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Home Sweet Home: Maddie Schwabe Joins Calhoun Community College

With retiring Pleasant Valley volleyball coach Dana Bryant looking on, Maddie Schwabe signs Friday to play for Calhoun Community College. (Photo Joe Medley)
With retiring Pleasant Valley volleyball coach Dana Bryant looking on, Maddie Schwabe signs Friday to play for Calhoun Community College. (Photo Joe Medley)

Pleasant Valley, AL – Schwabe, highly decorated setter for Pleasant Valley’s state-title volleyball team, signs to play for Calhoun Community College.

By Joe Medley

Many are the reasons why high school athletes choose colleges, and “feels like home” often draws cynical eye rolls.

But home feeling and relationships matter, and they mattered to Maddie Schwabe.

The Pleasant Valley senior and Super All-State setter for the Raiders’ state-championship volleyball team made official Friday, signing with Calhoun Community College.

She chose Calhoun over overtures from Gadsden State, Snead State and Division II Shorter University. She made the choice after years in a program where one of the head coach’s daughters coaches, and another of the head coach’s daughters also played a key role in Pleasant Valley’s state-championship run.

“I come from Pleasant Valley, which is a very tight-knit community,” she said. “Everybody loves each other, so that’s kind of what I was looking for in a program.

“When I met Coach (Jaimee) Freeman, her assistant coach is actually her sister (Jaylyn Freeman). That’s kind of the situation here, so it kind of just felt like home. It just felt right.”

Schwabe will go from one family to another, and Calhoun “is getting an awesome player,” retiring Pleasant Valley coach Dana Bryant said.

As a senior, Schwabe was Calhoun County tournament most valuable player. She was all-state and the East Alabama Sports Today Class 1A-3A player of the year.

She finished the 2023 season with 1,065 assists and had 1,891 for her career. Also having spent time at other positions, she finished with 506 kills 1,891, 224 aces and 96 blocks, with most of her blocks coming during her senior season.

“She is easily in the top three setters that I have coached,” said Bryant, whose 25-year coaching span includes 18 years as the Raiders head coach. “She ran one of the quickest offenses that I have ever been able to run.

“It actually became uncommon to set a high. She was setting quicks. She was setting combos, and she didn’t just throw the set up there. She knew who was hitting, because some of them were really fast and liked it early. Some of them liked to wait. … She learned each hitter and began to set that person.”

 

With retiring Pleasant Valley volleyball coach Dana Bryant looking on, Maddie Schwabe signs Friday to play for Calhoun Community College. (Photo Joe Medley)
With retiring Pleasant Valley volleyball coach Dana Bryant looking on, Maddie Schwabe signs Friday to play for Calhoun Community College. (Photo Joe Medley)

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