When Maddy Beaver first stepped on the Goshen College campus, the Triton Central senior immediately felt at home.

The positive vibes were mutual.

Despite not being able to meet with her in person because she was in quarantine, coach Kourtney Crawford had a good feeling about Beaver after her first meeting, which took place on Zoom.

Beaver will be playing volleyball next year at Goshen after signing with the Maple Leafs on Thursday following a successful career with the Tigers.

“Just being a really good person is super important to me,” Crawford said on Thursday. “I can teach you all the ins and outs of volleyball, but it’s either you’re going to be a good person or not so Maddy is going to fit very well into our program.”

The two were unable to meet in person on that first visit – and in fact, had not met each other in person until Thursday. But through long conversations over Zoom, phone calls and text messages, Crawford knows she is getting the type of person she looks for to play in her program.

And she anticipates Beaver factoring into the lineup as soon as she steps back on campus next fall.

Crawford said if she were to make a lineup now, Beaver would probably be one of her starting middles because of her quickness and determination.

The Maple Leafs lost one of their starters to graduation and will be looking to fill that spot.

“From talking to Maddy and seeing her film and knowing her dedication to the game, I definitely see her being in the lineup right away,” Crawford said.

Beaver said from the moment she walked onto campus, she felt at home. The people were friendly and welcoming, and she loved the programs the school offers.

“It just felt perfect for me,” she said.

With initial plans to study social work with the possibility of minoring in either pre-law or psychology, Beaver said she is interested in working in a school system while coaching volleyball. Or, if she goes down the pre-law route, she might become a child advocate lawyer.

Triton Central coach Ray Basile said he was excited for Beaver, both for the culture that she is about to experience and the opportunity on the volleyball court.

He talked about the family culture that Crawford emphasizes in her program

“There are programs at every level that are about certain things, and there are programs about other things,” he said. “Some are really impersonal and result-oriented. Some are family-oriented. You can win either way. That’s the thing. You can have all sorts of different programs that have different cultures.”

He anticipated her fitting well into that family culture because of her time at Triton Central.

“She’s an incredible person, an incredible volleyball player,” he said. “The culture that she helped continue to build here is going to be her legacy. Someone’s going to come along and break a hitting record, a setting record, but it’s that culture that you build and leave behind that is her legacy. For Maddy and a lot of the other girls, that’s what I’m going to (remember).”

He expects her to contribute right away, both on and off the court. And he expects her to be able to adapt to tougher – and taller – competition.

With Goshen three hours away, he said he looks forward to seeing her play at the next level.

“I look at her as a finished product for me,” he said. “Now she starts all over again so I’m excited to see that.”

During her time playing for the Tigers, Beaver was a member of two sectional championship teams. As a senior, she led the team in kills (251) and blocks (37), and was fourth in assists (33). She also helped Triton Central advance to the regional final.

“My team is full of legacy makers,” Beaver said, adding they had been playing together since the seventh grade. “That’s just us. We just push ourselves until we meet that next level, so we couldn’t do it without each other.”