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Prep volleyball: West Ranch's Skabelund signs with BYU

Posted: December 8, 2012 5:58 p.m.
Updated: December 8, 2012 5:58 p.m.

West Ranch senior Tanner Skabelund, right, will play volleyball for Brigham Young University next season.

 

Adding to the strong tradition of college-caliber men’s volleyball players to come from the Santa Clarita Valley, West Ranch senior Tanner Skabelund will play for Brigham Young University next season.

The 6-foot-10 outside hitter signed a National Letter of Intent with BYU on Nov. 16.

“It’s crazy for me to think about,”  said Skabelund, who was an All-CIF selection last season as a junior in Southern Section Division II. “It’s hard to wrap my head around it.”

The 17-year-old senior said he was in contact with the UCLA and Penn State volleyball programs, but he ultimately decided on BYU, where both of his parents graduated.

He joins a long list of SCV high school graduates who have played for major NCAA Division I men’s volleyball programs.

Valencia graduates Eric Ensing (Long Beach State) and Griffin Ender (University of the Pacific) along with Hart graduates Taylor Gregory (Long Beach State) and J.J. Mosolf (Pepperdine University) are all scheduled to play this season for teams in the same conference as BYU.

All those teams are in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, which combines teams from various conferences in the Western United States.

Skablelund joins a BYU team which has won three national championships, including two against Long Beach State in the final. The most recent was in 2004.

The senior said he’s still surprised to be headed to such a prestigious program after picking up the sport just 4 1/2 years ago.

“As I got better throughout the years, for the first time a club coach told me I could play at college,” Skabelund said. “And at first I thought it was a bit crazy.”

Skabelund will return for his final season at West Ranch this spring as a returning All-Santa Clarita Valley first team player after tallying 239 kills last season.

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