ATWATER -- The recruiting process was an emotional journey for Megan Callahan, one filled with so many twists, turns, trips and tears.
It finally concluded with one giant smile as the Buhach Colony senior signed her name on a national letter of intent to accept a full-ride scholarship to play volleyball at Fresno State.
"There was so much stress in the house," Callahan said. "Every night I would be e-mailing coaches back. I'd come home and my mom would tell me this coach e-mailed you.
"It was so late in the recruiting season. Most people sign in November. There were times I didn't think it was going to happen. I'm just so excited. I can finally answer people when they ask 'Do you know where you're going next year?' "
Callahan wasn't the only happy person in the room, as her parents, BC coach Michelle Osmer and principal Stacy McAfee were all there to share the moment.
"It's one of my proudest volleyball moments other than watching my kids play," Osmer said.
Callahan is the second BC volleyball player to sign a Division I scholarship since the school opened in 2001. Anna Muratore signed with Santa Clara in 2003.
Fresno State wasn't the only school interested in the two-time Central California Conference MVP.
Callahan had also visited San Jose State, Weber State and the University of San Diego.
She was also corresponding with Hawaii Pacific and Boise State.
Early on in the recruiting process, however, Callahan had her heart set on San Diego.
When USD informed Callahan that it would be holding onto its scholarship and rolling it over to 2011, she was crushed.
"I remember checking my e-mail on my phone during first period at the end of February and I was heartbroken," Callahan said. "I tried hard not to break down in class that whole day. When I finally got home I cried."
Callahan picked herself up and kept playing.
It was during a tournament in Las Vegas when Callahan caught the interest of Fresno State.
Bulldogs coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell came up to watch Callahan practice.
They spent 90 minutes on the phone one night and met for lunch the next day.
While eating tacos, Callahan got a surprise.
"We're sitting there eating and she says I've got something random I want to talk about," Callahan said. "I want to offer you a full scholarship.
"I wasn't expecting it. In my mind I was thinking, 'Yes! Yes! Yes!'
"But she told me not to say yes right now. To think about it and call her tomorrow."
Ironically, Callahan didn't think she had impressed Netherby-Sewell when she watched her practice.
"I don't ever think I impress anybody," she said. "I always feel I could have done better.
"The thing she told me was that she saw me get blocked by two of my teammates during practice. Instead of getting upset, I gave them high-fives. She said that sold her right there."