South Dakota School of Mines head volleyball coach Lauren Torvi-Prochazka has announced the signing of five recruits into the Hardrocker program for the 2020-2021 season.
"All five of these young women attended our Prospect Camp this year, which allowed us to see the high level they are capable of competing at", Torvi-Prochazka said. "All five of them blew us away with their knowledge of the game and passion for competing. We believe these ladies will help set a new bar for Hardrocker volleyball and we cannot wait to get them into our gym."
Signing with the Hardrockers are Alyssa Naples, Claire Smith, Emma Miller, Katie Angel and Kiley Metzger.
Naples is a 6-foot-3 middle blocker from Castle Rock, Colo. She plans on majoring in computer science next fall. Naples was a two2-time All-Conference selection, two-time team captain, and three-time scholar athlete award winner. Naples's club took first place in the Northern Lights qualifier in 2019 as well as first place in the Las Vegas Classic in 2018. She will be playing on Front Range's 18-1s team this spring and plans to major in computer science.
"Alyssa is a brilliant young woman who will undoubtedly make an impact at our institution," said Torvi-Prochazka. "She is a very strong, physical middle who has improved drastically in the past year. She is the type of middle that can play at the highest level and take over any match. We are so excited about her ceiling and the growth she will be having this spring playing on one of the best club teams in the nation."
Smith is a 5-7 outside hitter/defensive specialist from Kersey, Colo. She plans on majoring in biomedical engineering. This season Smith was named to the Patriot League 1st team All-Conference, CCGS All State, and team MVP. Smith was a four-time 1st team Academic All State and four-time varsity team member. In 2018, she was voted to the All-Conference 1st Team and 3A All- State Honorable Mention. Smith will be playing on NorCo's 18-1s team this spring.
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"We are so excited about Claire joining our family," Torvi-Prochazka said. "Claire is one of the most dynamic, athletic young woman that I have seen in a long time. She can do anything on the court, and having a utility player at her level will be such a huge asset to our program. Her vision and understanding of the game sets her apart from many others, and after seeing what she could do at our Prospect Camp we had no doubt that she would impact our program greatly."
Miller is a 5-10 outside hitter from Stockton, Calif. She plans on majoring in health sciences next fall. This season, Miller was named to the 1st team All-League, was nominated for league MVP, and broke the 1,000 kills mark this season. In 2018, she was 1st Team All-League, 1st Team All Section, Stockton Record Area All Star and Record Prep Player of the Year Nominee. Miller will be playing for Delta Valley Volleyball Club.
"We are stoked to add Emma to our family," Torvi-Prochazka said. "Emma was on our radar early and impressed us with her knowledge of the game and aggressive mindset. She is a coach's kid and competes with an extremely high volleyball IQ. The level she has been competing at in Northern California has prepared her to be a strong competitor in the RMAC. Her passion for the STEM field and this team makes her a great addition to our program."
Angel is a 5-3 defensive specialist from Caledonia, Illi. She plans on majoring in mechanical engineering next fall. This season Angel was named to the All-Conference First Team, Belvidere North All-Tournament Team. Her high school team won regionals, sectionals, super sectionals, and qualified for the Illinois State Tournament. Angel will play for VC United this club season.
"We are so happy that Katie made the choice to be a Hardrocker," Torvi-Prochazka said. "Katie is a strong defender who will challenge our defensive players immediately. She plays with a relentless pursuit of the ball and has great vision of the game. She is passionate about engineering and I know she will be an impactful woman in the world of STEM by the time she graduates."
Metzger is a 5-10 setter from Rock Rapids, Iowa. She plans on majoring in engineering. This season Metzger was named 1st team All-Conference, All State Honorable Mention, as well as Academic All-Conference and Academic All- State. She also set the school record for career assists with 1,763. Kiley will play for Kairos Elite Volleyball club out of Sioux Falls this season.
"Kiley is the hidden gem of the Midwest," Torvi-Prochazka said. "She is a multi-sport athlete who has not even tipped the scale on her volleyball ceiling. We are so excited about her growth as a Hardrocker and the competition she will bring to our setting position. She is tall and strong making her a big offensive and defensive threat, which is a type of setter our program has not had in many years. Kiley is also an extremely high academic young woman who will fit in perfectly with our family."