Latrobe’s Lily Fenton accepts preferred walk-on offer to play volleyball at Notre Dame

Thursday, September 8, 2022 | 4:52 PM

When it comes to her college plans, Lily Fenton is all “set.”

The senior from Latrobe accepted a preferred walk-on offer to play volleyball at Notre Dame, adding to her family’s rich history of Division I athletes.

“Seeing my brother (Reed) go through the recruiting process inspired me,” said Fenton, a 5-foot-7 All-WPIAL setter who has more than 900 assists and has helped Latrobe to a 3-0 start this season. “I saw what he went through and what he did.

“I wanted to play (at the Division I level) since my freshman year.”

Fenton had scholarship offers to play at St. Francis (Pa.) and Loyola (Md.) but opted for the inviting opportunity in South Bend.

“There is a whole new staff there,” she said. “I emailed with them, and they asked for game film. Then I went to their prospect camp so they could see me play in front of them.”

That is what spurred on an invitation to join the team next year.

“Academics was huge for me, but (Notre Dame) was just the best overall fit,” Fenton said. “Salima Rockwell is the new coach there, and that is huge name in women’s volleyball. She just got back into the coaching worlds. She is a legend.”

A Penn Hills grad, Rockwell was a volleyball star at Penn State before coaching at Texas and Penn State, winning two national titles with the Nittany Lions.

Fenton genealogy was strongly in her favor when it came to playing a sport in college.

Her father, Neal, played basketball at Navy and then, Lehigh, where her brother, Reed, plays now. (Some forget Reed Fenton also was a talented volleyball player.)

Her mother, Sandy, was a volleyball player at Seton Hill and Moravian.

Her uncle, Keith, played basketball at Bucknell, while her sister, Emma, plays volleyball at St. Francis (Pa.).

“Lily is one of the kindest and most generous young ladies I’ve had the honor to coach,” Latrobe coach Drew Vosefski said. “Those Fenton kids, Lily included, are the hardest-working players I’ve had. There is no time off.”

Lily Fenton, who gave up basketball to focus solely on volleyball, also named an Academic All-American by the AAU National Volleyball Executive Committee.

She also plays for the Revolution Volleyball Club.

She will take an official visit to Notre Dame later this year.

“The people around me have been so important through this whole process,” Fenton said. “My coaches, my family, I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at


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