By Sherry Martin

Herald-Banner Correspondent

ROYSE CITY — Ryleigh Lay led the Royse City Lady Bulldogs’ volleyball team to a 29-7 overall record last season, en route to an undefeated district championship as well as area and quarterfinal trophies and the team's first appearance at a regional semifinal match.

Now Lay will get the opportunity to repeat her performances on a collegiate level.

The all-state athlete signed a letter of intent to play for Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark. on the first day of the national signing session.

Lay said she felt comfortable at OBU.

"I fell in love with it right away, the whole Baptist atmosphere," she said. "Everyone was so welcoming. I felt right at home."

Among her many athletic accolades, Lay has earned included making the 2006 all-state team, MVP hitter for the District 10-3A All-District Team, all-tournament honors at the Denton-Ryan Kickoff Classic Tournament and honorable mention for Dallas Morning News Player of the Week honors.

And that's just for her senior year.

As a junior Lay was named first team all-district and she was newcomer of the year as a sophomore on the all-district team. She has also picked up many trophies and honors from years of playing club volleyball.

The 5-9 outside hitter didn't limit herself to a volleyball court as she added letters in track and cheerleading at Royse City High School.

Lay ranks also fourth in her class of approximately 200 students and was named to the academic all-district teams for 2004, 2005 and 2006 as well as the Academic All-state team 2006.

The Ouachita Baptist Tigers compete in the Gulf South Conference where the volleyball team finished with a 7-5 conference record last season under the direction of head coach Danny Prescott.

When asked how she'd fend off homesickness while at college next fall, Lay said she'd take with her memories of competing with teammates she cared about and for coaches she respected.

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