SPARTA, NJ - Earlier in this month, student athletes across the world were allowed to sign their National Letter of Intent to play collegiate athletics.

Number 11 on the Sparta High School volleyball team, MacKenzie Wiggins has signed her National Letter of Intent to play volleyball at Iona College. Iona College is located in New Rochelle, New York and plays D-I volleyball as part of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference or MAAC.

“I got in contact with the head coach at Iona volleyball around May of this year,” Wiggins said, “I immediately knew Iona was high on my list of schools; I ultimately fell in love with the beautiful campus, size, location coaches and academics offered. With all that I’ve learned about the school, the decision came pretty easy.”

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Wiggins has had support from the coaches and players in each of the three states where she has lived.She was born in Florida, grew up in Texas and now resides in Sparta.

Wiggins said, “I am extremely grateful for the sport and those that have been brought into my life because of it. Just being able to have fun competing and having super supportive teammates/coaches has kept me motivated to get better. It is just pure love that I have for the sport itself and everything it brings to me.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, finding opportunities to play volleyball and keep in shape has not been easy for Wiggins. The Sparta outside hitter had to be creative in her efforts to maintain her volleyball skills.

“It was extremely difficult, being that volleyball is not a sport easily practiced by one person,” she said. “Although, it was an opportunity to get creative. I kept in shape and worked out; volleyball wise, I did all that I could. I passed to myself, had my dad hit at me, served at a wall, worked on my approach and vertical, and did everything I could to improve with what I had available.”

Wiggins plans on studying Health Professions with the goal of being a Physical Therapist.

Editor's Note: Josh Wilets writes extensively covering volleyball throughout the state.

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