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The South Dakota School of Mines women’s volleyball head coach Lauren Torvi has announced the signing of seven players to the 2019 roster.

“We’ve been working diligently on this recruiting class since we got started here in June,” Torvi said. “It’s been very exciting and we’ve gotten a lot of young women on campus that have been able to see the value in our institution and the members of our program”

Those players include: Anna Thomas, a 5-foot-5 defensive specialist from Fort Worth, Texas; Chelsea Brewster, a 5-11 outside hitter from Mitchell; Dejah Behrend, a 5-11 middle hitter from Surprise, Arizona; Lily Bartling, a 6-1 outside hitter from Sioux Falls;  Victoria Zagorski, a 6-1 right side hitter from Germantown, Wisconsin and Kassie Luce, a 5-7 defensive specialist from Meeker, Colorado; Krissie Luce, a 5-7 defensive specialist from Meeker.

Thomas was named the District Defensive MVP, First Team All-District; a Dale Hanson Scholar Athlete of the Week; and was voted one of the Top 5 Liberos in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area by Dallas News. On top of her many athletic accolades, she also ranks No. 1 in her graduating class.

Brewster was named Under Armor All American Honorable Mention; Max Preps Player of the Week; First Team All-State; Argus Super Six Second Team; All-State Tournament Team; ESD All-Conference First Team; South Dakota All-Star Team; Republic Player of the Year; and was a finalist for Miss South Dakota Volleyball.

Behrend was named First Team All-Region; and Second Team All-District. She was also a Team Captain; and First Team All-Conference 1st team.

Kassie Luce  was a First Team All-State; All-Conference; and CCGS All-State selection. On top of a great indoor career, Kassie also competed at the USAV National Beach Championships in 2018.

Krisie Luce was named First Team All-State, All-Conference; and CCGS All-State. On top of a notable indoor season, Krissie took first place at the King of the Mountain Outdoor Tournament and placed 17th at the USAV National Beach Championships.

Bartling was named Adrenaline Player of the Year; Argus Super Six First Team; First Team All-State, State All-Tournament Team; SD All-Star Team; was a finalist for Miss South Dakota Volleyball; and is up for Gatorade Player of the Year. Along with this long list of accolades, Lily also broke Sioux Falls Washington’s career kills record.

Zagorski was a D1 Greater Metro Conference Honorable Mention; a Hawk-Eye Award Recipient; and was named to the Wisconsin Volleyball Coaches Association All-Academic Team.

Torvi added that the Hardrocker volleyball program is looking to add additional student athletes but feel the current commits are the cream of the crop.

“I’m really excited about this class. One of the biggest goals of Coach (Savannah) Cox and I was to find young women that are incredibly talented that play for championship level programs and want to greatly impact the world through a  Mines degree,” Torvi said. “We feel we’ve found seven of those types of young women. We are all very excited about the future of Hardrocker volleyball."

Benedict signs for BHSU volleyball

Black Hills State University volleyball coach Kristin Carmichael has announced the signing of Jessica Benedict for the 2019-20 year.

Benedict is a 6-1 middle hitter from Wright, Wyoming. She comes to BHSU from Laramie County Community College, where she helped lead the team to the NJCAA National Tournament in both 2017 and 2018. She recorded 117 kills her sophomore year, and 208 in a freshman year which saw her make the All-Star Game. She was an All-State Player at Wright High School.

"Jessica joins us following very successful careers at the high school and junior college levels; she knows how to win. She brings a great court presence both physically and emotionally," said Carmichael. "Jessica is very enthusiastic and competitive, and adds power and height to our front row. She adds maturity and experience and experience to our roster and really fits in well with our team culture. We expect Jessica to make an immediate impact for us offensively and defensively."

Black Hills state adds Brauer to roster

Black Hills State University cross country coach Scott Walkinshaw has announced that Collin Brauer will join the Yellow Jackets next year.

Brauer is a native of Sidney, Nebraska. He is a four-time state qualifier, and his senior year, he helped lead Sidney High School to its first State Cross Country Championship to culminate a season in which the team won nine consecutive meets. He was a district champion, and also medaled for a second time at state, placing fifth.

"We liked Collin when he came up to visit and have since heard so many good things about him," said Walkinshaw. "We are very excited that he is coming to Black Hills State University."

BHSU triathlon team adds Hirschi

The Black Hills State University women's triathlon team has added Hannah Hirschi for next year, coach Connie Feist announced recently.

Hirschi is 5-5 and from Billings, Montana. She is a three-year captain of the Skyview High School cross country team, as well as acting as captain of the swim team and track and field teams her senior year. She is the 2018 Montana High School Triathlon Champion, and was 14th in her age group at the National Triathlon Age Group Championships in 2017. She has earned Academic All-State honors in cross country, swimming, and track and field. Hirschi has qualified four times for the state tournament in both cross country and swimming.

"We are so happy to have Hannah join our team. She has a strong running and swimming background combined with triathlon experience," said Feist. "We expect her to adapt very well to our training volume and contribute greatly to our team make up."

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Sports Editor

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.