PARKERSBURG -Give partial credit for Paige Warner's success on the volleyball court to mother's intuition.
As a youth, Warner spent a majority of her athletic career playing soccer. When she entered seventh grade at Jackson Middle School, her mother, Beth Warner, sold her daughter on trying out for the volleyball team under coach Pam Reeves.
"My mom made me play - I was so mad because I had played soccer from the time I was 4 years old," Paige Warner said. "I played soccer on travel teams like crazy. I loved soccer and now I had to choose volleyball, which I now love playing."
Warner eventually made her presence felt at the high school level and played on a Big Red volleyball squad which advanced to the Class AAA state tournament four straight years. Last fall, PHS reached the semifinals before losing to Musselman and finished the campaign at 43-14-1.
During her senior year, Warner earned second team, all-state honors and was recognized on the Mountain State Athletic Conference's second team. Those type of credentials opened up some eyes at the next level. Recently, she signed a National Letter of Intent to join the volleyball program at West Liberty University.
"Paige was a three-year starter, and this year she played both outside and middle hitter," PHS coach Carl Harnish said. "She also had a great serve and probably the softest hands on the team passing-wise. She had a lot of ability."
This past season under head coach Kayla Fetsko, West Liberty finished with a 14-16 record.
"I really liked how the coaches pursued me," Warner said. "The coaches keep in really good contact, so that makes me feel good already."
Warner also played several seasons with the PHS girls basketball team. But it was volleyball which emerged as her favorite sport. During her senior year, she also competed on a travel team in volleyball based out of Athens, Ohio.
"That was a lot harder," Warner said. "It was a lot of fun and really competitive. I went to some tournaments where there were over 100 courts. I learned a lot, especially that not everything will go right for me as it did in high school. You have to work at it."
Warner's father, Don, also played a role in his daughter's approach to athletics.
"My parents were really calm about things," Paige Warner said. "My brother, Tyler (age 23), was also there for me. We are both on the same page with our morals and beliefs. He is always calling me and that's really encouraging."
Paige Warner also has an older sister (Megan, 27) and older brother (Bryce, 21). She plans on majoring in dental hygiene at West Liberty.
"They have one of the best programs for studying dental hygiene - it's amazing," Warner said. "I'm pretty excited, but a little nervous to leave home."