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RIO GRANDE, Ohio — University of Rio Grande men’s volleyball coach Nick Rawls has announced a pair of commitments to the first-year program.

Ethan Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound outside hitter from Hamilton High School in Hamilton, Ohio had the honor of being the first student-athlete to commit to the RedStorm.

“I’m extremely excited to add Ethan to our inaugural roster,” said Rawls. “He possesses both the physical tools and quality of character that we’re looking for our in athletes. I can’t wait to watch him flourish and grow on and off the court.”

Johnson is equally as excited.

“I think what I’ll bring to Rio is hard work and dedication to my team and to the school — along with a willingness to do whatever it takes to build the program,” he said. “What I like about Rio Grande is that, while other schools are cutting programs, Rio is adding new ones and putting money into its facilities. And when I was on my visit, the community was really friendly.”

The second commit to the RedStorm is David Pitts, a 6-foot-3 middle blocker from Pickerington Central High School in from Pickerington, Ohio.

“David is going to bring a phenomenal work ethic and commitment to our program,” Rawls said. “He has great athleticism and an endless amount of potential. It’s exciting to watch him work toward getting there.”

For Pitts, who also plays club volleyball for 614VB, the opportunity to play for Rio Grande is an example of hard work paying off.

“I’m excited to be a part of history at Rio Grande by being a part of the first-ever Men’s Volleyball team,” he said. “One of the goals that I set for myself was to be a collegiate athlete and I’m thankful that coach Rawls has provided me with that opportunity. I look forward to learning the game and developing my skills under his guidance.”

Rio Grande will begin play during the 2021-22 school year.

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