Commonwealth Journal

February 10, 2014

Samantha Randolph signs with Cumberlands

Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — Samantha Randolph started out her athletic career as a Lady Maroon basketball player, but she ended up being one of the greatest volleyball players in the Pulaski County High School’s history.

Last week, Randolph signed to play volleyball at the next level for the Lady Patriots of the University of the Cumberlands.

Nearly five years ago, while still in middle school, Randolph was encouraged by the Lady Maroons head basketball coach Brian Miller to participate in a fall sport prior to the winter basketball season.

“I started out playing basketball, but Coach (Brian) Miller made us find a fall sport and I was not going to run cross country,” Randolph said laughingly. “So I started playing volleyball and ended up loving the sport.”

“As it turned out, I ended up quitting basketball to play volleyball,” Randolph remarked. “So, it was kind of ironic how I ended up playing volleyball.”

Despite only picking up her new-found sport during her eighth-grade year of school, Randolph quickly stood out as one of the best players on the squad. Randolph’s agility and leaping ability made her a natural outside hitter.

Randolph’s dominate play at the net earned her the 12th Region Player of the Year, as well as the Commonwealth Journal Player of the year – this past fall. For her career, Randolph became the first player in the program’s history to surpass the career 1,000-kill mark, thus making her the Lady Maroons’ all-time kill leader.

“In her career at Pulaski, Samantha surpassed the 1,000-kill mark, which made her the first player to ever do that in our program’s history,” Lady Maroons’ volleyball coach Teresa Combs said.  “She was the 12th Region Player of the Year, and she has made All-County, All-District and All-Region teams on multiple occasions. Also, she has had a nice club career in Lexington.”

According to Combs. Randolph’s work ethic played a big role in her rapid progression as a standout volleyball player.

“Her work ethic is outstanding, and we are so proud of her and her accomplishments she made as an individual, as well as our team accomplishments,” Combs stated.

“Samantha has been one of those players who wants to get better and worked very hard to achieve her goals,” Combs commented. “Samantha’s individual goals never overshadowed our team goals. Her goals complimented our team goals and we were successful during the four years she played at Pulaski.”

Combs sees even bigger things from Randolph at the next level, especially since her star player has less than 5 years of volleyball experience.

“We are looking forward to watching Samantha play at Cumberlands, and we are excited about her career at the college level,” Combs said. “(Cumberlands) Coach (Kathryn) Hart had a tremendous year this past season and she is really setting the bar high for that program. I think Samantha will continue to excel at the collegiate level under Coach Hart’s leadership.”

With Randolph leading the Lady Maroons’ offense the last three seasons, Pulaski reached the 12th Region finals for the last three consecutive years, won back-to-back 47th District championships and amassed 77 wins over a three-year span.

“We made it to three straight regional finals, and I loved the four years I played at Pulaski County,” Randolph stated.

With a massive family gathering at her signing on Friday in the Pulaski County High School auditorium, Randolph cited that the relationship with her family influenced her decisions to play her college volleyball close to home in Williamsburg.

“I looked at other colleges like Transylvania and Lindsey Wilson, but Cumberlands’ campus was so beautiful and I am really excited about playing there,” Randolph explained. “I wanted to go to a college close enough that my family would be able to come and watch me play. I also wanted to go somewhere close to home.”