CRESTVIEW — Crestview High School senior Kierra Potts had several choices on where to play college volleyball. She decided, however, to stay close to home and sign with the University of West Florida.

“It was just very family-oriented,” Potts said.

Her family is glad to have her so close to the Hub City.

“Most kids think that they need to go far away from home to experience college life, but little do they know that home is where it’s at,” said Kierra’s mother, Leila, who recalled her daughter’s time playing summer league at UWF.

Kierra started playing volleyball at the age of 12 after watching her father play while he served in the Air Force.

“I didn’t pressure her, but there were days where I just threw her out there in the sand court and went over the training of it and the mechanics,” Matthew Potts said. “She took to it and she got really good really quick.”

Coach Lygia Willis praised Kierra’s work ethic.

“Kierra is always the first one to show up. She’s definitely a leader,” Willis said.