Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dixon Serves a Winner at Bp Standout Chooses Volleyball, Lands D-I Scholarship

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dixon Serves a Winner at Bp Standout Chooses Volleyball, Lands D-I Scholarship

Article excerpt

When it comes to high school sports, Jake Dixon is an outlier of sorts.

Part of what makes this Bethel Park senior unique is that he plays multiple sports, but doing so isn't that uncommon at the high school level.

More than that, though, is the combination of sports he plays that makes him unusual: basketball, football and volleyball. Volleyball?

The defending Class AAA WPIAL player of the year and 2015 PVCA All-State selection will continue his relationship with that game next fall at NCAA national runner-up Lewis University, where he committed last week.

"I've been around the game of volleyball a lot longer, I think, than most kids in Western Pennsylvania have," Dixon said

A 6-foot-6 outside hitter, he grew up with volleyball even though it was the last sport he began playing in an organized setting, starting in seventh grade, after picking up baseball at age 5, basketball and football at age 7.

Dixon's mom played the sport in high school and still plays now in Thursday night games with family members, according to her son.

"I'm not allowed to play anymore because I hit the ball too hard," Dixon said, laughing.

His stepfather, Brian Blanc, has served as an assistant coach on the Bethel Park varsity team for years, taking Jake along with him to practices at a young age.

That's where longtime Bethel Park coach Tom Allman first encountered Dixon, who he remembers as very athletic and energetic.

While Dixon's volleyball ability is clear now, it's his best sport, that wasn't always the case. Despite playing informally since he was a toddler, often hitting the ball against the wall at a gym, Dixon adjusted slowly to the game in a formal setting.

He failed to make his middle school's eighth-grade team as a seventh-grader, saying he was lucky there was a squad for kids his year. …

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