Two Commerce Tiger volleyball players will continue their athletic careers in college after signing letters of intent with Hill College in Hillsboro on Wednesday.

Tatiana Booth and Yakira Essix led the Tigers to one of the best seasons in school history and hope to lead the junior college Rebels to new heights as well.

“They are recruiting me as a middle blocker,” said Booth. “When I went to try out, the team really welcomed me. The coach was very friendly. She made us have fun. I felt like I already was a part of the team and thought I could be a leader and take us to a new level.”

Essix, who will be a hitter, agreed that despite visiting several schools, she was sold on Hill College.

“It’s real exciting,” she said. “I’m looking forward to it, now that I know where I’m going, and what I will be doing. I can hardly wait to get started.”

Hill College volleyball coach Alaena Chilson, who just finished her third season at the helm, said the two players are a real asset to her developing program.

“I saw them at a tryout, both girls caught my eye,” said Chilson. “They are so versatile, talented athletes. I think they will bring a lot of enthusiasm and power to our team. It will work to their advantage to play together. Their high school experience together will help their learning curve in college.”

Commerce High School volleyball coach Kelsey Hall was proud of his two players but sad to see them go.

“It’s going to be hard to replace them,” said Hall. “But I’m thrilled they are going off to college. I knew they would go play, it was just a matter of where. They will be just as dominating in college as in high school, but more than that, they are good kids. They’ve never back talked me or any of the coaches, they always have a great attitude. Hill College got a good deal with these two.”

Coach Chilson agreed, “Tatiana is dynamic as a middle hitter and blocker. Hands down, she’s the best I’ve seen this year recruiting. Not only can she hit, but she has good ball control. She’s a well rounded player. Yakira is a unique player. She’s a good hitter but can also set. We’re looking to use her as a right side hitter and backup setter. That combination is hard to find. You’ll be hearing a lot of good things from these two.”

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