Staal is a three-year starter on the Bucs’ tennis team. After playing No. 3 singles as a freshman, she played No. 1 singles her sophomore and junior seasons, and will occupy that spot again this coming spring.
She had a little help choosing Valparaiso — a Lutheran-affiliated private school in Valparaiso, Ind. Her older brother — former Buccaneers’ quarterback Scott Staal — is a sophomore at Valpo.
“Obviously, my brother was a factor, and I already loved the campus,” Staal said. “The tennis program really excited me, and they have a great education program, which is what I plan on studying. Everything just lined up perfectly.”
Staal is the daughter of David and Becky Staal of Grand Haven.
Jeremy Case is resuming his role as the Bucs’ varsity girls coach this spring after taking a few years off. He said it’s exciting coming back to such a promising group, which includes seven seniors.
‘This is a unique opportunity for me because I’m a little bit removed from the girls program,” Case said. “And before oure season even starts, we’re doing a national signing. Valpo is going to get a fantastic player. This is a good start, and I hope we can continue this.”
Also present at Thursday’s ceremony was Staal’s long-time private tennis coach, Jorge Capestany, who teaches out of the DeWitt Tennis Center in Holland.