Marley Navaretta and Alli Bowser have done a lot of winning together as part of the South Fork volleyball program.
After four years as key players that added their names to the Bulldog record books, the duo celebrated Thursday their next move onto college.
Navaretta will head to Southern Miss and Bowser is off to the University of West Georgia after helping South Fork win 58 matches in their time as Bulldogs.
For her career, Navaretta broke South Fork’s program record for digs in a career with 1,359 after the libero totaled 364 in her senior season.
Navaretta was selected as an honorable mention to the AVCA All-American team after earning All-Region Team honors in her seni
Considering her options at the next level, Navaretta was immediately impressed with the total package Southern Miss provided at the Division I level.
“Looking for a school, my goal was to play at the Division I level, it was always my dream and what I wanted to do and fortunately I get that opportunity,” Navaretta said. “When I first stepped on the campus at Southern Miss, I was like wow — this feels at home. The coaches made a huge impact on my decision, they were so funny and outgoing like I am, and I love the girls on the team too. Everything about the school I loved.”
Bowser after a senior year in where she hammered down 304 kills moved into second all-time for kills in Bulldog history with 894.
The outside hitter was also recognized for her performance in her final season as a member of the 2022 AVCA All-Region Team.
Ranking third in career aces at South Fork with 161, one behind Navaretta in South Fork history, Bowser made her first ever recruiting visit to West Georgia and after going to several other schools kept going to back to how she felt seeing the Wolves program up close.
“The campus as a Division II school, West Georgia felt almost Division I to me,” Bowser said. “I wanted a bigger school feeling coming from a big community here. I knew everything felt like home, the coaches made it feel like home and the girls on the team were so supportive. I went to watch them in a game recently, had lunch with the team and they made it feel like I was already on the team with them. It’s very exciting.”
On Wednesday, Vero Beach celebrated nine student-athletes moving on to the next level across seven sports.
Lacrosse standouts Alexa Vega and Kerrigan Gilmore will have one final season to come this spring and each will play at the Division I level.
Vega is headed to New York to play at Stony Brook and will look to back up two straight years as a First Team All-Area selection after scoring a combined 119 goals the last two seasons.
Gilmore will be part of South Florida’s first ever recruiting class as the program will begin play in the American Athletic Conference in 2024-25.
Like Vega, Gilmore has been a First Team All-Area selection the past two years and has scored 71 goals the last two seasons from her midfield spot.
Two members of the Vero boys golf team just completed excellent careers and James Hassell capped his four years with another top 10 at the state tournament.
The 2020 3A individual state champion finished tied for seventh this year after finishing in a tie for fourth as a junior and will stay in-state to compete at South Florida for the Bulls.
Jackson Hiller, a First Team All-Area selection as a junior, will head to Oglethorpe in Georgia after a consistent season his senior year that included a third place finish at the district tournament and a tie for 21st at the state tournament.
Ava Baysura, who just finished up a strong season this fall for the cross country team that included four top 10 finishes including a race win, is off to Miami to run for the Hurricanes and will also compete for their track and field team.
Blake Holshouser, a pitcher on the baseball team who pitched to a 5-0 record with a 2.22 ERA as a junior, will head to Erskine in South Carolina after his senior year this spring.
Katherine Earnest, who helped the Vero Beach girls’ tennis team finish as the 4A runner-up last spring, will compete at Ferris State in Michigan after finishing her senior year in 2023.
Last week, volleyball star Madison Gravlee and beach volleyball standout Katy Dalton signed their letters of intent to Florida and Mercer and were also recognized with their classmates.
Bryan Cooney is a high school sports reporter at TCPalm, part of the USA TODAY Network. You can reach him at [email protected] and also on Twitter at @Bryspann_Cooney.