(Editor’s note: Rocky Mountain College media release. This story has been updated from its original version, which included incorrect information in regards to Kyra Oakland’s high school career.)
BILLINGS — One day after being introduced to the position, new Rocky Mountain College volleyball head coach Yang Yang has announced her first two signings.
Montana’s Kyra Oakland and Lainne Wilkins of Washington have each penned a letters of intent for the fall of 2019.
Oakland, a 6-foot outside hitter from Custer County High School in Miles City, was selected first-team all-state in her final season.
“Kyra is very athletic and coachable,” said Yang. “She has natural jumping ability and is aggressive on the court.”
A multi-sport athlete, Oakland was a team captain in volleyball while also competing in basketball and track.
Earning academic all-state honors all four years of high school, Oakland spent her time outside of the classroom volunteering in local youth volleyball programs.
“I chose Rocky because of the location, campus size, and academic programs. The atmosphere of the team and coaching staff is very welcoming and enjoyable,” said Oakland. “The coaches have all been very helpful in this decision. I am proud to earn my degree at Rocky Mountain College and join such a successful volleyball program.”
Oakland is the daughter of Paul and Marie Oakland of Miles City.
Wilkins is from Prairie High School in Vancouver, Wash. The 5-6 setter was selected first-team all-league, first-team all-region, and second-team all-state. During her time as a Falcon, the team finished sixth in the 2018 state tournament and fifth the year prior.
“Lainne is a welcome addition to the Battlin’ Bears volleyball team. She is a seasoned setter that can run a complex offense,” said Yang. “She is a good student-athlete that will fit well into Rocky Mountain College’s academics.”
Wilkins has participated with the NW Reign Volleyball Club for the past seven years.
“Lainne is the kind of athlete you need on the court. She has so much heart and passion that it is infectious,” said Prairie High School head coach Jen Palmer. “Lainne is an incredible leader; leading vocally and through her work ethic. She understands the game and wants to be pushed to her limits.”
For her work in the classroom, Wilkins received the WIAA Distinguished Scholastic award.
Wilkins chose Rocky for their academics programs and athletic programs. “I am super excited to earn my degree from Rocky Mountain College. I have no doubt that Rocky is the perfect fit for me and I can’t wait to be a part of an amazing volleyball program.”
Wilkins is the daughter of John and Tanya Wilkins of Battleground, Wash.