TARAH MURREY giggles with excitement.

The senior on the St. Mary's High School girls volleyball team will soon decide where to play in college. And she's getting anxious.

"I'm really excited to make a decision," said Murrey, a 6-foot-3 outside hitter. "I'm just grateful that I'm in this position."

Whenever Murrey says the word, it will end the whirlwind of activity associated with the recruiting process that has her mailbox overflowing with team media guides and letters from coaches.

And while all the extra correspondence might annoy the mailman, it sits fine with Murrey, one of the most talented and highly recruited volleyball players ever to come out of the East Bay.

"Tarah Murrey is a very mature volleyball player with a sophisticated game," said John Tawa of PrepVolleyball.com. "She's a top-five recruit in the country."

Tawa's Web site released its 2008 Senior Aces list this month which counts down the top 100 seniors in the country. The top 10 recruits will be revealed this afternoon and Tawa said Murrey is very close to the top of the list.

She also tops the list of many college coaches, but Murrey doesn't know yet where she'll be spiking a volleyball next season. What she does know is that there are plenty of options.

Will she choose Cal? The Berkeley campus is close to home and the Bears have shown every intention of plucking this rose from their own backyard.

Or will Murrey prefer to bloom at UCLA, ranked No. 5 this week in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Poll and which is closer to sister, Brittney, who is a setter at UC Riverside?

Or maybe she'll pick Nebraska, the No. 1 team in the country and the defending NCAA champion.

All are likely candidates, along with Arizona and Washington, a lineup that would make anyone's head spin.

Murrey has handled it well. She's focused on the high school volleyball season and is hopeful the success of her previous seasons -- which includes three BSAL titles, a state championship appearance and two Northern California Regional final appearances -- continues.

"We're going to use each game and each match to work and get better and be successful," Murrey said.

Sounds more like the way Murrey has improved her own game, skills she will take to some lucky college campus next season.

DUKE CRAZY: Amador Valley senior Sophia Dunworth has already made up her mind, and she'll be playing her college ball near Krzyzewskiville.

Dunworth, a 6-1 senior, orally committed to Duke in August, a decision that didn't come easy.

"For me it was definitely more stressful than fun," Dunworth said "But it's an honor to be recruited and have so many options. It was neat."

Dunworth needed to figure out whether to stay close to home at Santa Clara or UC Davis -- two schools heavily interested in her -- or move away.

Did she want to go to a program that was on top, or rebuilding? Or did Dunworth -- an exceptional student -- want a school focused more on academic than athletic success?

It turns out, with Duke currently ranked 14th in the country in volleyball, she got the best of both worlds.

"I took a few trips to Duke, I love it there. (The team and coaches) are incredible," said Dunworth, who will play outside hitter or opposite hitter at the next level.

Duke didn't show interest until the end of Dunworth's sophomore season, and she finally took two campus visits in the spring and summer of this year.

On both occasions, the men's basketball season was over so she didn't get to see one of the premiere programs in person at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

But her future coaching staff made a promise.

"They've told me that they're going to bring me out to a game," Dunworth said with unbridled glee.

She can't sign a letter of intent until November and she's already a Cameron Crazy.

Contact Ricardo Sanchez Jr. at rsanchez2@bayareanewsgroup.com.