Montana State Sports Information release
BOZEMAN — Carina Lehto, a 5-10 native of Lempäälä, Finland and who recently completed her freshman season at Mississippi State, will transfer to Montana State and be eligible to play in the fall, MSU head coach Daniel Jones announced on Monday.
Lehto, a 5-10 setter, played in 52 sets for Mississippi State last fall and dished out a season-best 40 assists against Tennessee. In all, Lehto tallied 174 assists, averaging 3.35 per set. Defensively, she posted 42 digs, averaging .81 saves. Lehto registered a season-high eight digs against Houston.
“To say we are excited about the addition of Carina is an understatement,” Jones said. “She brings a level of experience at the setter position that is very hard to replicate. Her understanding of the game, growing up in a volleyball family, is unquestioned.”
Lehto was the 2016 starting setter for the Finnish U19 National Team in the European Championship qualification tournament and was one of four setters invited to the Finnish National team camp in 2017. She played club ball for Rantaperkiön Isku and helped the team to third place in the U20 National Championships in 2016 and 2017. For her efforts, Lehto was selected as a setter to the National Championship tournament all-star team.
“Carina has plotted a course for her career well beyond her college years, which is exciting as she has big goals that will help us achieve ours,” Jones said. “Her experience playing internationally with the Finnish National Team will provide great value to our gym. Her passion for the game and dedication to becoming her best immediately raises the standard of our program. The team loved her, and we are all anxious to get her on campus.”
Lehto is the daughter of Joni Lehto and Virpi Ollila. Her mother Virpi played collegiate volleyball at Brigham Young, while her father Joni was a professional hockey player.
Carina Lehto Cah-REEN-ah LEH-toe