Mitchell signs to play volleyball at Georgetown College

CCHS senior volleyball player Olivia Mitchell (center) is flanked by her parents, Gary and Marla, as she signs a national letter of intent to play at Georgetown College next year.

Caldwell County High School senior volleyball player Olivia Mitchell signed her national letter of intent on Monday to play collegiate volleyball at Georgetown College next year.

Mitchell earned first-team all-state honors in 2019 and 2020, ranking third in the state this season with 5.71 kills per set with 468 kills in 82 sets. She was second on the team with 14 blocks and 237 digs (averaging 2.89 digs per set) and fifth on the team with 21 aces.

A two-time Second Region Player of the Year (2019 and 2020), Mitchell also earned all-state honorable mention honors in 2018.

Mitchell began her high school volleyball career in the eighth grade, amassing 1,917 kills in 482 sets, boasting a hitting percentage of .361, to go with 1,050 digs, 78 blocks and 241 aces in her five-season tenure on the court.

“It’s a pleasure to be signing with such a great school and such a great athletic and academic program,” Mitchell said. “As soon as I walked in for my visit, I just immediately knew that’s where I was supposed to be. It’s like family welcoming family.”

Mitchell said isn’t thinking now about her role on the team next fall.

“Honestly, I just want to go in, make friends with the girls and just work my butt off and see where it takes me,” she said.

Mitchell plans to study nursing with an eye toward a career as a registered nurse working in emergency rooms. She also wants to minor in Spanish.

Mitchell said attending a college in Kentucky but not very close to home was another consideration.

“A lot of my friends are going to (the University of Kentucky), so it’s nice to be distant, but still close to them at the same time,” she said.

CCHS volleyball coach Daniel Cortner said it was gratifying to see Mitchell move on to the next level.

“To have seen where she started out as an eighth-grader and the growth she had year after year was exponential,” he said. “She knew late in her sophomore year that she was starting to get a target on her back, that she was going to be a leader in kills and have a lot of opportunities for that. She really embraced that role.

“The development of being able to play her all the way around (the rotation) — the way she worked on defense young in her career so she wouldn’t have to leave the floor any more — really gave an opportunity for her to turn defense into offense on her own. … To sign this to go to the next level is really the icing on the cake for how hard she’s worked.”

“We always love it when our athletes can go and pursue the sport that they love to play at the next level,” said CCHS Athletics Director Kim Farmer. “However, education is foremost in our mind.

“…It’s one thing to play sports, but the main thing is that she gets an education in the meantime.”