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NWC Trappers announce volleyball recruiting class

Northwest College volleyball coach Shaun Pohlman announced his 2012 recruiting class for the Trappers. The second-year skipper of the Trappers has inked six players to letters of intent for this autumn.

Joining Trapper volleyball this fall will be:

• Nicci Bloomer, Bakersfield, Calif., played for Frontier High School and brings an unparalleled work ethic to Powell. Bloomer was honored as a three-time Titan Award winner, given by her school to players who have perfect workout and practice attendance over the course of a year. She is also a two-time Yosemite League honorable mention selection.

“Nicci plays with a high level club team,” Pohlman noted, adding that her club was a 2012 national tournament qualifier. “She also has played against the toughest club teams in the nation.”

Pohlman refers to Bloomer as a “top-notch” blocker, noting that one of her club teammates has inked a letter of intent to play for perennial volleyball power Nebraska.

“She faces that every day in practice,” said Pohlman.

Bloomer appeared destined for a Division I offer, but saw that dream derailed by a knee injury.

“She’s a very determined player with something to prove,” Pohlman said. “She is ready to grow and improve so she can fulfill those Division I dreams. She’s shown great dedication to her recovery.”

“Right when I came to visit the school, I fell in love with the campus, the girls and the coaching staff,” said Bloomer. “NWC will get me to the next level of college volleyball.”

• Mikaela Heble, from Parker, Colo., comes to Northwest College from one of the nation’s elite high school volleyball programs in Chaparral High School. Heble was part of state championship programs in 2010 and 2011, including an undefeated season last fall that resulted in the team being ranked No. 5 nationally.

Heble was an academic all-state first team selection and a Continental League honorable mention selection.

“Mikaela comes from one of the most elite high school volleyball programs in the country,” said Pohlman. “She is very mature and rational in her thinking as a player.”

Heble turned down a full-ride offer from Chadron State to compete for Northwest College.

“I chose NWC because it felt like home,” said Heble. “The school is a perfect fit for me and I am so excited to represent NWC and be an asset to the Trapper volleyball program.”

• Ashlee Ryan, Vernal, Utah, joins Northwest College after a strong career at Uintah High School. Ryan served as the team captain for both her high school and her club volleyball team and is called an example of “great things come in small packages” by Pohlman.

“She is the type of player every coach needs on their team,” Pohlman said. “You really have to see her play to appreciate everything she has to offer. She is incredibly fast, and people’s jaws are going to drop when they see her jump. She’s a foot shorter than our tallest player, but with her jump she can be fingertip-to-fingertip blocking with her.”

Ryan has a 32-inch vertical jump, according to Pohlman.

Ashlee has ties to Northwest College athletics. Her cousin, Taylor Ryan, was the Trapper Award for Excellence recipient and a member of the NWC women’s basketball program for two seasons.

• Triniti Taylor, Taylorsville, Utah, was the co-MVP of her Region in 2011 and was a second-team all-state, first team all-region selection in 2010. Taylor was selected to Utah’s 5A All-Star Volleyball Game after helping her team place third at state. She also plays as a member of the Utah Peak Performance club team.

“Triniti is a consistent setter and she’s mature and intelligent as a person and as an athlete,” Pohlman said. “She had multiple offers to play the sport in college and we are honored that she chose to be a Trapper next season. She isn’t your fastest or tallest player in the gym, but she will out-work, out-hustle and out-smart most players.”

Pohlman also noted that Taylor has received high-level coaching and training in the sport that should ease her transition into the college game.

• Kayla Van Hee, Centennial, Colo., is a two-time all-Centennial League honorable mention, earning that honor in both the 2010 and 2011 seasons. She helped lead Arapahoe High School to its fist-ever appearance in the Colorado state tournament.

“Kayla comes here with volleyball in her blood,” said Pohlman. “Her mom is a high school coach and Kayla’s entire family runs a club, so she helps coach younger teams. I’ve come to find that when you coach, it is easier to be coached, and when you teach, you also learn.”

Van Hee was attracted to Northwest College by both the opportunity to play volleyball and the school’s athletic training program.

• Felicity Zegarelli, Pueblo, Colo., played for Pueblo County High School, where she compiled 204 kills, 70 digs and 43 ace serves last season to be named team MVP. She is a three-time all-conference selection from the South Central League and was twice named SCL player of the year.

“Felicity is a diamond in the rough,” said Pohlman. “She can do it all, and I feel she was overlooked by some colleges. Her resume is a tell-all and I believe she will add a needed impact to our pin positions because she’s an athletic, versatile, strong and confident player.”

Pohlman noted that Zegarelli has a tremendous opportunity coming to campus in the pre-season.

“If she takes advantage of the opportunities, the question isn’t going to be if she will grow and develop, the question is going to be how much,” said Pohlman.

Despite being hired late in the recruiting window last year, Pohlman directed the Trappers to a 15-17 record in his first season in Powell, including a 7-7 mark in the rugged Region IX North. Northwest College will serve as the host for this year’s Region IX North volleyball tournament.

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