The years all run together for Janice Scott, who has been coaching volleyball at Echo High School for “nine or 10 years.” But there is one thing she is sure of — Lexie Cox is the first Echo player to move on to the college level since she took over the program.

Cox, a 5-foot-10 outside hitter, signed a letter of intent Monday to play volleyball at Wenatchee Valley College.

“We are so thrilled for her,” Scott said. “Some of the girls don’t have the passion to continue, but Lexie has wanted to play college volleyball since she was a sophomore.”

The Big Sky League Player of the Year, Cox said WVC was one of her primary choices.

“It’s a very familiar place for me,” Cox said of Wenatchee. “I have family that lives there. Last fall, I went and did their tour, met with the director of the nursing program, and did a practice with the team. The coach (Ana Vazquez) asked if I would come there. They are excited to have me play there.”

Cox, who would like to be an emergency room nurse, said she will receive scholarship money for the fall and winter quarters.

While at WVC, Cox will live with her grandparents Kay and Phil Blakney.

Cox had 114 kills and a hitting percentage of .225 last season. She serve received at 92 percent, and served at 89 percent, including 33 aces.

The Cougars (21-9 overall, 10-2 BSL) advanced to the first round of state, where they dropped a 3-1 match to Joseph.

“We made it to state three of my four years,” Cox said. “We had a pretty successful season. We won the Riverside Tournament and we were second at the Prairie City Tournament.”

Cox also was named to the Class 1A all-state third team as an outside hitter.

“That says a lot for her since we didn’t make it past the first round,” Scott said.

The Cougars also got to play this season in Echo’s new gymnasium.

“I’m just excited we got to use it before I left,” Cox said. “I got to play sports in it, and I get to graduate in it.”

Cox will only play volleyball in the new gym, as she opted to skip basketball this year to play club volleyball with Eastern Heat, which has players from Pilot Rock, Hermiston, Riverside, Irrigon and Stanfield.

Cox said she is excited to leave her small community for new adventures.

“I’ve lived in Echo my whole life,” Cox said. “I’m excited to get out of the house, excited to be somewhere I know, and to experience new things.”

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