Cierra Simpson had her sights set deep in the heart of Texas.
Then, an important family matter changed everything.
Upon learning that her oldest sister, Taylor, had decided to transfer from Missouri to the University of Colorado, Cierra traded her orange and blue of Texas-San Antonio for Buffs black and gold.
“From the get go, I never could have pictured myself staying in state,” Cierra said. “When it came down to it, I decided to stay closer to my home and family.”
In the meantime, older sister Taylor, a 2011 Doherty graduate and Colorado 5A Player of the Year in 2009, had decided to make Boulder her future home.
“She was an influencing factor,” Cierra said. “I had a revelation to stay in state right before the state tournament, and I had to make a decision before signing with UTSA. We were able to play together at Doherty for two years.
To say it’s been an eventful week in the Simpson household would be the understatement of understatements. The Spartans, with Cierra and younger sister Gabby, a junior, captured the state 5A volleyball crown last weekend in Denver.
And besides Taylor announcing her plans to move closer to home after stints in Nebraska and Florida as well as Missouri, Gabby verbally committed to Colorado State, making for three D-1 volleyball players from the same household.
Taylor watched from the seats in the Spartan Room at Doherty, remembering her time when she was signing on the dotted line.
“It feels like so long ago,” Taylor said. “It’s great to see my sister coming to the same school and having a chance to play together again. It’s definitely been a long road back, but I’m excited to be back.”
And for Cierra, having a mentor to help through the recruiting process was priceless. So, too, was a memorable senior year.
“When I was going through the recruiting process, I had to tell myself that this was just a sport, that I had to be a student first,” Cierra said. “Sports was just a bonus. You really had to realize what you’re getting yourself into with all the rules and reading the fine print. But not that it’s done, it’s made for a great week, more than I could have ever asked for.”