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KIRTLAND – Shania John has a knack for getting to the ball quickly.

The Kirtland Central senior libero moves to her spots and finds teammates quickly going into attack mode.

Now she hopes to help University of the Southwest’s volleyball program the same way after officially signing her national letter of intent with the Mustangs today.

John will join USW on a full-ride scholarship.

John said she tries to track down and distribute the ball as soon as she can to buy hitters more time to do damage up front.

“For free balls, you have to hurry up and run to it. With passing, I get it exactly where it needs to be,” John said.

USW, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school located in Hobbs, sought a libero with the court awareness to move and set up plays quickly.

“After viewing my video (highlights), they said that I was basically the perfect fit for them coming in,” John said.

John had 333 digs and 24 service aces for KC in 2017.

Preparing for the next level, John said she wants to add more power to her serves and keep opponents off balance that way.

John also said she wants to be more effective digging the ball against harder hits and bump the ball up higher for the setter.

John said she had a little trouble doing that this past season, but she’s confident she will do a better job anticipating where the hits will land.

“If it’s a little off to your left or your right, I’ll probably have enough time to swing my arms in order to get that ball up,” John said.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.

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