— BY GREG WEBB
PEASTER — Vernon College had a fortunate leg up in their recruiting process while trying to attract Peaster senior Karissa Wolfenberger to join the Lady Chaparrals volleyball squad and attend classes at the junior college, which is about a two-hour drive to the northwest of Peaster.
Not that Vernon did not stand on its own merit, with a more-than-decent volleyball history and study curriculum, one of Karissa’s long-term wishes was to go to college with one of her former Lady Greyhounds’ teammates.
“When I went for my visit to Vernon, I liked the campus and everyone was very nice,” Wolfenberger said at her recent letter-of-intent signing celebration, “and I loved [head coach Tatiana Booth].
“But Blair [Smotherman] and I had talked about going to college together when we were both in high school, so that really made the decision a lot easier for me.”
Wolfenberger and 2013 Peaster grad Smotherman, have been good friends since Karissa was a freshman, and will renew their teammate status next year with the Lady Chaps.
Karissa, daughter of Sherri and Travis Wolfenberger, has an impressive volleyball resume as she heads off to play at the next step. The middle blocker helped propel the Lady Hounds to postseason play in 2013, was named to the all-district First Team in District 9-2A and was also an All-Parker County first teamer. Heading up a very young Peaster varsity team, Wolfenberger was one of two seniors on the squad, along with classmate Sandy Weyenberg.
Karissa is excited about the future for the Lady Chaps.
“Vernon has done well in the past, and I think we will be good next year, as well,” she said. “Coach [Tatiana] Booth is taking over the program in the coming season and I think everyone is looking forward to playing under her.”