TIOGA CENTER — The goal of many high school athletes is to get a chance to play at the next level — and Tioga senior Chloe Bellis will get to do just that next year.
Bellis signed on with the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford on Wednesday afternoon to play volleyball for the Division III Panthers.
Bellis, who was a standout setter for Tioga, felt Pitt-Bradford was the right place for her to spend the next four years.
“It was just a visit — I watched their game (and) they seemed really successful and fun and it’s something I would like to be a part of,” Bellis said at a signing celebration on Wednesday.
Bellis also looked at schools like Elmira College and SUNY Cortland, but decided Pitt-Bradford was a better fit. One reason for that was Panthers head coach Tom Roof.
“Their coach is amazing. I’m so happy I got to meet him,” Bellis said.
The Tioga senior also fell in love with the campus in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
“It’s really nice ... I mean it’s going to get pretty cold in the winter, but it’s beautiful,” she said.
Bellis credited her parents, Jason and Janie Bellis, with helping her throughout the process of picking a college.
“My parents, my mom and my dad, were very helpful (in the decision-making process),” she said.
The second-team IAC All-Star also praised Tioga coach Des Ford with helping her get better over her high school career.
“She taught me everything I know,” Bellis said of Ford.
Bellis also believes playing in the IAC has prepared her for the Division III level.
“Playing here, there was good competition with Candor and other schools nearby, so that prepared me pretty well,” said Bellis, who will be majoring in health and physical education.
Bellis will now enjoy her final few months of being a Tiger before she heads off to college, but she will always have the memories she made in Tioga.
“I’m going to bring all the memories I have with my friends, of course, and the small town little things that we all do together in the community,” Bellis said.