Strathmore setter Isabella Galang signs a national letter of intent to attend and compete for the University of Maine-Fort Kent

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By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN

LINDSAY – The last five years on the volleyball courts, both for high school and club teams, have been building toward one event for Isabella Galang. Last Wednesday night the Spartan setter lived it. At the McDermont Field House, where her club team practices, she put pen to paper and signed a national letter of intent to play volleyball for the University of Maine-Fort Kent (UMFK) next fall on a partial scholarship.

“All of this just doesn’t seem real,” Galang said. “It just felt right to pick this school.”

A few aspects of the school and the surrounding community played into her decision. The combination of the school being located in a town of some 4,000 persons, and Galang growing up in a small community all her life was a perfect match. As far as to going from extreme heat to a place which gets 97 inches of snow a year Galang says it will be no problem.

“I just wanted to change it up a little bit and the diversity you see in Maine is incredible,” Galang said. “It is almost like I can have a little part of this over there.”

Although, the community that was bigger was the fact Galang already had a tie to the school. One of her former teammates at Strathmore, Vanessa Lopez, had played two seasons with the Bengals as their outside hitter. When Galang began to consider UMFK the relationship between the two rekindled, and Lopez began to coach her on the dynamics of the team. As well as the nursing program which Galang will be enrolling in.

“She told me how great the teachers were and that it was an easier route than to stay here in California and that just pushed me to go even more,” Galang said.

A four-year varsity member for the Strathmore Spartans, Galang has had her fair share of success. For the last two seasons her setting ability has brought Strathmore back-to-back East Sequoia League titles. They shared the title last season with Woodlake with a record of 8-2. The same school whose five-year title streak was broken by Strathmore’s 2016 ESL Championship.

Galang’s consistency and assertiveness out on the court has been the main part for the Spartans’ recent success. Her inherent ability to recover from a difficult dig and send up a decent set is something rare in the ESL. That ability, plus a unique relationship she has with Emily Kissick, produced an outside hitter who scored 310 kills last season. Not to mention Galang had 72 kills herself.

From the back line Galang is as lethal as sending up one of her 654 sets last season. She led the team with 47 serving aces.

While Galang’s abilities on the court stood out to Bangles’ head coach Jessany Munoz there was another aspect to her game which sealed the deal. It was her commanded out of the court.

“She is really assertive out on the court, she is not timid and as a setter you really need to have that,” Munoz said.

A starting Libero for UMFK in 2013 and 2014 Munoz understands what this relatively new program needs. With a player like Galang signing, Munoz knows they got a special player.

“Isabella is going to bring a strong offense to our team, so to have her come all the way out to the east coast is huge,” Munoz said. “In order to have a player like her to go from California to the east coast is a huge gift for us.

Since the 2013 season the Bangles have been steadily improving their win total. Last year they topped out at 31, and made it to the NAIA National Tournament. With the team only returning one setter Galang is looking to make an immediate impact on the court.

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