SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. —With school beginning soon, seniors have already set their sights on college, especially student-athletes.

Two Notre Dame Prep (NDP) athletes formally committed to their schools of choice recently, so unlike many of their peers, they can check “college search” off their to-do lists.

NDP volleyball player Evan Hendrix has committed to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, and baseball player CJ Bott is heading to UCLA.

“UCLA is my dream school,” Bott said. “I always wanted to be a Bruin, and baseball made this a reality for me. I couldn’t be more excited and grateful for this opportunity.”

Evan Hendrix, of Notre Dame Prep leaps high to make a kill against the Horizon volleyball team. She finished her season with 557 kills that included a 40-kill game against Verrado on Sept. 7, 2022. (Photo by Mike Harvey, Peak Image Photo)

Hendrix, a powerful 1st Team All-Region outside hitter, just returned from a trip to Fort Worth for a meet and greet with her future teammates and coaches.

“I’m looking forward to the academics, team and the culture of TCU,” she said. “The team and coaching staff have been so welcoming and really great to me. I’m excited to work with them.”

Voted the No. 1 high school volleyball player in the state of Arizona by Stadium Talk, Hendrix said she has dreamed of playing NCAA Division 1 college volleyball since she started playing the sport in middle school.

Evan Hendrix is all smiles as she meets her future coaches at a meet and greet in at TCU last week.

“I was looking for a school where I knew I would be happy. I never thought I would end up in Texas, but the minute I stepped foot on the TCU campus, I knew it was the place for me,” she said.

Bott’s approach to selecting a college was different; playing for UCLA was always his dream. His uncle attended school at UCLA, and he grew up watching the Bruins.

Notre Dame Prep pitcher CJ Bott had a 3.88 ERA on the 2023 season, which included a no-hitter again Canyon Del Oro on March 13. His efforts earned him a place on the 1st team all-conference team as a junior. (Photos by Mike Harvey, Peak Image Photo)

“I have dedicated a lot of time to practices, games and workouts, to achieve this goal, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Bott said. “I love being on the field and I can’t wait to be a Bruin,” the 1st team All-Conference right hand pitcher added.

Both teens said they feel ready for college academically and athletically, and they credit their Notre Dame Prep teachers and coaches for challenging them and guiding them through their high school careers.

Bott shared that “Coach Fischer (NDP’s head baseball coach) really cares about seeing his players succeed not only in the game of baseball, but in the game of life too.”

Hendrix credits NDP Head Volleyball Coach Holly McLean for building an inclusive, yet highly competitive, program at the Catholic high school located in Scottsdale.

“She has made NDP volleyball one of the best experiences I’ve had,” she said. “But the teachers and staff at NDP have also been incredibly supportive of my academic and athletic achievements. I feel very prepared for TCU.”

Despite the time commitment Bott and Hendrix give to their sports, they have also given their time to volunteer at the school, at Food Banks and on service trips.

“It is our goal to strengthen our students: mind, body and soul,” NPD Principal Brie Dragonetti said. “We are so proud of CJ and Evan because they are the epitome of what we expect a Notre Dame Prep graduate to be. They are true servant leaders who excel in the classroom and in athletics.”

Located in Scottsdale, Notre Dame Prep is a Catholic diocesan college preparatory high school with a co-ed enrollment of 978 students. In 2022 it was recognized by the United States Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School. Notre Dame Prep has received national recognition for the caliber of its academic, arts and athletic programs.