Volleyball signing

Sedro-Woolley High School senior Jamie Bartok will play volleyball at Whitman College.

SEDRO-WOOLLEY — Despite suffering two serious knee injuries over the course of her high school volleyball career, Sedro-Woolley's Jamie Bartok will play the sport in college.

The senior signed a national letter of intent Tuesday to play next year at NCAA Division III Whitman College in Walla Walla.

"They are an outstanding academic school and being a DIII school, I have time to focus on my academics and still play volleyball, a sport that I love," Bartok said. "The coaches are amazing and the campus is gorgeous. I love the school and I love the team."

Bartok played full varsity seasons as a freshman and sophomore before playing back row only her junior year while recovering from her first knee injury.

Her second knee injury cut short her senior season.

"It was more tough mentally than physically for me to come back," Bartok said. "Jumping, trusting my body to allow me to land without collapsing, that was hard. I am just so thankful to be where I am at right now."

Sedro-Woolley coach Chris Tesarik said Bartok's perseverance has been admirable.

"She just kept coming back, injury after injury," he said. "It was great to have her and her work ethic around our program. I just can't say enough about what a great player and individual she is."

Tesarik said Bartok is an all-around talent — she can hit, has a great swing and is great on defense.

"She reads the ball well, she moves well," Tesarik said. "Her techniques are spot on."

Bartok said Whitman's coach liked her energy both on and off the court as well as seeing how she came back from injury.

"They love my mindset and how competitive I am," Bartok added.

Bartok will play libero for Whitman College, having made the move from outside hitter to the more knee-friendly position.

And she welcomes the change.

"The first time I injured my knee, that really started me on the transition to the position I play now," she said. "Libero is great for me. I guess that injury was sort of a blessing in disguise because I got to try a new position." 

Bartok, who has a 3.86 high school GPA, plans to study psychology at Whitman.

"I am so excited," she said. "I am really looking forward to it. It's going to be just another chapter in my life."

— Reporter Vince Richardson: 360-416-2181, vrichardson@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter:@goskagit, Facebook.com/VinceReports/

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