VERMILLION, S.D. – South Dakota head volleyball coach Leanne Williamson is pleased to announce the addition of four players set to join the team ahead of the 2020 season. Those athletes include Atley Carey, Brooklyn Schram, Mattie Johnson, Evelyn Diederich.
“We are very excited about this class,” said Williamson. “They come from different areas, but all fit into the Coyote volleyball program. They are driven and competitive in both volleyball and school, but they are also great people. They are people that others enjoy being around. This is the next group to join the Coyote volleyball team that will uphold our standards both on and off the court while continually raising the level of volleyball in our gym. They are excited to join a group that has been so accomplished, and we are excited that they are the next wave of student athletes to continue that standard.”
Information on each athlete follows:
Atley Carey | Middle Blocker | Lincoln, Neb. | Waverly HS
The 6-foot, 2-inch Carey was a four-year letterwinner who helped her Waverly high school team reach the Nebraska Class B state semifinals her senior year. She earned All-Eastern Metro Conference honors twice. Set a school record for hitting percentage in a match with a perfect 100 during a senior season that saw her accumulate 140 kills and a .421 hitting percentage. She totaled 664 kills in her career, hit .289 and had 211 total blocks.
Carey is a member of the National Honors Society and an Academic All-Conference honoree who will study nursing at USD
“Atley is a long middle blocker that will add to our immense depth in that position,” said Williamson. “She is able to run many different routes, including the slide, which will fit into our offensive system really well. Atley has a huge upside that I think we will see early on in her career.”
Evelyn Diederich| Outside Hitter | Overland Park, Kan. | Blue Valley HS
The 5-foot, 8-inch Diederich led her team to a state title as a senior this fall after finishing as runner-up in 2018. She was named to the state tourney all-tourney team following both seasons. She compiled 405 kills, 219 digs and 61 service aces during her senior season while leading the Eastern Kansas League in kills and aces.
The National Honor Society member was named to the Principals Honor Roll for three years and plans to study special education and nursing at USD.
“Evelyn is another fiery player that people will notice,” said Williamson. “She is an undersized outside that plays so much bigger than she is. She is a great jumper that has no fear when she attacks and blocks. She is someone that can definitely play multiple positions for us, so it will be fun to watch her grow and see where she fits in to this team the best.”
Mattie Johnson | Outside Hitter | Potter, Neb. | Sidney HS
The 6-foot Johnson was a six-rotation player at Sidney, leading her team to the state tournament her senior year. She earned first-team All-Western Conference honors as a senior while compiling 494 kills, 473 digs and 73 service aces. The four-year varsity contributor had career totals of 1,363 kills, 1,288 digs and 200 service aces.
The National Honor Society member is a Student Council Class Representative while and a three-year member of the Straight ‘A’ Honor Roll. She plans to study Biology at USD.
“Mattie has a live arm that allows her to score in many situations,” said Williamson. “She has been able to play the whole game throughout her high school and club careers, so her ability to understand the game will help with her transition to the college game. Mattie has a love for the game and she plays with a lot of passion. Her personality on the court is something that drew us to her right away.”
Brooklyn Schram | Setter | Papillion, Neb. | Papillion-La Vista HS
The 5-foot, 11-inch Schram was a four-year starter who helped her high school team reach the state tournament all four seasons. The school’s career assists record holder with 4,055 was named an American Volleyball Coaches Association High School All-Region selection as a senior. She contributed 1,084 assists and 241 digs to a 36-2 senior season for the Monarchs.
The National Honor Society member earned Academic All-State honors as a junior. She plans to study business at USD.
“Brooklyn is a physical setter that understands the game really well,” said Williamson. “Her volleyball IQ is something that sets her apart from other setters in her class. She is someone that will be able to come in here right away and raise the level in our gym. She is a competitor and has a knack for finding ways to win in tough situations. I am looking forward to working with her closely as she learns our offensive scheme within our program.”
All four future Coyotes will enroll and compete for South Dakota in the fall of 2020.