Four New Jackrabbits Join Volleyball This Summer
BROOKINGS, S.D.—Fall classes are just over a month away and four new South Dakota State Jackrabbits are already on campus for summer school and training with the volleyball team in preparation for the 2014 season.
SDSU volleyball coach Phil McDaniel welcomed Jessi Henter, who signed a National Letter of Intent in November, Ellie Benson, Samantha Boeck and Jasmine Richardson to campus in July.
“Having the players here in the summer is huge. It’s a volunteer thing. They are here to get a jump on classes and to work out with coach (Nathan) Moe. They aren’t allowed to work out with any of the coaches while they are here. What it does is get them eight weeks of lifting with our strength coach before we even get on the court,” fourth-year head coach Phil McDaniel said. “They play once or twice a week as a team, get the lingo down, what we call certain sets, how we play defense. We don’t have to start from square one in August when we start fall camp.”
Henter is a setter from Clive, Iowa. At West Des Moines Dowling Catholic, she finished her career with 2,321 assists, 325 kills, 199 service aces, 441 digs, 22 solo blocks and 142 block assists. Henter earned first team all-state twice and was ranked third in the state in Class 5A in assists per set in 2012.
“Jessi comes in from a strong high school program as a setter. She has very good hands and makes good decisions,” McDaniel said. “She is going to be a very good setter for us. She is going to be in there right away as a freshman. She is a natural leader so I expect her to do very well this fall.”
Boeck is a freshman middle hitter from Arlington, where she saw a great deal of success on the high school level. She helped the Cardinals to the 2010 state title; a pair of runner-up finishes in 2011 and 2012 and third place in 2013. The 5-foot-11 Boeck adds height to the position.
“She is very good off the floor, fast and jumps very well. She’s going to see some time in the middle with two very good mentors ahead of her who can show her the ropes,” McDaniel said. “She is a very bright player. She makes smart decisions and also works very hard.”
Benson and Richardson are defensive specialists that will give the Jackrabbits more players on the back row.
Benson averaged over eight digs per match while earning first-team all-state honors at Washington High School in Sioux Falls while Richardson earned All-North Suburban Conference honorable mention as a senior.
“Ellie is just a natural born leader. She is going to come in and impact our locker room right way. She will be a factor for this team at some point in her career. Whether it’s her freshman year or somewhere down the line, she will have an immediate impact on our locker room,” McDaniel said. “Jasmine is going to work hard. She has a nose for the ball. She gets good touches on the ball. I expect her to come in and compete, pushing our defensive specialists, making them better on the court as a group.