After a summer of waiting, Northfield senior volleyball player Megan Reilly finally received the call she was waiting for.
With a handful of Division I offers already in hand, time was starting to run out for Reilly to make that college commitment. When Arizona State offered her a scholarship in August, however, that waiting proved to be worth it.
Even without taking an official visit, Reilly quickly committed to the Tempe, Arizona, school.
“I grew up in Arizona, so I’ve always wanted to play volleyball there,” Reilly said. “That’s just been my dream school forever. I had some other offers, but when they offered me I just knew that was the right place.”
Reilly’s commitment is the fourth to a Division I program for Northfield’s class of seniors this fall, joining Emma Torstenson (Colorado), Rachel Wieber (Southern Utah) and Sylivia Koenig (Miami of Ohio). There’s already been some friendly trash talk between Reilly and Torstenson, who next year will morph from teammates into conference rivals.
The commitment ends a drawn-out recruiting process for Reilly, who moved from Arizona to Minnesota prior to kindergarten. In March, her club season was canceled prior to a handful of major tournaments with plenty of college coaches in attendance.
She returned to those club tournaments later in the summer, but the recruiting landscape was still a shell of the typical machine it normally resembles. For much of the summer, the NCAA had declared a recruiting dead period that was eventually extended all the way to Jan. 1, 2021.
That meant Reilly was never able to visit a number of schools she was deciding between, most of which were a plane ride away.
That became less of an obstacle to committing once Arizona State officially entered the conversation, however.
“Just getting later into my senior year — I knew I really wanted to go there because that’s been my dream school my whole life,” Reilly said. “I was sure I wanted to go there, so I was just waiting for them to offer me. Once they offered me I just committed right away because I knew that was where I wanted to go.”
On the court, the Sun Devils are still in the midst of a dramatic turnaround. In Sanja Tomasevic’s first year as the program’s head coach in 2017, Arizona State finished 10-22 and 0-20 in the PAC-12 Conference. The next year, that mark improved to 14-18 overall and 5-15 in conference play, before Arizona State posted a 17-14 overall record and a 9-11 mark within the conference.
That improved play helped the Sun Devils briefly reach No. 25 in the country in 2018, and last year record the program’s first season sweep against Arizona since 2007, in addition to sweeping Oregon and Oregon State for the first time since 2002.
“I’m so excited,” Reilly said. “That’s such an elite conference and playing in it has always been a dream of mine. It’s been my No. 1 goal to play in the PAC-12, and also I get to play against Emma Torstenson.”