Karis Willow Leads Liberty-Benton To Ohio State Championship

Penn State women’s volleyball commit Karis Willow led her Liberty-Benton High School team to its second Ohio Division III state championship in program history Saturday afternoon.

Willow joined fellow Penn State commit Chloe Chicoine in winning a state title this fall, as Chicoine led McCutcheon High School to the Indiana 4A championship last Saturday. Willow and Chicoine are currently the only members of Penn State’s 2023 recruiting class.

Willow and the Eagles finished the season 30-0 after sweeping Independence High School, Penn State sophomore defensive specialist Maddy Bilinovic’s alma mater, at the Nutter Center on Wright State’s campus. Willow previously won a state title over Bilinovic’s Independence squad as a freshman in 2019.

Photographer Todd Jay captured an excellent shot of Willow collapsing in celebration following match point. Although the stats from the state semifinals and championship match have yet to be posted, Willow has more than 800 kills so far during her career, per MaxPreps.

Willow, a 6-foot-3 outside hitter from Findlay, Ohio, verbally committed to the Nittany Lions on September 8 after visiting Penn State’s campus with her family. Willow also plays for Impact Volleyball Club. She’s the latest in a long line of players from Ohio to commit to Penn State, joining current Nittany Lions Jonni Parker, Allie Holland, and Bilinovic.

On top of her volleyball prowess, Willow is an accomplished high jumper during track and field season, finishing eighth at the Ohio state meet last June. Willow’s explosiveness will be a welcome addition to the Penn State program when she enrolls in classes prior to the 2023 season.