Vinton County's Owings signs with Rio

Vinton County High School's Caitlyn Owings poses
with family, coaches and administrators after signing
with the University of Rio Grande. Pictured are (front
row from left): Rick Owings, Caitlyn Owings, Cindy
Owings-Waugh and Jason Waugh. In the back row:
former Lady Viking Volleyball Head Coach Tim
Smallwood, former Lady Viking Volleyball Assistant
Coach Rebecca Smallwood, 2012 Head Lady Viking
Volleyball Coach Brittany Carper, University of Rio
Grande Head Volleyball Coach Billina Donaldson,
Assistant Volleyball Coach Ashley Graves, VCHS
Principal Kevin Waddell, and Vinton County High
School Athletic Director Matt Combs.

McARTHUR, Ohio – University of Rio Grande head volleyball coach Billina Donaldson has announced the signing of Vinton County High School's Caitlyn Owings for the 2013 season.

Owings, a 5-foot-11 outside hitter, was named the District 13 Division II Player of the Year after leading first-year head coach Brittany Carper's Vikings in both kills and blocks for the third straight season. She also led the team in blocks and ranked second in kills as a freshman.

Vinton County's 2012 campaign ended with a loss to Marietta in sectional tournament play.

Owings was also named to the All-Tri-Valley Conference First Team for the second consecutive season, as well as being named an All-Southeast District selection and her team's Most Valuable Player for each of the past two seasons.

"I'm very excited for the opportunity to play at the college level," said Owings, who is also a standout athlete in both basketball and track & field.

In basketball, she was an All-TVC selection and a second team all-district honoree after averaging 12.5 points per game. In track & field, she broke the 27-year meet record for the girls' high jump at the Chillicothe Invitational in early April.

"Caitlyn is a very athletic young lady who stands out no matter the arena," Donaldson said. "She works hard and has the values that I set out to find in athletes this year. She's determined to stay dedicated to being the best and helping Rio remain a strong volleyball institution."

Owings, who plans to major in Special Education, had a previous tie with Rio Grande volleyball before ever signing with the RedStorm. Her club volleyball coach was Rio standout Whitney Smith, who recently closed out her collegiate career.

"Whitney is one of the best players to ever play the game and someone I looked up to," Owings said.. "But the education program, the distance from home and the coaches at Rio were also big factors in my decision."

Donaldson added that she expects Owings to make an immediate impact on her program when she arrives on campus.

"Caitlyn is a great leader who has qualities that we look for in older returning players. I see her coming in and making her mark early with our team," said Donaldson. "She'll change our game with just her athleticism and she'll change our program with her attitude. We're looking forward to having her in the red and black this year."

Owings is equally as excited.

"I think my best qualities are in my leadership, but I also know there are skills I need to work on to prepare me for the next level," she said. "My ultimate goal is to be the best I can be - not only as a volleyball player, but as a person."

Owings is the daughter of Rick and Cindy Owings of McArthur.