BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University’s volleyball team announced two late new additions to the 2012 squad on Friday afternoon. Kayla DeJong (Fr., DS/OH, Jefferson, Wis.) and Alexandra Peterson (Fr., OH, Harmony, Minn.) will complete a six-player freshman class for the Beavers, who will begin practicing on Sunday under third-year head coach Wayne Chadwick.
All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
DeJong comes to BSU from Jefferson High School in Wisconsin, where she earned All-Rock Valley Conference First Team honors, as well as the her team’s MVP award in her senior year. The 5-9 defensive specialist also competed for the Milwaukee Sting 17 club team that won the National Junior Classic championship.
“[DeJong] is a very good athlete and was another kid that we found late in the process during the summer. I think she’s primarily going to fill a defensive role for us,” said Chadwick. “She was picked up by the Milwaukee Sting, one of the top club teams in the country, to go to nationals this summer. I think that says something for her abilities.”
Peterson, a 5-11 outside hitter from Harmony, Minn., starred at Fillmore High School in volleyball, basketball, and softball, earning team most valuable player and all-conference honors in each sport.
“[Peterson] was another kid that came to us late over the summer,” said Chadwick. “I had the opportunity to see her play and I liked what I saw. I think she has a lot of potential for growth. She’s a strong kid and I think she’s only going to get stronger and I’m looking forward to seeing what she can do for us offensively.”
BSU’s two newest additions will be welcomed to a young team that only lost two seniors and will bring back several players who were key cogs in 2011. Aside from senior Bethany Thompson (OH, Owatonna, Minn.), who was named a 2012 NSIC Player to Watch, and Halee Staskivige (Jr., DS, Northwood, N.D), all the players on the team are either freshmen or sophomores.
Five freshmen started matches for BSU last season, highlighted by Rachel Craig (So., MB, Wadena, Minn.), who was Bemidji State’s 2011-12 Female Newcomer of the Year and started all 28 matches. DeJong and Peterson will join Courtney Fox (DS, Hutchinson, Minn.), Chelsea Frison (MB, Whitewater, Wis.), Ashley Kiecker (S, Hector, Minn.), and Molly Monohan (OH, Hutchinson, Minn.) as first-year players for Bemidji State.
The Beavers open play with matches against Northwest Oklahoma and Emporia State in the Pittsburg State Gorilla Classic in Pittsburg, Kan. on Aug. 31.