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Spartz joins teammate Weg as Dordt volleyball recruit

Senior hitter Tarren Spartz signed on to play volleyball Tuesday for Dordt University

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Worthington High School's Tarren Spartz (12) makes a hit against Marshall from the 2021 season. Spartz signed on Tuesday to continue her volleyball career at Dordt University. (file photo)
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WORTHINGTON -- On Tuesday, Dordt University fulfilled its quota of Worthington High School volleyball recruits, though first-year head coach Jacki Smith left the door open ever so slightly for more.

“It’s just these two,” she said when asked how many more Trojans her team was bringing into the fold.

“Unless somebody else comes out of the woodwork.”

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Worthington High School senior Tarren Spartz signs to attend Dordt University next year for volleyball. (photo by Anne Foley, Worthington High School)
Photo courtesy of Anne Foley, Worthington

Two weeks earlier, WHS staged a signing ceremony for senior WHS volleyball standout Ellie Weg. Then, Tuesday morning it was senior Tarren Spartz’s turn to sign to play volleyball for the Defenders. Throughout high school, the two Trojans helped lead the volleyball program as hitters, and next fall the two 6-0 stars will be teammates again.

The story began at a recruiting camp, where Smith met Weg, who brought her friend Spartz with her. Three weeks later, Tarren said, she attended a Dordt volleyball camp. And she also saw some of Dordt’s games.

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Originally, she hadn’t planned on going to Dordt.

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“I never reached out to Dordt because that was Ellie’s place. That’s where she wanted to go,” said Spartz.

But the idea of Dordt appealed to Tarren, and Ellie indicated she was open to sharing the school with her Worthington friend. Both of them believe that it’s important to meet new people in college, so they’ll keep separate living quarters while they compete together on the volleyball team.

“I think it’ll be fun. We’ve played together since freshman year, and we went to the same club team (in Marshall). It’ll be super fun,” Spartz said.

Smith says Spartz, like Weg, is just the kind of player she wants.

“Strong. Just has a lot of natural athleticism that I’m really excited about,” she said about Spartz. “Just that she plays multiple sports, that’s just so important at the college level.”

The Defenders will need to find new hitters for the 2023 season, said Smith, adding that Spartz could compete for varsity right away. But she’ll have to work at “contacting the ball higher,” that is to reach for the ball to hit down on it more against the better blocking she’ll come across at the next level.

“There’s a much bigger block,” Spartz agreed. “Not as many openings. (I’ll need to) be able to ‘tool’ the block and use smart shots. You’re not going to be able to swing 100 miles per hour like you used to do.”

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Smith said Spartz has a “really high ceiling” in the sport. “And what really stuck out for me when I went through this process with Tarren is what a great friend she is, and what a great teammate she is.”

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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