Ashburn, Va. — Stone Bridge High School junior Noelle Foster has made a commitment to continue her volleyball career at Columbia University starting in the 2019-2020 academic year.
“The recruiting process was very long and time consuming,” the 5-foot-11 Foster said. “It feels great that all the hard work paid off, and I ended with going to my No. 1 school.”
The Division I Lions are coached by Brie Katz — who recently completed her third season as head coach of the Columbia volleyball program. Katz has spent the past 12 years on the Columbia volleyball staff, including three as associate head coach and six as assistant coach.
“Throughout my whole recruiting process, my biggest factor was that I wanted to put myself at the best academic school possible,” Foster said. “The fact that – at Columbia – I can play DI volleyball while getting an education from one of the best academic schools in the country was probably the biggest reason why Columbia was the best fit for me.”
Columbia University – home to approximately 7,500 students – is an Ivy League institution located on a 36-acre campus in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Columbia’s location, academics and volleyball program were all given positive check marks by Foster and made her decision process an easy one.
“New York City is also one of my favorite places ever, and I always wanted to live and go to school there,” the outside hitter said. “I love the high energy environment and I know I can thrive in it.”
Foster — who has dabbled in other sports — says nothing gives her as much of a rush as playing volleyball and enjoys the competitive aspect of the sport.
“I love the unpredictability, like how momentum can change in a matter of one point and that can change the whole outcome of a game,” the Ashburn-native said. “There is never a moment when you can determine whether you’ve won or lost until the final whistle blows.”
Foster is looking forward to her final high school season with the Bulldogs and is proud of their overall play in 2017.
“We had an incredible season going undefeated in district play and winning the district championship,” Foster said. “We have a lot of strong players coming back and I think we will have a strong team again. I think — if we put the right parts together — we can go all the way to states.”
Playing with the Bulldogs, Foster experienced some of her greatest accomplishments to date. This past high school season Foster earned first team All-Potomac District, first team All-Region 5C, first team All-State and first team All-LoCo honors. She is also a two-time AAU Academic All-American. Preparing herself for the next level and for her future has always been the driving force that pushed Foster to achieve her goals.
“I am a big believer in what you do and work for now will determine how your future pays off,” Foster said. “I always try to have the mindset of doing everything I can now so I won’t have any what ifs or regrets in the future. I never want to think that I could’ve tried harder for something and having that mindset is what motivates me in my endeavors.”