Posted On: 11/22/13 9:06 AM
BELLEVUE – Some of the top high school seniors in Nebraska have committed to continuing their volleyball careers at Bellevue University.
Today, Bellevue West 5-foot-7 senior right side Pimmi Dike will sign with the Bruins. She joins 5-8 outsider Rachel Wald from DC West, 5-11 middle Hope Lambrecht of Wood River and 5-7 defensive specialist Taylor Holz of Omaha Skutt as recent commitments for the Bruins.
At the start of the year, Bellevue University coach Trish Siedlik signed Lincoln Christian setter Hannah Taylor. Thursday evening Siedlik also announced the signings of one of the top outside hitters from southwest Iowa in Treynor’s 5-10 Gracie Myers as well as 6-3 middle Kamille Smith of Midwest City High School in Oklahoma City, OK.
Bellevue is 34-8 this season and won both the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles and will host Trinity Christian in the opening round of the NAIA Volleyball National Championships this Saturday. Bellevue is ranked 17th in the nation and is making its seventh consecutive trip to the national tournament.
Siedlik said she has been actively recruiting Wald for two years and getting her commitment yesterday was a tremendous boost to her program.
“She can tear the cover off the ball,” Siedlik said. “She has power and her volleyball IQ is so high – she understands ball location. She has both power and finesse.”
Wald also spent time as a setter this year for DC West and while that won’t be her focus for the Bruins, Siedlik said that kind of versatility is always important.
“To be able to do both jobs (as an outside and setter) is just amazing,” she said. “She comes from a great family, she’s a great teammate and we’re looking forward to that continuing here.”
With Dike, Siedlik said Bellevue is getting a player whose best volleyball is still to come. Pike is an explosive athlete who didn’t start playing volleyball until her sophomore year of high school.
“She’s a raw talent. I see her on the right side if not the outside and with some time in the weight room and adjusting to the speed of the game, in a couple years I see her being the type of player people talk about,” Siedlik said.
Lambrecht was a key piece of Wood River’s 23-8 team this season.
“She’s not the tallest middle, but she’s fast and quick and energetic,” Siedlik said. “I’ve always wanted a Wood River player. (Wood River coach) Peggy (Heise) does such a great job out there and develops kids with a winning tradition and strong work ethic.”
Holz was a versatile member of coach Renee Saunders’ Skutt team that finished fourth at the Class B state tournament. She was third on the team in kills with 185 and second on the team in digs with 361. Siedlik says she sees Holz primarily as a libero/defensive specialist for the Bruins.
“She’s a fun kid to watch. She always hustles,” Siedlik said. “She’s always been on successful teams at Skutt and at Premier (during the club season).”
Siedlik said she isn’t finished recruiting just yet and is still looking to add one more high-impact player.
Also recently, Lincoln Southwest’s Aftyn Johnson, a 5-foot-7 defensive specialist, committed to walking on at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
Alexis Farris, a 6-foot-1 OH/MH from Bennington has committed to Chadron State. Farris helped lead Bennington to the substate round in Class B and finished her senior season with 221 kills, 431 digs, 47 ace serves and 25 blocks.
“I’m very excited to bring Alexis in and she will be a great addition to our roster,” Chadron State coach Janel Baily said. “She is a very talented six rotation player with great ball control and the ability to terminate offensively. In addition to her presence on the court, I’m also thrilled about whom she is off the court. Alexis is also a very dedicated student, has great character and fits right in with the team’s bubbly personality.”
Wayne State recently signed three Nebraska standouts in Tekamah-Herman’s 6-1 middle Erin Gross, Lincoln Pius X 5-4 libero Bree Ackerman and 5-8 setter/right side Megan Gebhardt of Lutheran High Northeast.
“Bree (Ackerman) is an extremely hard worker who is always looking for ways to make herself and her team better,” Wayne State coach Scott Kneifl said. “She has played a very high level of club and high school volleyball and will train as a libero/defensive specialist at Wayne State.”
This season, Gebhardt recorded 211 kills, 54 service aces, 41 blocks and 505 set assists helping the Eagles to a 23-9 record and a berth in the Class C-2 State Tournament.
“Megan is a very athletic setter that brings a lot of successful volleyball experiences with her to Wayne State,” Kneifl said. “Megan has set in many big games and is a very intelligent player who is an exciting addition to our team.”
Gross is a four-year starter for the Tigers. She helped her team to a school-record 23 wins this season and holds numerous school records including career kills (1,437), blocks (359), serves, points scored and attacks.
“Erin is a very talented front row player with a tremendous upside,” Kneifl said. “Her powerful attacking is a welcome addition to our squad and she will be able to train in multiple positions here at Wayne State.”