HELENA – Carroll College could send out a starting lineup of scholar-athletes this season as six Fighting Saints volleyball players were named 2013 Daktronics-NAIA Volleyball Scholar-Athletes by the NAIA.
Seniors Elli Graff and Karla Hellegaard along with juniors Kathleen Mulligan, Calli Prestwood, Emma Priddy and Sarah Roshak were recognized for their excellence in the classroom.
“I’m so proud of our team’s accomplishments off the court, they are a great group to coach and they work hard in the classroom. Having six upperclassmen receive this designation is a testament to the type of student-athlete we recruit and the overall quality individuals we are fortunate to have at Carroll College,” head coach Moe Boyle said.
In order to be nominated for this honor by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and have achieved a junior academic status.
Graff, Mulligan and Prestwood are all majoring in Health Sciences. Hellegaard majors in elementary education, while Priddy is a nursing student and Roshak is studying mathematics.
“These girls have been great role models and leaders for our younger players and I am so happy that they have been recognized for their commitment to maintaining focus on their academics, which is never an easy task,” Boyle added.
The six players from Carroll were among 391 volleyball players nationwide to be named NAIA Scholar-Athletes. Hastings (Neb.) and Concordia (Neb.) led all institutions with eight players apiece on the list.
By the Helena IR
Fourth-seeded Westminster ousted defending Frontier Conference tournament champion and fifth-seeded Carroll College with a 3-0 (26-24, 28-26, 25-22) victory on Friday.
The win moves the Griffins into the tournament semifinals, set for 11 a.m. Saturday morning. Meeting them will be top-seeded Montana State-Northern.
Neither team could take control of the first set with 12 ties and six lead changes. With the set tied at 24, back-to-back attack errors by Carroll gave the first set to the Griffins, 26-24.
By the Helena IR
The All-Frontier Conference team was announced at the volleyball awards banquet on Thursday, and Carroll landed a pair of players on the first team in senior middle blocker Elli Graff and junior outside hitter Kathleen Mulligan.
Setter Jonni Dorr was the other Saint honored Thursday, earning a spot on the All-Freshman Team.
By Amber Kuehn, Helena IR
Before this season, Karla Hellegaard waited. She waited in the wings, eager to show off the talent that had landed her on a college volleyball squad. She worked hard in the weight room and at practice, desperately wanting that starting spot, but never one to complain about a lack of playing time.
She contributed what she could from the sidelines and made the most of every minute when she went into a game. Now, Hellegaard is reaping the rewards — proving patience pays off — and playing with the enthusiasm of a kid on Christmas in her final year at Carroll College.
“I think she’s bided her time for three years,” Saints coach Moe Boyle said of her senior right-side hitter. “She came in as a promising freshman, then her sophomore and junior year competed every day against Sarah Roshak and Calli Prestwood for the same position. They fought each other tooth and nail in a competitive way, and I think it brought them closer. I think it’s made all three of them better players and … Karla came in a different person than she is leaving Carroll College. Her maturity level and confidence … she’s just grown so much.”
By Amber Kuehn, Helena IR
The Carroll College volleyball team will put its season on the line Friday when the Saints take on Westminster in a win-or-go-home game at the Frontier Conference Tournament. The match will be contested at 2 p.m. at the University of Great Falls.
“At this point it’s all or nothing for us,” said senior Elli Graff, who leads the team in kills (318) and blocks (134). “This could be the last week or we could go on (to nationals) like last year. We’re just going to go out there and play like it’s our last game on Friday. For us seniors, this is all we have left, and I know for me it’s kind of nerve-wracking to think about how it’s kind of coming to an end. I’m going to give it all I have.”
By Troy Shockley, Helena IR
Cojo Smith booted the winning field goal for the Carroll College football team on Saturday. His kick also helped the Saints’ volleyball team to a a win in its regular-season finale, coach Moe Boyle said after a three-game sweep of visiting Dickinson State.
“I think the buildup on senior day really adds anxiety, and you never really know how it’s gonna go,” she said. “But the excitement from the football game really brought everything to a head this afternoon. When you see something like that, it kind of fills your heart. And then as an athlete, to be able to compete after a game like we watched today, that’s pretty amazing.”
The closest set Saturday at the PE Center was the first, and it was all Carroll from there as the Saints took it 25-19, 25-12, 25-14.
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