BELGRADE – For Belgrade’s Bailey Christensen, she’s always dreamed of playing volleyball at the next level.
“I’ve wanted to do it since forever. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t want to play college volleyball,” said Bailey Christensen.
And that lifelong goal came to fruition on Thursday morning as Christensen signed on with the University of Providence. It’s common for athletes to sign their senior year. But for Christensen, a junior at Belgrade High School, she did’t want to wait to commit.
“I wanted to sign before senior year so I could get it off my shoulders. It’s something I wanted to do before my senior year started,” Christensen said.
She is the only Panther this year to sign a National Letter of Intent in their junior year. Even though she’s younger than many signees, Christensen is one of the best volleyball players in the state.
“She was our go-to player from freshman year, so she has been a known quantity on the court since halfway through her freshman year. Everyone knew if we needed a point where the ball was going to go to,” said Belgrade head volleyball coach Jade Schmidt.
Christensen had some interest from other schools, but nothing amounting to an offer just yet. But Argos head coach Arunas Duda saw her talent early and jumped at the opportunity to sign Christensen.
“I talked to him after Bailey’s freshman year saying, ‘Hey, this is a kid you need to keep your eye on,’ and he did that,” Schmidt said. “He has put in the time and put in the work and shown her the interest from Day 1.”
And Christensen wanted to join Duda’s team. She received the offer last Saturday, and she knew right when it came that she would be an Argo. Six days later, she was putting pen to paper.
And she’s ready to bring a big impact as an outside hitter to Great Falls.
“She absolutely is a special talent, she has a lot of skills and court knowledge that is not seen as much in the high school game,” said Schmidt.
And while college is set, the most important thing is leading her Panthers back to the state championship game and bringing home the hardware. The Panthers fell to Billings Central in the State A title game this past November.