Members of regional champion volleyball team sign letters of intent
Three members of Northwest College's Region IX North champion volleyball program have signed letters of intent to continue their playing careers at various four-years institutions.
Brianna Reed becomes the second member of last year's Trapper program to sign a letter of intent with an NCAA Division I member. Reed will suit up next season for the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, completing a rarely-seen journey.
“Brianna started her playing career at Northwest College as a walk-on,” noted Trapper head coach Flavia Siqueira. “She walked on for me as a freshman. As a sophomore she was a team captain, and now she'll be going Division I. It really says a lot about how hard she works and how much time she has put into improving as a volleyball player.”
Arkansas-Pine Bluff suffered through a winless campaign in 2009, meaning Reed will be looked upon to contribute immediately. UAPB head coach La'Kyva Walton notes Reed will be called upon as a libero and defensive specialist for the program.
“This was a great opportunity for me to continue to play,” said Reed, who originally came to Northwest College from nearby Lander. “My visit there was really nice, and I was impressed by their new coach.”
Reed joins Irelis Ilarraza as members of the 2009 Trapper volleyball team to move on to the Division I ranks. Ilarraza will play at Florida Gulf Coast next season.
Also inking a letter of intent during the spring signing period was middle hitter Katie Gregg, who will take her game to a powerhouse NCAA Division II program next season. Gregg will join a University of West Alabama squad that posted a 30-8 record last year and which has not lost a match on its home floor in more than a season.
“They have a really good team,” said Gregg, who opted to attend UWA over an offer at a Division I school. “They contacted me after we got back from the Miami tournament this season and the coach watched me again when we were at the national tournament.”
In making the transition from Northwest College to West Alabama, Gregg will move from playing for one member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association's Thirty Under 30 award list — Northwest College's Flavia Siqueira — to another — West Alabama head coach Tabitha Turner.
“Both of these girls were seen in part because we attended the tournament in Miami this year,” said Siqueira. “That's one of the reasons we like to make that trip every other year.”
The last member of the Trappers' roster to make a decision with regard to next season is Kayla Propes, who will join Southern Wesleyan University in South Carolina. Propes, like Reed, will serve as a defensive specialist with her new club.
“It is amazing how many of us are heading that way,” Propes said of the migration of Trapper players to the southeastern United States. “It is a great opportunity.”
Propes is one of the first signings by new Southern Wesleyan head coach Jennifer Ellis. Ellis was announced as the new head volleyball coach at SWU in late March. Southern Wesleyan posted an 8-22 overall record last season. The program is an NAIA member institution.