QUINCY -- Sydney Hummert decided announcing her collegiate plans was a good reason to make her first tweet.
The junior hitter for the Quincy Notre Dame volleyball team hadn't posted anything from her Twitter account until she broke the news Feb. 20 with a verbal commitment to the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville women's volleyball program.
"That was a good first post," Hummert said. "When people commit, they normally post on Twitter, so I thought I had to."
The commitment went to the program that made her feel most comfortable.
Hummert, the 2018 Herald-Whig Player of the Year, first met with SIUE coaching staff when she was a sophomore playing in a travel team tournament in Indianapolis. She believed there was an immediate comfort level with the program. She also had interest from Illinois State and Loyola-Chicago.
"When I visited, all the girls on the team were super outgoing," Hummert said. "I could tell that they really wanted me to be there playing volleyball for SIUE."
The Cougars had a 9-20 record last season, but they were 8-8 in the Ohio Valley Conference. The team had no seniors listed on the 15-player roster. SIUE is coached by Kendall Paulus, who finished her second season as the head coach after being an assistant for six years. She guided the Cougars to 23 victories in her first season in 2017.
Playing at the NCAA Division I level was important for Hummert.
"It was a big deal for me," she said. "I told myself it's going to be a challenge, but I really think it will be a great four years of playing the sport I love."
As a junior, Hummert had 381 kills with 45 aces, 52 blocks and 242 digs as the Raiders won a Class 3A regional championship. She wants to help QND return to the Class 2A state tournament next fall like she did as a sophomore.
"I think I can relax a little more and really focus on the season," Hummert said.