FLORENCE — Florence senior Rebecca Horton has signed her name on important documents before, but this was different. It was bigger and signaled a transition from high school to college.

Horton made her college choice official Thursday in front of friends, classmates and family.

The senior committed to play volleyball at Concordia University-Austin during an athletic pep rally and celebration at the high school’s gym.

“It was very different, I could hardly write it because I was so shaky,” Horton said.

Horton had a great senior season for the Lady Buffs.

The 5-foot-11 middle blocker was a District 22-2A all-district first team selection after leading the team with 31 blocks and 286 kills in the 2013 season.

“I would say I played my heart out,” Horton said about her senior year. “I was just having fun most of the time, and my teammates were helping me throughout everything.”

Horton also finished the season with 49 aces, accumulated an 83.2 serving percentage and averaged 2.4 digs per match.

Concordia is a private, coeducational institution with campuses in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. The Tornadoes compete at the NCAA Division III level in the American Southwest Conference.

The Tornados were 12-21 last season, including a 7-11 conference record.

For Lady Buffs head volleyball coach Kelly Stephens, the signing helps give athletes at Florence something to shoot for and makes the dream of playing college sports tangible.

“I know a lot of the kids look up to her anyway on the volleyball team and it just shows — not only the volleyball kids, but every other sport — that there’s always a possibility to go on, play at the next level and be successful at it,” Stephens said.

Horton said she was also thinking about playing collegiately for some junior colleges in Texas and Florida, but all it took was a trip to the Concordia campus to make her decision final.

“The campus has so much nature around it, and the people really helped me make up my mind about it,” Horton said.

Her mother, Nancy, is a 1982 graduate of Concordia and Horton took a visit to the main campus that was relocated from just north of downtown Austin to the hill country in 2008.

Horton said she plans to enroll in the fall and plans to pursue a career in nursing after her playing days are over.

In addition to being a three-year varsity volleyball and two-year varsity basketball letterman, Horton also played tennis and was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the National Honor Society.

Contact Albert Alvarado at alvarado@kdhnews.com

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