Aug 12th, 2012 @ 1:55 pm | Author: Viking Sports Admin
As you look at the Viking volleyball team this fall you will see a lot of new faces. You will see six returners; senior Jill Noeske (Valley City, ND), juniors Anna Neufeld (Steinbach, MB Canada), Aurissa Martens (Manitou, MB Canada), and sophomores Kaitlyn Heuring (Winnipeg, MB Canada), Alley Theroux (Cold Lake, AB Canada), Jen Wettstein (Lidgerwood, ND). The remaining 10 consist of nine freshmen and one transfer student. Makenna Castor (Northglenn, CO), Barbara Ector (Elbow, SK Canada), Rachel Hummel (West Fargo, ND), Madison Johnston (Rocanville, SK Canada), Kelsey Labodi (Calgary, AB Canada), Stephanie Miller (Esko, MN), Jacey Otterson (Kindred, ND), Cassidy Taylor (Rocanville, SK Canada), Emily Plowman (Simi Valley, CA), and transfer Gianesi Tarafa (Winnemucca, NV) coming from the College of Central Florida.

Head Coach Susan Kolbow is looking forward to working with a full roster. 'This is the first season where I will have options!' says Kolbow. 'This will allow for competitive practices where each athlete will have to fight for their position.'

Makenna Castor (outside hitter/defensive specialist) is a three sport athlete in high school from Northglenn, Co. Castor was a letter winner in volleyball, basketball, and soccer, she was an All-Conference athlete in both volleyball and soccer. In her senior season, Makenna managed to rack up All-Conference MVP, Player of the Year and All-State Team. She was involved in student council and a member of the homecoming court for three years. In her spare time, Makenna volunteers helping in children's ministries, Operation Christmas Child, and Precious Child Organization. 'Makenna will be a red shirt for us this year, so I am looking forward to seeing her develop throughout the year,' says Coach Kolbow.

Barbara Ector (outside/right side hitter) was an honor roll student throughout high school and two sport athlete. Ector has been playing volleyball since age 12 and has won two West Central Championships and three provincial titles in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Barbara participated in club volleyball with JVCV, where she was instrumental in leading her team to three provincial silver medals in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Ector plans on studying business at VCSU. 'Barbara has a great arm swing and great footwork, I will be looking forward to her to show her offensive strengths this year,' contributed Kolbow.

Rachel Hummel (middle/right side hitter) is a two year letter winner in volleyball and basketball from West Fargo, ND. 'Rachel is tall and coordinated; she has a great one foot take off and is an excellent blocker,' continued Kolbow. 'She is a great addition and will add to our dominating net play.' In 2011, Hummel was awarded to the All-Tournament State Team in volleyball. Last year, the West Fargo Packers finished 5th in state class A for volleyball and 2nd for basketball. In 2012, she received the most improved award for basketball. While at Valley City State University, Hummel plans to double major in Health Science and Biology.

Madison Johnston (outside/right side hitter) has been instrumental force on the volleyball court since the 7th grade. She has been a part of many club teams and while on those teams she has been a kill leader and a team player. Johnston has MVP awards along with a handful of trips to provincial finishes. Madison also has plenty of sand volleyball experience; in 2010 she was awarded a bronze medal for ladies beach volleyball. 'Madison is another offensive weapon that I am looking forward to training this fall,' says Kolbow.

Kelsey Labodi (outside hitter/defensive specialist) is a very athletic addition to the Viking family; she has been playing club volleyball the last two years. Labodi is a competitive indoor rock climber and has placed at the national level. She also placed first in divisionals for high jump and was named captain of the basketball team. Kelsey consistently worked to find herself of the honor roll, she is looking to major in Physical Education. 'Kelsey may only have two years of volleyball experience but her athleticism more than makes up for her lack of experience on the court,' adds Coach Kolbow.

Stephanie Miller (setter) comes to Valley City from Esko, MN. She played all four years at Esko High School, where she was voted team captain her senior year. She has garnered All Conference and All Tournament Team honors along with Academic All State and All Conference awards. 'Stephanie will be a great asset to our system,' commented Coach Kolbow. 'She brings great court knowledge and athleticism to the Viking family.' Stephanie plans on majoring in Elementary Education at Valley City State University.

Jacey Otterson (setter/defensive specialist) is a four year starter in volleyball with over 3,000 setting assists in her career. A three time All-District team member, Otterson worked hard to make the All-Region and All-State teams during her senior year. She was also selected to play in the Lions All Star Game. 'Jacey is very determined and will fulfill some much needed depth in the setting position,' says Kolbow. Otterson plans on majoring in English Education and minoring in Music.

Emily Plowman (defensive specialist) is a two-time All Marmonte League selection team member and has lead her high school team to the L.A. Watts Summer Games Championships in 2011. Plowman hit career highs her senior year defending the back court with 256 digs and a 2.29 reception average. In 2012, Emily was selected to play in the Ventura County East/West All-Star Game. 'Emily is a spark plug of energy in the back row with an excellent platform. Her high level club playing experience will bring in some much needed experience for us in the back row,' contributed Coach Kolbow.

Gianesi Tarafa (middle/right side hitter) has transferred to the Vikings from the College of Central Florida. Volleyball is a huge part of Tarafa's life; she started playing volleyball on a whim and it quickly became a huge part of her life. Gianesi has received first and second team selections in the states of Nevada and Idaho in both her junior and senior years. 'Gianesi has excellent blocking form and should be a force at the net,' adds Coach Kolbow.

Cassidy Taylor (middle/right side hitter) is a three sport athlete in volleyball, ice hockey, and track and field. Taylor has played volleyball the last six years. During those years, she was a regular in the MVP spotlight. She has paired up with long time teammate, Madison Johnston, on the beach medaling in several tournaments on the sand. Cassidy placed 6th in the Province for javelin. Academically, Taylor received an Award of Distinction in each of her high school years. 'Cassidy will be a great offensive weapon for us, she brings a heavy hand. Her intensity will be valued on the court,' concludes Kolbow.

The Vikings will be hosting a triangular August 18th with Jamestown College and Waldorf College. Opening match is at noon against Waldorf College, followed by Jamestown College at 2:00 PM in Graichen Gymnasium.