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Waverly vs. Alliance, 11/8

Waverly's Annika Evans serves against Alliance during a Class B quarterfinal match Nov. 8 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Annika Evans grew up watching her brothers chase their dreams of playing football in college.

Evans was inspired to pursue the same goal of playing collegiate athletics at a high level.

The dream is coming clearer for Waverly's junior setter, who announced earlier this week her commitment to play volleyball at Colorado State.

"I think it's just a cool opportunity that I get to compete at that level," Evans said.

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The 5-foot-9 Evans emerged as one of the top setters in the state this past season. She finished with 1,032 assists, helping set Waverly's hitters en route to an appearance in the Class B state semifinals.

Evans attended a camp in Fort Collins, Colorado, last summer. She took another visit in October and returned last week for another CSU camp.

Evans looked at other schools, "but right when I stepped on the (Colorado State) campus, it really felt like it was going to my home. I kind of had a feeling from the start."

Evans' older brothers, Erik and Tyler, were standout athletes at Waverly before playing football at Nebraska. They were a huge help with the recruiting process, Evans said.

"Watching them work hard and set that example for me โ€” ever since I've been little, I've always wanted to go and play college volleyball and this has been a dream of me my entire life," Evans said. "Just watching (Erik and Tyler), I wanted to follow in their footsteps."

Evans will play for one of the nation's top non-Power Five programs. The Rams recently wrapped up their eighth Mountain West Conference regular-season championship in nine seasons. They're currently 23-7.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2639 or cgrell@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSSportsGrell.

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Sports editor

Clark Grell is sports editor.

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