said first-year Eastern Florida State College volleyball coach Andrea Rasmussen. “Lindsey is very athletic and dynamic and has a very high ceiling.

“She has the ability to play fast and I think she is a good fit for our offense.”

Eastern Florida State College is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Rasmussen is recruiting her first class of players to join the Titans, who are members of the Florida College System Activities Association and are in the Southern Conference.

“The girls that I bring in are all fighting for starting positions every week,” Rasmussen said. “There is a lot of competition and we keep really detailed stats in matches and in practice.

“That determines who starts every week and there are plenty of opportunities to play.”

Whittington, who started playing at Sebring Middle School and also played club volleyball, is joining Blue Streak teammate Jordan Hinkle at Eastern Florida State College.

“I’m so happy to have Jordan on my team,” said Whittington. “She helps to bring me out of my shell and we’re great friends.”

Seeing Lindsey sign to play college volleyball was a proud moment for her parents.

“We’re very proud of Lindsey,” said mother, Gina Whittington. “We’ve gone out of state and all over Florida for her to play volleyball and it’s been worth it.”

“We think Eastern Florida State College is a good fit for Lindsey,” said father, John. “We like coach Rasmussen, the campus is really nice and it’s close enough we’ll get a chance to see her play.”

Lindsey is looking forward to taking the next step and moving away from home.

“I’m ready to go off to college and having Jordan at the same school is great because I know her,” the Blue Streak athlete said. “I love coach Rasmussen and I’m looking forward to working hard to improve my game.”