Chadron State College Head Volleyball Coach Riann Mullis announced on Tuesday the signing of seven future Eagles who will join her program in the fall.
Three players from Colorado, two from Nebraska, and one each from Kansas and Texas will be added to the roster for the 2017 season.
Megan Chintala, of Fleming, Colorado, is a 5-3 defensive specialist currently attending North Platte Community College. While at NPCC she garnered 2016 All-Region IX honors and was on the 2015 All-Tournament Team. In her career with the Lady Knights, Chintala recorded 1263 digs, which is seventh on the NPCC all-time list for most digs in a career. Her Fleming High team was the Colorado 1A champion twice, and she earned First Team All-State while in high school.
“Megan’s strong junior college background is going to help our team advance on the defensive end,” said Mullis. “She is a very high-energy defensive specialist and I feel that though that is going to have a positive impact on our team comradery.”
Another junior college product, Andria Dowell, is a native of Sterling, Kansas, and has attended Allen County Community College for the past two years. She is the third student-athlete from her conference to join the CSC program since Mullis, who both played and coached in the league, was hired at Chadron State a year ago. Dowell earned All-Conference honorable mention and All-District Second Team honors in 2016 as an outside hitter who was ninth in the conference in total kills. The versatile 5-9 player averaged a double-double her sophomore season, recording 3.43 kills and 3.81 digs per set, to total more than 10 per match in both categories.
“Andria comes from a very competitive background,” said Mullis. “Being a three-sport standout throughout high school and playing for Allen County has a helped her become a very well-rounded athlete. I’m excited about Andi bringing her athleticism and experience to our volleyball program. I definitely believe it will help us progress in a positive direction.”
Keshia Ellwanger will add length to the Eagles’ front line, standing 6-1 as a hitter. The in-state prospect hails from Hastings, Nebraska, and competed for Central Community College in Columbus in 2015 and 2016, where she helped her team to a NJCAA Division II Region IX championship as a sophomore. She was named to the 2016 All-Region IX Team, and garnered honorable mention from the Omaha World-Herald on the All-Nebraska two-year squad. Ellwanger balanced offensive productivity with accuracy, recording 3.16 kills per set with a rather efficient hitting percentage of .270.
“Keshia is a great addition for Eagle volleyball,” said Mullis. “Central Community College has consistently been a powerhouse volleyball program, and it’s one I have respected for years. Having played for a nationally-ranked program, Keshia will be able to bring that competitive experience to our program. At a solid 6’1″, her height and power will be able to progress our team to the next level.”
Megan Godsey, of Wray, Colorado, earned Second Team All-State honors last fall after completing her senior season at outside and middle hitter. She led her team and ranked 14th in the state with 397 digs while adding 264 kills and 25 total blocks. Wray High’s star led her team to the district finals and the state tournament in 2016. The 5-8 athlete also competed in basketball as well as track and field, where she was a two-time state triple jump champion.
“Megan will be a solid addition to our program,” said Mullis. “Coming in as a freshman we are excited to see Megan’s skill set growth contribute to our offensive and defensive systems. Megan has had success as both a volleyball and track athlete and we are looking for that experience to make an impact.”
Another 2A star from Colorado, McKenna Hartigan is a 6-0 middle blocker from her hometown of Hotchkiss, where she earned All-State First Team as a senior in 2016 for Paonia High. She was a force at the net in her final two seasons, accumulating 172 total blocks for an average of nearly a block per set. Hartigan also excelled in service her senior season, dropping in 76 aces to average almost one per set in that category as well. She added 3.2 kills per set, with an outstanding hitting percentage of .335, which was 11th best in 2A and 30th in the entire state of Colorado.
“We are very excited to have McKenna as part of our Eagle Family,” said Mullis. “She’s a very strong addition to our program with her volleyball skillset and knowledge. McKenna is going to be a very explosive and powerful attacker to watch. We are looking forward to the impact she will have on our program.”
Carrie Jones is another in-state talent from the town of Broken Bow in central Nebraska. The 6-0 middle blocker attended Broken Bow High, where she was a three-sport athlete competing in volleyball, basketball, and track and field. She made the All-Southwest Conference Second Team in 2016 after averaging 0.9 blocks per set and 2.5 kills per set, leading her team in blocks each of the past two seasons. For her career she amassed 324 total kills, 131 total blocks, and 13 aces for the Indians. Jones also earned All-State honorable mention in both 2016 and 2017, and averaged a double-double her senior season with 12.4 points and 10 rebounds per game.
“Carrie will bring a lot of natural ability to our program,” said Mullis. “We’re excited to have a regional, incoming freshman to our roster. Carrie has a lot of natural athletic ability being a three sport athlete and I feel that is going to bring a strong dynamic to our program with her being a middle hitter.”
Finally, the addition of Aijahnae Springs to the roster makes the class complete. Springs, a 5-10 hitter from McCook Community College, is originally from Converse, Texas, outside of San Antonio. Her 3.49 kills per set in 2016 ranked second in NJCAA Region IX, landing her All-Region honors. She was also named to the All-Tournament Team following the postseason, in which she recorded 22 kills, 39 digs, and two blocks in two matches. Springs attended Judson High, where she was named to the All-District Second Team following her senior season.
“Aijahnae has a very strong pedigree and volleyball background,” said Mullis. “Her athleticism and explosiveness is very exciting to watch. I believe she will be an impact hitter for us across the net and I am excited to watch her grow within our program.”
The seven from spring signing period make nine total additions to the program, after Karli Noble, of Cheyenne, and Mickey Trimble of Platte City, Missouri, came aboard in the fall. Trimble enrolled at CSC in the spring term and has practiced with the team since January.