Hannah Samples signs

Prior to graduation, Fayetteville High’s Hannah Samples, seated in middle, signed to attend the University of Charleston-Beckley and play volleyball. Shown with Samples are her high school coach, Amy White, seated left, and her club coach, Mary Haynes, seated right. Standing, from left, are Fayetteville athletic director Dan Poland, her grandmother JoElla Herbert, her mother Sandy Samples, her sister Lauren Samples and her father Phil Samples.

“You can improve every day,” says Hannah Samples.

Next fall, Samples can apply that maxim as she plays volleyball for the University of Charleston-Beckley.

Samples, who graduated Friday from Fayetteville High School, recently signed to attend UC-Beckley and compete for the school’s volleyball team, which is currently playing a junior varsity schedule.

UC-Beckley is a regional campus of the University of Charleston.

Saying she was ‘nervous and excited,’ Samples called it ‘a real honor’ to get the chance to continue her playing career.

The proximity of Beckley will be a plus for several reasons, she said.

“It’s close to home and my past teammates can come see me play, and I can come back and watch them play,” she said. The fact that UC-Beckley doesn’t currently play a full schedule will allow her to concentrate more on her school work while playing volleyball, she added.

“Her leadership and her heart,” Fayetteville volleyball coach Amy White said when stressing Samples’ key attributes. “And the success we had when she was on and doing her thing.

“She brought the team up.”

“Hannah was an excellent server,” White added of Samples, who was utilized primarily as a hitter.

Samples, a 3.4 GPA student, will pursue a degree in early childhood education.

“I’m real excited to start something new,” she said. “I want to give my all and be the best (I can). And academically, I want to study a major I’ll be successful in.”

At UC-Beckley, Samples expects to be reunited with former FHS teammate Jessica Brown, as well as Haley Carey, a Greenbrier East player with whom she played travel volleyball.

— E-mail: skeenan@register-herald.com

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