St. Bede setter Elaina Wamhoff signs with Albany

When searching for a college, St. Bede senior Elaina Wamhoff was looking for a highly regarded academic institution where she could also play volleyball.

She found that in the University of Albany, which also gave her the opportunity to play Division I volleyball.

“The opportunity to play at a high level volleyball program and a high academic program got me there,” Wamhoff said. “It’s amazing (to be able to play Division I). I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be able to play at that high of a level. I never thought I could, but I’m grateful and I can’t wait for the next four years.”

Wamhoff signed her National Letter of Intent with Albany on Wednesday.

She committed to the school in April and had a chance to visit the campus in August.

“The campus is beautiful. It’s very modern,” said Wamhoff, who also considered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia and Rochester. “I’m very happy with it. Upstate New York is more beautiful than I thought it was.”

Wamhoff joins a Great Danes program that went 16-11 overall and 9-1 in the America East Conference last season while winning the conference tournament and qualifying for the NCAA Tournament.

“We are very excited for Elaina,” St. Bede coach Abi Bosnich said. “She works very hard I the offseason to continue to build her skills. I was very excited for her to get this offer and have the opportunity to continue her career.

“I hope this year we do get a chance to see her play at St. Bede again before she heads off to New York.”

Wamhoff is a three-time NewsTribune First-Team All-Area selection at setter.

“Her court sense and knowledge of the game is by far better than I see in most athletes at the high school level,” Bosnich said. “She has a love for the game and a desire to compete. She wants to bring others with her, which is also a great attribute of athletes that sometimes, I think, is missing. She always wants to do what’s best for her team, which is great to see as well.”

Wamhoff has set the St. Bede single season record for assists in each of her three years with the Lady Bruins.

As a junior, she led the area with 8.6 assists per set and also ranked top 10 in digs (4.2 per set), points (2.4 per set) and aces (0.7 per set) as she helped the Lady Bruins reach a regional final.

“Hopefully, I can continue with the leadership I’ve found in club and school volleyball,” Wamhoff said. “Hopefully I can grow as a player with the great coaching staff there.”