Carroll College head volleyball coach Moe Boyle announced the final signing of the 2014-15 class as middle blocker Crystal Schmidt, formerly of Blue Mountain Community College has committed to the Fighting Saints.
The 6-foot Hermiston, Ore. product comes to Helena with numerous accolades and exceptional playing experience at the community college level.
“Crystal has already demonstrated uncommon maturity and is the type of leader who understands winning and will make an immediate impact for us on the court and in the locker room,” Boyle said.
At Blue Mountain (Pendleton, Ore.), Schmidt was a key contributor on two NWAACC championship teams and was selected to the 1st team NWAACC during both campaigns as well as garnering 1st team All-America honors as a sophomore.
“We are so excited to have Crystal in the fold. She will be able to step in upfront and provide us with exceptional ability, experience and a winning attitude,” Boyle said.
As a sophomore, Schmidt ranked third in the NWAACC in hitting percentage (.379) and tallied 367 kills in 57 sets. Schmidt’s 3.25 kills per set and 48 blocks were crucial to the Timberwolves success.
To cap her community college career off, Schmidt was recognized as the 2013 Baden Athlete of the Year for Volleyball.
Prior to attending Blue Mountain, Schmidt was a standout three-sport athlete at Hermiston High School in basketball, track and field and volleyball.
Schmidt will study business administration at Carroll and is considering competing in track and field once she is settled in on the hilltop.
“I hope to bring a calm, collected presence to the team and help us make a statement this season in the league and hopefully nationals,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt is the Fighting Saints fifth and final signing of the offseason. Schmidt joins Marija Nicksic, Mallory Arbizzani, Holly Morehouse and Catherine Sloan as the new faces coming to Carroll this fall.
“We definitely improved with our signings. The players coming in will move us in a positive direction and with the maturity of our freshman class, we will be further along then where we left off last season,” Boyle said.
Carroll College head volleyball coach Moe Boyle announced Monday, that Holly Morehouse of Anchorage, Alaska has committed to play for the Fighting Saints this upcoming season.
Morehouse, a 6-foot right outside hitter was selected 1st-team All-State in Alaska during her junior and senior seasons at South Anchorage High School and was also a 2013 All-Region honoree.
“Holly is a very good player, she had an exceptional high school career and also had tremendous success at the club level. Her attitude and expectation for success will help our team in the fall,” Boyle said.
The decorated Alaskan also was selected to the All-Tournament Team in the Nike Tournament of Champions held in Arizona the past two seasons. While at South Anchorage, Morehouse was a captain on South Anchorage’s 4A State Champion team and four-year academic letter award recipient.
“Holly will definitely compete for time, we lost some great senior contributors up front and we expect her to come in and contribute from day one. We are truly fortunate to have someone with her ability excited to dawn the purple and gold,” Boyle added.
Morehouse has a 3.8 GPA and will graduate magna cum laude and will consider Carroll’s nursing program and avenues to work with special needs individuals in her academic pursuits.
“I am impressed with the academic opportunities Carroll has to offer and I really felt the friendliness of coach Boyle, the players, students and staff on my visit,” Morehouse said.
Morehouse becomes the fourth Fighting Saint signee for the 2014 class joining Marija Nicksic, Catherine Sloan and Mallory Arbizzani.
The 2014 Carroll College Volleyball Schedule has been released and the Fighting Saints are set to play 26 regular season games, with 14 conference games.
Carroll College is coming off a 17–18 overall record and finished in fifth place in Frontier Conference play with a 9–7 record.
The Fighting Saints, who two years ago reached the NAIA National Tournament, will look to regain that form in 2014, but will do so with a very difficult non-conference schedule.
“This has to be the most impressive schedule that we have had in my time as coach. Last year we faced some terrific opponents, but this year has even more of the upper-echelon schools, of course playing the defending national champion is something our girls will gear up for at home,” Carroll College head coach Moe Boyle said.
Carroll will face tough competition in their non-conference tournaments as the Fighting Saints have trips to Des Moines, IA and Irvine, CA prior to hosting the Big Sky Challenge in Helena September 5-6.
Carroll is set to play the top-three finishing teams from last year, including defending National Champion, University of Texas-Brownsville. Also on the Saints’ schedule are last year’s runner up, Biola University, and 2013 national semifinalist and 2012 National Champion, Concordia-Irvine.
“Our fans will have the chance to come see both national finalists from last season here as we host the Big Sky Challenge, it’s going to be a fantastic event and will be incredible preparation for conference play,” Boyle added.
With a schedule littered with heavy-hitters, the Fighting Saints also play four more road matches than home competitions.
Carroll will begin the season on August 22, as they face St. Francis (IL) at the Grand View Tournament in Iowa.
The Saints will open their home schedule on September 5 against College of Idaho, a top-25 finisher last year.
In all, Carroll College’s schedule includes a staggering seven top-25 teams from last year’s final poll, not to mention the past two national champions.
Carroll College will open Frontier Conference play on September 11, hosting Montana – Western in Helena.
The Fighting Saints will wrap up the regular season against Lewis-Clark State in Lewiston, ID.
The Frontier Conference Tournament is scheduled to begin November 14 and the NAIA National Tournament will begin in Sioux City, IA on December 2.
By Amber Kuehn Independent Record
There will be another Cunningham on the sidelines coaching at Carroll College this fall. Christy Cunningham, the wife of Saints men’s basketball coach Carson Cunningham, has accepted a position at the school to be an assistant volleyball coach on Moe Boyle’s staff. The 33-year-old is a former Purdue standout, and Boyle said Cunningham has already rejuvenated the Saints’ program.
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Eleven members of the Carroll College volleyball team were chosen for the Frontier Conference’s All-Academic team.
Among the Fighting Saints selected were seniors Elli Graff (health sciences), Catie Hanser (elementary education), Calli Prestwood (health sciences), Emma Priddy (nursing), Sarah Roshak (mathematics) and Karla Hellegaard (elementary education), juniors Emily Burk (sociology) and Kathleen Mulligan (health sciences), and sophomores Kylie Dirham (health sciences), Madeleine Fey (nursing) and Rebecca Sweeney (undeclared).
To be eligible for the Academic All-Conference team, student-athletes must be at least a sophomore in academic standing, maintain a 3.0 GPA and be enrolled at school the previous two semesters.