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Friday ó April 16, 2004

Sports

Blaze-r of glory

Lindley signs with
University of Alabama-Birmingham


The talented girl from the little town is going big-time.

Wood River High School senior Charli Lindley signed an athletic scholarship with the University of Alabama-Birmingham at the high school on Wednesday.

Sign on the dotted line. Charli Lindley at her signing of a full-ride athletic scholarship with the University of Alabama-Birmingham at the high school Wednesday.

Lindley, a 5-10 outside hitter, earned first-team All-State honors and three varsity letters for Wood River. She was a member of the two district championship teams (2001 and 2002) and made two state tournament appearances with the Wolverines in 2002 and 2003 (2nd place).

Lindley, who has slogged countless miles playing for the elite Boise River Volleyball Club since December, caught the eye of UAB head coach Melinda Claiborne at the National Qualifier Colorado Crossroads tournament in Kansas City.

Charli remembers the tournament for being very sick with the flu.

"I was so ill they didnít even let me go the day before. She was there watching a player on the other team. I guess I dove over another player to get the ball up and I did and then she started looking at me," Lindley said.

Claiborne emailed Lindley to express her interest and Lindley said she "almost had a heart attack."

"I have wanted to go to a Division I school since the seventh grade. This past year I thought I was going to have to somewhere smaller first and then transfer. It is a big shock to actually be going. I am really excited," Lindley said.

Lindley is set to join a very young squad. In 2003, the Blazers 12-member team consisted of two seniors, three sophomores and seven freshmen.

"Itís great because it will be two years weíll get to play together before anyone graduates," Lindley said.

Under Coach Claiborne, an All America at the University of Washington, UAB compiled a 14-20 overall record last season and a 5-7 mark in Conference USA play.

"Charli is a well-rounded player and individual with outstanding character, work ethic and attitude," Coach Claiborne said. "She will bring a high level of skill and competitiveness to an already talented team."

Lindley is as accomplished off the court as she is on. The daughter of Ed and Jackie Lindley and Jodie and Ed Fuller, Lindley is a National Honor Roll student, a member of the Interact Club and Junior Rotary. She currently maintains a 3.4 GPA at the high school.

Lindley said she would not be going to a Division I school without the tremendous help from those close to her.

"There have been lots of sacrifices on my social time, but I get lots of support from my family and friends. Lots of hounding from my mom to get my homework done and take care of stuff. But it paid off," Lindley remarked. "Definitely."

According to UAB, Lindley will pursue a science-based degree to prepare her for a career as a physical therapist and certified athletic trainer.

Coincidentally, Wood River volleyball coach Tim Richards is a UAB alumnus where he was a standout player with the basketball team during the Gene Bartow era.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.





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