(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS -- Three high school recruits will join the Montana State University Billings volleyball team for the 2021-22 academic year, announced head coach Casey Williams on Monday.
Three-sport Choteau standout Christine Funk is Montana's lone signee with the Jackets at this point. Funk was a four-year letter-winner as a libero and setter on the volleyball team.
Christine Funk | Defensive Specialist/Libero | Choteau, Montana | Choteau High School
A three-sport standout for the Bulldogs, Funk was a four-year letterwinner as a libero and setter on the volleyball team. In her most recent season on the court, Funk was a first-team all-state selection and unanimous conference most valuable player. She competed in the Montana all-star game, and was a Class B all-tournament selection at state.
She is a three-time first-team all-state pick overall and two-time conference MVP, while captaining the volleyball team. Funk was also a four-year letterwinner in basketball and three-year letterwinner in tennis at Choteau High. In basketball she was a first-team all-state pick and offensive MVP, and in tennis she was a first-team all-state pick and a state doubles champion. Funk was also an academic all-state selection in all three sports.
Coach Williams on Funk: “Christine is a great addition to our program. She comes from a winning tradition and will bring a ton of competitiveness to our roster. Christine is a relentless defender and has a great work ethic.”
Funk on choosing MSUB: “I chose Montana State University Billings because of the coaches and the other players currently in the program. I also chose Billings because of the distance from my hometown; it’s not too close and not too far.”
Tiffany Chandler | Outside Hitter/Right Side/Defensive Specialist | La Center, Washington | La Center High School
Chandler was a four-year letterwinner in volleyball, where she played all over the court as one of the most versatile players on her team. She was the Class 1A Trico League co-Offensive Player of the Year, and was a second-team all-state selection as a junior. Her sophomore year she was a first-team all-league pick, after earning honorable mention as a freshman. She also earned her team’s MVP and Most Improved awards.
Chandler established the school single-match record for kills with 28, and then broke it with 45 during a league championship match. In total she had 593 kills, 45 blocks, 98 service aces, 752 digs, and 48 assists in her prep career. She earned a spot on the USA Continental junior women’s team in the summer of 2019. One of her top performances came at the 2020 Nashville national qualifier, where she had a three-game hitting percentage of .850 in the 18 Open Division.
Chandler also competed in wrestling for one season, placing third at the district tournament to earn a spot in regionals as a freshman.
Coach Williams on Chandler: “Tiffany is an explosive player and brings such great energy to the gym. She was a standout at camp and brought a really high level of volleyball to the gym. She is an eager, coachable, and dynamic player. Tiffany is going to make us better both in the gym and out of it. She is a great addition to our Yellowjacket volleyball family.”
Chandler on choosing MSUB: “I chose Montana State Billings because of the people and the place. Not only are the school, buildings, and dorm views beautiful, the people are too. The campus and city of Billings reminds me of home. The first day walking into the summer camp, I was greeted with smiles and welcomes. Within the first day, the players talked and made me feel so welcomed. Just in the three days at camp, I had much improvement with the coaching from the girls, and Coach Casey and Coach Mo. I left that camp with nothing but happiness and excitement for my future at MSUB, as well as a few tips from the coaches to work on when I got back home. The hands-on coaching and just general involvement really made it no doubt in my mind about choosing Montana State University Billings.”
Briel Norman | Setter | Knoxville, Tennessee | Carter High School
A four-year letterwinner at Carter High School, Norman spent time both as a setter and outside hitter under head coach Rachel Meyers. She was named player of the year and most valuable player as a senior, and was an all-region tournament team selection. Norman was all-district MVP as a junior, and was a three-time all-district tournament team selection.
The team captain led her squad to a district championship and sub-state appearance for the first time in school history during her senior campaign.
Coach Williams on Norman: “When Briel attended camp this year, I was super intrigued by her size, physicality, and high volleyball IQ. Briel plays for a great club and will bring a ton of great experience to our setting position. I can’t wait to have her in the gym.”
Norman on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because they had everything I wanted academically and athletically in a college. I loved the community and the city is beautiful. I can't wait to see what Montana has to offer.”