Two Oakville volleyball stars sign with colleges

Oakville High School volleyball standouts Ben Duckworth and Lisa Richars will both take their skills to the college level.

Next year, Duckworth will play at Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne University for a team that went all the way to the Division 1 final four this past season.

Richars also signed with the Stephens College Stars to a volleyball scholarship for the 2006-2007 season.

According to a Mehlville School District release, the 6-foot-4 Duckworth led Oakville to a 23-4-1 record this year and a berth in the Class 4 state quarterfinals. He tied for the team lead with an average of 3.3 kills per game and recorded 1.4 blocks per game. He also had 2.5 digs per game and had a serve-receive percentage of almost 87 with 44 aces.

“I chose Indiana-Purdue for a couple of reasons,” said Duckworth. “A couple of my friends from my club team are going there. I’ll get a chance to play right away and I really liked I-P-U coach Arnie Ball.”

Proud parents are Jan and Gary Duckworth.

Richars served as Oakville’s team captain and led the team with 25 aces. She also added 93 kills and 166 digs, which placed her third on the team in both categories. Richars played volleyball all four years at Oakville and earned a varsity letter during each of her final two seasons.

“Lisa can do quite a few things on the volleyball court,” said Dane Pavlovich, associate athletic director at Stephens College. “She hits well, has a tough serve and can play on the back row.”

Proud parents are Teresa and Gary Richars.