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Appreciation of home leads Gallaher to WVU Tech volleyball

Mar. 21—Emily Gallaher fully understands that one day life will possibly lead her in a different direction.

She's just not ready to leave it all behind just yet.

"My parents are here, my home is here. I've been here all my life," the Woodrow Wilson senior said. "It's hard for me to go away for a short amount of time; it's really going to be hard for me to go away for a long amount of time. Just everybody I love is here. Everything I love is here. It's just hard to leave."

She won't have to do that, for the next four years at least.

Gallaher recently signed to continue her volleyball career at the college level, signing with her hometown WVU Tech Golden Bears.

The decision to attend Tech, where she will major in biology, was largely an easy one.

"I was thinking about (University of) Charleston. It's close to home, but still away," she said. "I thought about Glenville. I thought about Fairmont. But Tech is the only one that really offered me volleyball, offered me staying home."

Gallaher, a libero, was an honorable mention selection last fall for the Flying Eagles. She led the team in digs per set at 4.1 and serves received (533), was second in total digs (466) and third in points (235), with a 99.5 serve percentage.

Woodrow repeated as the Region 3 champion and advanced to the Class AAA state semifinals.

It was a solid senior season and the culmination of four years of hard work for Gallaher.

"Freshman year was tough because I was a freshman on varsity. That's tough for anyone in any sport," she said. "My coaches and my team members were really great, and it made me love volleyball more and it made me want to get better, for myself and for them.

"Then as years progressed I filled the libero spot. Maria Salon, she was before me and she was amazing. I had some big shoes to fill. I'm just really happy that they gave me that opportunity. I'm really blessed."

Upon earning her degree, Gallaher knows the future is unpredictable. But, thanks to volleyball, she still has plenty of time to enjoy her hometown.

"I plan on going out of state after I graduate from Tech because there's a lot of opportunities out there," she said. "Physical therapy is always an option. Who knows? Who knows where I'm going to go? I just want to keep my options open because you never want to limit yourself.

"The biggest thing is (Tech is) close to home. I was not ready to leave home. I'm never going to be ready to really leave home. I know I might have to at some point, but it's just really good to stay here. Volleyball is a big thing (in my life) and it was really going to be hard to leave it behind me, so I'm just glad I get to stay here and do what I love."