Volleyball senior Katie Tatum verbally committed to play at the Division I college level for the University of Central Florida Knights.

The commitment became official last Friday at the Person High School media center, as Tatum, joined by teammates, coaches, family, and friends, signed her letter of intent to don a Knights’ uniform beginning next fall.

The signing also proved to be a memorable birthday gift for the four-year Rocket standout, who was a key part of two Division 4A state championships in 2006 and ‘07, four Piedmont Athletic Conference titles, and a total of 16 playoff matches (14 of them wins) in her four seasons as a Rocket.

Before the start of her final campaign at Person this fall, Tatum set three goals for herself and the team: win the conference crown, earn league Player of the Year honors, and win a third state championship.

Two of those came to fruition.

The Rockets dominated their way to a fifth straight conference title by going 12-0, with all the victories being 3-0 sweeps, and Tatum was named conference Player of the year for the second season in a row.

The one that got away was a state crown, as Person was eliminated in the second round of this year’s playoffs.

“It was a great season. We were PAC-6 champions for the fifth consecutive year and never lost a game in our conference,” said Tatum, who helped Person to an overall 22-5 record this year. “We had great team chemistry and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls as teammates.”

Asked what she is most looking forward to at UCF, Tatum said that volleyball, the warm Florida weather, and school top the list.

Knights head coach Todd Dagenais is definitely looking ahead to Tatum’s arrival.

Source: The Courier Times Person County Life, by Greg Phipps, C-T Sports Editor, published Wednesday, November 18, 2009 5:15 AM CST