Erin Hoppe’s collegiate career was put on paper Monday, as the McKinney High volleyball senior signed her letter of intent to play for the Air Force Academy.
“It’s going to be a once in a lifetime chance,” Hoppe said during the ceremony at MHS.
Hoppe finished the 2012 season No. 11 among Dallas area 5A players with 418 kills, averaging 3.3 kills per-game, leading MHS to its first postseason berth in 17 years.
The Lionettes earned the final playoff spot in 10-5A by defeating Plano West in a play-in match, and then advanced to the Region II-IV Quarterfinals, eventually losing to 10-5A District Champion Allen in four sets.
McKinney head coach Jessica Camp, who wrapped up her second year at MHS, said Hoppe was one of the first players she met at McKinney. She remembered saying about Hoppe, “She’s pretty good; I could coach her.”
Camp said although the 2011 season wasn’t successful on paper – going winless in district play – Hoppe played an integral role in building what MHS accomplished in 2013.
“It’s good to see the program moving in this direction,” said Camp, who noted she is excited to see what Hoppe can accomplish at the next level.
While noting she wants to “savior every moment of senior year,” Hoppe couldn’t hold back her emotions when signing her letter.
When surrounded by her family at the podium and signing her letter, Hoppe said, “I’m about to cry.”
Hoppe said although her father, Curtis Hoppe, was an ROTC in the Army, she never considered attending a military academy until Air Force began to show interest in her.
And it was love at first sight.
“I had that feeling and I was like, ‘There’s no point of looking anywhere else because I know I want to be there,’ ” Hoppe said of her visit to the Colorado Springs-based campus.
Along with Air Force, smaller Division I schools in Louisiana, Texas and on the east coast showed interest, she said.
But at the end of the day, Hoppe said she knew there was no school that could offer what Air Force could offer — both on, and off, the court.
“Nothing was going to offer me the education or the military opportunity,” she said. “Some people are intimidated by that but it just kind of what comes with it…it’s worth it in the end.”
Hoppe said she is looking forward to attend basic training, which could be either six weeks or 2.5 weeks depending upon when she arrives on campus, and added she is going to try and earn playing time and contribute her freshman year to a program that is beginning to rebuild.
“I trust in what they’re recruiting and the team that they’re building. I’m really excited to be a part of it,” Hoppe said.
The Falcons finished the 2012-’13 season 9-21, and are 6-21 so far in the 2013 season.