By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Starting for four years as the setter on the highly successful Fairfield High School volleyball team was bound to open the eyes of some college coaches when it came time to recruit Riley Troyer.
The recent Fairfield graduate had several options before making her selection to play for the NCAA Division III Anderson University Ravens.
“The coach (Tami Miller) came to several of our matches this season and when I visited the school I loved it,” Troyer said.
She also looked at Bluffton, Kentucky Christian, Earlham and a lot of other schools in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference that Anderson competes in.
“It going to be interesting to see how it works out when Anderson plays one of the other HCAC schools that recruited me,” she added.
One area Troyer didn’t have to be concerned about was paying for her education as the four-time scholar athlete in volleyball and National Honor Society member received a four-year, full-tuition scholarship from the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship program.
“It was a long involved precess,” Troyer said about applying for the scholarship. “My essay was on post secondary education debt and it’s impact on future generations.”
Community service is another part of the process.
“I spend a lot of hours doing community service,” she said. “My church youth group does a lot of community service projects.”
Tuition at Anderson runs between $32,000 and $34,000 per year according to Riley’s mom Karmen Troyer.
“Riley and her twin sister Raina decided that only one would apply for a Lilly Scholarship,” Karmen Troyer said. “What a relief it was when Riley was the one to do so as she is the one going to an NCAA Division III school where she doesn’t get any kind of athletic scholarship.”
Raina is going to Indiana Wesleyan, an NAIA school where she is getting both athletic and academic money.
The Troyer sisters played integral roles during their careers for the Fairfield Falcons. In four varsity seasons, Fairfield had a noteworthy 130-17 record that included four sectionals titles. As freshmen, the Falcons finished 31-5 with the season ending in a loss to Southwood in the Class 2A semistate championship, followed by 34-4 as sophomores with a 2A runner-up finish after a loss to Muncie Burris in the state championship, a 30-6 mark as juniors in a season that ended with a 3A regional loss to Fort Wayne Concordia and a senior campaign of 35-2 when the season ended with a loss to Yorktown in a 3A semistate title match.
“Riley has always been a very competitive player with a very good work ethic,” Fairfield coach Carla Herschberger said. “She has never been afraid to help other players around her to make them better. She spent a lot of time this past season working with our other setters. That is an invaluable quality to have in a player. It’s also a hard one for coaches to try and teach and it can be frustrating when it’s not there.”
Riley was a four-year starter and letterwinner in the Falcon volleyball. She was the team’s most improved player in 2009, the mental attitude award winner in 2011 and the most valuable player in 2012. She was a three-time All-NECC honoree, a Class 3A second team all-state selection in 2012 and an honorable mention academic all-state selection in 2012.
“I think Riley will do really well at Anderson,” Herschberger said. “She is competitive and never gives up on anything. She is the kind of player Anderson wants . She is a smart player and one that should fit in right away.”
Troyer would like to make an impact right away at Anderson.
“I’m hoping to go in and play right away,” she said. “But I know it will be a fight for a back row spot. Anderson has a senior setter, but I’ve heard she might be moving to another position.
“I didn’t want to go to a place to sit on the bench. I’m a competitive person and want to be out there on the floor.”
Anderson posted a 12-19 overall record in the 2012 season, including a 3-9 mark in the HCAC.
“They are really looking at turning the program around,” Troyer said.
Riley was the catcher for the Fairfield softball team that posted a 22-9 record this spring. The Falcons captured the program’s first-ever sectional and regional championships last spring before bowing out of the Class 3A state tournament with a loss to eventual state champion runner-up Yorktown in the semistate championship.
She was a four-year letterwinner, earning the team’s most valuable player award and the golden glove award this spring and the most improved award in 2012. She was an honorable mention academic all-state choice in 2012.
She plans to study accounting or some other field in business at Anderson.
Riley is the daughter of Lydell and Karmen Troyer.