Evan O’Kelly, MSUB Athletics

BILLINGS – Seven more new players have signed letters of intent to join the Montana State University Billings volleyball team in the fall of 2017, announced Yellowjacket head coach Casey Williams on Monday.

The latest group of signings will join a group of five that signed in the fall, bringing MSUB’s total recruiting class for 2017 to a dozen.

2017 MSUB Volleyball Recruiting Class

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Name Position Hometown Previous School Class (Fall 2017)
Izela Alvarez
DS/LIB Dumas, TX Dumas Freshman
Katie Campbell
OH/DS Dumas, TX N.M. Military Junior
Kylee Clarke
S/DS Bismarck, ND Century Freshman
Mina Duong
LIB Monroe, WA Monroe Freshman
Hali Ehresmann
OH/RS Olympia, WA Capital Freshman
Claire Lacey
MB Anchorage, AK Olympic College Junior
Keira Larsen
OH West Jordan, UT Copper Hills Freshman
Jordan Mix
OH/RS Kennewick, WA Blue Mountain CC Junior
Bayli Monck
RS Colorado Springs, CO Vista Ridge Freshman
Alexa Smythe
S/RS Phoenix, AZ Horizon Honors Freshman
Maddi Vigil
OH Ogden, UT Fremont Freshman
Kristen Whitney
MB/RS Folsom, CA Folsom Freshman

Katie Campbell
Dumas, Texas
Dumas High School/New Mexico Military Institute
5’9” – Outside Hitter/Defensive Specialist
Intended Major: Health/Human Performance

Campbell comes to MSUB after two seasons at New Mexico Military Institute, where she competed for the Broncos as an outside hitter and defensive specialist. As a sophomore in 2016, Campbell averaged 2.6 points per set, including 2.19 digs per set and 1.99 kills per set. She posted six double-doubles, and had a season-best 20 digs on Sept. 10 against Barton. She reached her season high of 13 kills on three occasions, including a 13-kill, 16-dig performance against Western Texas on Sept. 21 in one of her top games of last fall. During her freshman year in 2015, Campbell was teammates with current Yellowjacket outside/right-side hitter Lexa de Jesus.

As a prep athlete at Dumas High School in Texas, Campbell was a three-sport letterwinner in volleyball, basketball, and track & field. She was a first-team all-district pick in volleyball in 2012-2014, and was named her team’s offensive player of the year in 2013. Campbell played in all-star games in both volleyball and basketball, and was named her school’s track MVP in 2014-15 as well.

Coach Williams on Campbell: “Katie is a tough competitor and brings some great energy to the court. She comes from a strong junior college program, which will help her adjust to the tough competition here in the GNAC.”

Campbell on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because I really liked the atmosphere and how it has a home feeling. I come from the Texas Panhandle where it is just completely flat, and I wanted to experience something else. I am looking forward to continuing my volleyball career and challenging myself both athletically and academically.”

Mina Duong
Monroe, Washington
Monroe High School
5’4” – Libero
Intended Major: Pre-Pharmacy

A libero from Monroe, Wash., Duong was a four-year letterwinner at Monroe High School under head coach April Munoz. Coming off a first-team all-area performance as a senior in 2016, Duong set school records for most digs in a season and career, and most aces in a career for the Bearcats. She was a first-team all-Wesco League pick as both a junior and senior, after second-team all-league honors her sophomore season. Duong served as team captain in her final prep year.

Coach Williams on Duong: “Mina is an excellent addition to our 2017 roster. She has great court presence, and will make an immediate impact on our defense. Mina is a consistent serve-receive passer, and a scrappy defender. We are looking forward to getting her into a Yellowjacket uniform.”

Duong on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because I wanted to be part of a competitive team with great coaches, and enjoy the outdoor activities that Montana has to offer.”

Claire Lacey
Anchorage, Alaska
South Anchorage High School/Olympic College
6’0” – Middle Blocker
Intended Major: Biology

A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Lacey will join MSUB’s program after two seasons at Olympic College in Washington. As a sophomore in 2016, Lacey ranked 11th in the NWAC in hitting percentage at .258. The middle blocker racked up 164 total kills on the year, including a season-high 15 against Everett on Oct. 12. Defensively, she averaged 0.8 blocks per set, and had a season-best of 6.0 blocks on Nov. 2 against Bellevue. She earned NWAC Offensive Player of the Week once last fall, and was a north region first-team all-star.

As a prep player at South Anchorage High School, Lacey earned three letters under head coach Judy Knecht. She led the Wovlerines to a pair of state titles in three total appearances over her four seasons.

Lacey on choosing MSUB: “MSUB felt like the perfect fit for me to play at the next level in a program that will push me athletically and academically. As an Alaskan, I grew up watching the tough competition the GNAC offers, and I’m incredibly excited to be a part of that. I love the outdoors, and Billings is a great place to continue studying wildlife biology. Above all, I want to compete, and I know Coach Williams and Coach Wehling will challenge us to be our best.”

Coach Williams on Lacey: “Claire will add some of the experience and leadership qualities that we look for in upperclassmen. She is a fantastic athlete that will help us both offensively and defensively.”

Keira Larsen
West Jordan, Utah
Copper Hills High School
5’11” – Outside Hitter
Intended Major: Health/Human Performance

A prep standout at Copper Hills High School in West Jordan, Utah, Larsen brings strong potential as a 5-foot-11 outside hitter to MSUB. She is a three-year letterwinner for the Grizzlies under head coach Silver Fonua, and is a two-time offensive player of the year. Larsen is also an honor society student, with plans to study human performance at MSUB.

Larsen on choosing MSUB: “When I made my visit to MSUB, I felt really comfortable with the campus, and community. The coaches showed interest in me not only as a volleyball player, but also as a person. The athletic programs at MSUB seem to have a lot of support from the community, and I liked that. All of this, along with the fact that MSUB offers a degree in my field of interest in human performance, made it a perfect fit for me. I’m excited to be a Yellowjacket!”

Coach Williams on Larsen: “Keira plays with so much eagerness, strength, and passion. I believe her best volleyball is in front of her, and I am excited to work with her. She has great size and energy, and will be a very positive asset to the 2017 season.”

Jordan Mix
Kennewick, Washington
Southridge High School/Blue Mountain Community College
5’10” – Outside Hitter/Right-Side Hitter
Intended Major: Biology

Hailing from Kennewick, Wash., Mix will transfer to MSUB after two successful years at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Ore. As a sophomore last fall, Mix ranked No. 10 in all of the NWAC in total kills with 233, averaging 2.65 per set. The 5-foot-10 outside hitter had a string of five straight matches with double-figure kills, and posted a season-best 23 kills on Oct. 7 against Yakima Valley. Mix also had 14 service aces, and notched a season-high 20 digs on Nov. 9 against Yakima Valley. After leading her team to the NWAC title as a freshman, Mix earned first-team all-conference honors in 2016.

In high school, Mix was a four-year letterwinner in volleyball and was selected both all-league and all-state. She earned the Southridge High School distinguished athlete award as a senior, and helped the volleyball team to third-place finishes at state as both a sophomore and junior.

Mix on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because I felt a great connection with the coaches and players. I know that attending MSUB will challenge me athletically, as well as academically. Growing up, I visited Montana very often and fell in love with the state. I’m excited to live in Billings, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming volleyball season.”

Coach Williams on Mix: “Jordan will be coming in with a ton of on-court experience and leadership. She has a heavy arm and great knowledge of the game.”

Bayli Monck
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Vista Ridge High School
5’10” – Right-Side Hitter
Intended Major: Undecided

A versatile athlete during her career at Vista Ridge High School, Monck was a letterwinner in volleyball, basketball, and track and field. She was a two-time female athlete of the year, and was team captain for multiple years in both basketball and volleyball. As a senior last fall, Monck earned first-team all-PPAC honors in volleyball and was named the volleyball player of the year.

Her 272 kills in a season broke a school record, and she ranked fourth in the state for assists and first in the conference in aces. Academically, she earned honor roll for maintaining a grade point average minimum of 3.5.

Monck on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because when I went on a visit, it felt like a perfect fit for me to excel both athletically and academically. I felt comfortable and at home, and immediately knew that this was the right place for me to be.”

Coach Williams on Monck: “Bayli is a strong, 6-rotation pin-hitter who has a lot of court charisma and solid ball control. I know that Bayli’s competitiveness, volleyball IQ, and drive to win will make her a great addition to the team.”

Maddi Vigil
Ogden, Utah
Fremont High School
5’9” – Outside Hitter
Intended Major: Undecided

A 5-foot-9 outside hitter from Ogden, Utah, Vigil is a three-year letterwinner in volleyball for the Silver Wolves. Under head coach Shauna Haney, Vigil was a two-time first-team all-state selection, and served as team captain for two seasons. She also competed in an all-star game during her prep career.

Vigil on choosing MSUB: “When I was on my visit, I liked the coaches and the small campus. I also like the fact that I have an opportunity to be an impact player as a freshman. The curriculum at MSUB is suited towards my career goals, and will push me academically.”

Coach Williams on Vigil: “Madeline brings a ton of passion, fire, and power to the court, which is really going to help set the tone in our gym every day. She is a smart player, and has the athleticism to be very helpful to the MSUB volleyball program as an incoming freshman.”