The 2011 recruiting class is comprised of eleven athletes; Caitlin Pick, Stacey Schuller, Danielle Rowe, Jeena Lentz, Brianna Tuenge, Jaynie Spier, Michelle Springer, Lenna Morita, Kristen DiPaola, Taylor Mosco, and Shervonn Johnson.
Caitlin Pick joins the Trojans from Kimball, S.D. She attended a semester at Black Hills State University before transferring to Dakota State spring semester. â€œIt was great to have Caitlin here for our spring workouts,â€ Veenhof said. â€œShe is a hard worker and she has a lot of potential. She has good height and lateral movement which allows her to get a lot of blocks and good touches on the ball.â€
A 5'10â€ middle hitter was a four-year member of the Kimball varsity volleyball team. She received All-Conference honors in her senior year and All-Conference honorable mention her junior year. Kimball finished fifth in the state tournament in Pick's junior year in high school. She finished her career with 547 kills and 144 total blocks.
Caitlin is the daughter of Bruce and Rita Pick. She is studying English for News Media at Dakota State.
Also joining Dakota State is Stacey Schuller, a 5'7â€ setter from Jackson, Minn. She graduated from Jackson County Central in 2010 and joined the DSU volleyball team this past spring. â€œIt was great to have Stacey join us this spring,â€ Veenhof said. â€œStacey is a team player and that is a characteristic that we look for in a setter. She is also a hard worker, both on the court and in the classroom. I am looking forward to seeing her compete for a setting position this fall.â€
Schuller served as a team captain in her senior year. She was named to the All-Conference, All-Area, and Academic All-State teams. In addition, Schuller earned Academic All-State in softball.
Stacey was also very successful academically in high school. She received the Student of the Year award, was a member of the National Honor Society, and made the honor roll every semester.
Stacey is the daughter of Tom and Deb Schuller. She is majoring in Elementary Education at DSU.
Danielle Rowe, a 5'10â€ middle hitter, will be joining the Trojan volleyball program after having a stellar track career at DSU. Rowe played volleyball for Polson High school in Polson, Montana but decided to focus solely on track to start with in college. Rowe is a four-time NAIA All-American high jumper. She was the NAIA high jump champion in 2008. Rowe qualified for the NAIA National meet eight times (indoor and outdoor) and she was the Dakota Athletic Conference high jump champion six times (indoor and outdoor). Rowe broke 17 meet and school records and currently holds the DSU women's indoor high jump record. Rowe received the most outstanding female athlete of the year award at DSU this past year.
â€œI'm super excited that Danielle is going to play volleyball this year,â€ Veenhof said. â€œDanielle has lots of energy and is always positive and I'm looking forward to having her on the team. She jumps well and is quick. I'm eager to see what she can do in the middle for us.â€
Danielle is the daughter of Rob and Michelle Rowe of Rapid City, S.D. She is majoring in Marketing and Computer Graphics at Dakota State University.
Jeena Lentz, a 5'7â€ setter and defensive specialist, is a 2010 graduate from Pipestone Area High School in Pipestone, Minnesota. Lentz is a transfer from South Dakota State University. â€œJeena is a talented setter who we are very happy to have join the Trojan volleyball team. She is a good athlete who excels on and off the court. Her personality will be a great fit for our team,â€ Veenhof said.
Lentz was selected All-Conference Honorable Mention and she was named the most valuable player for the Pipestone Area Arrows. She served as a team captain and recorded over 1,000 set assists in her high school career.
Lentz was a member of the National Honor Society and was listed on the Honor roll all four year of high school.
Jeena is the daughter of Jim and Beth Lentz. She will study Computer Networking and Security at Dakota State University.
Brianna Tuenge, 5'8â€ outside hitter from Harrisburg, SD, signed a letter of intent to play for the Trojans. â€œBri is an all-around player. She's very aggressive. She has a great vertical and is an explosive hitter. We feel that her best volleyball is ahead of her and we look forward to Bri being a Trojan,â€ said Veenhof.
Tuenge had a stellar volleyball career as a Tiger. As a junior, she was named to the 4A All-Region team and was All-Conference honorable mention. She was named to the 4A All-Region team again in 2010 as well as being an All-Conference selection and earning All-State honorable mention. Tuenge recorded 256 kills, 60 service aces, and 426 digs in her senior season for Harrisburg High School. Tuenge was the recipient of her team's Best Back Row player and Outstanding Hitter awards in both her junior and senior seasons.
Brianna is the daughter of Eric and LeAnn Thompson. She plans to major in Physical Education at Dakota State.
Jaynie Spier, 5'8â€ outside hitter, was an integral member of the Oldham-Ramona/Rutland Raiders volleyball team that captured the school's first ever district championship. â€œI'm very excited that Jaynie is joining the Trojan volleyball team. She's a great kid who fits into our program nicely. We are excited to watch Jaynie develop. Her best volleyball is still ahead,â€ said Veenhof.
Spier was team captain in her senior year. She was a two-time All-Conference selection. She recorded 147 kills and 132 digs in her senior season.
Jaynie is the daughter of Kip and DaLayne Spier of Madison, S.D. She graduated from Rutland High School and plans to major in Math Education at DSU.
Michelle Springer, 5'3â€ defensive specialist, comes from DeSmet High School. â€œMichelle will be a great addition to our talented line-up of back-row players,â€ said Veenhof. â€œShe is quick and reads opposing hitters well. Michelle has great potential and continues to develop as a solid back-row player. She is a hard worker and extremely coachable. We look forward to Michelle being a Trojan.â€
Springer was named All-Conference honorable mention and was chosen as the team's most valuable player. In her senior year she had a season high 23 digs in a match and as a junior she recorded a career high 27 digs in a match.
Michelle is the daughter of Gary and Karen Springer. She plans to major in Graphic Design at Dakota State University.
Lenna Morita, 5'4â€ setter/libero, graduated from McKinley High School in Honolulu, Hawaii. â€œLenna is a quick athlete that brings a lot of athleticism and defense to our program. We're looking forward to having her compete in both the setting position and the libero position. Lenna is a talented volleyball player and we are pleased to have her join the Trojan volleyball team,â€ Veenhof said.
Morita was a 2010-11 Oahu Interscholastic Association Red East honorable mention selection.
Lenna is the daughter of Koji and Susan Morita. She plans to study Exercise Science at DSU.
Three student-athletes - Kristen DiPaola, Taylor Mosco, and Shervonn Johnson - from Trinidad State Junior College will transfer to Dakota State this fall.
Kristen DiPaola, 5'10â€ outside hitter, is a native of Trinidad, Colorado. DiPaola graduated from Trinidad High School.
â€œKristen will be a great addition to our line-up,â€ Veenhof said. â€œShe has a competitive mentality, demonstrates leadership on the court and has the right edge to be very successful here at Dakota State. Kristen is an all-around great player.â€
In high school DiPaola earned the 3A Tri-Peaks East Player of the Year Award. She was an All-State athlete and a two-time All-Conference performer. DiPaola also received the team's most valuable player award. She was an All-Region player at Trinidad State Junior College. DiPaola recorded 375 kills (2.95 kills per set), 276 digs (2.17 digs per set), 32 service aces, and 60 blocks at Trinidad State Junior College this past season playing in 41 matches.
Kristen is the daughter of Michael and MaryBeth DiPaola. Her intended major is Business-Human Resource Management at DSU.
Taylor Mosco, 5'9â€ middle/outside hitter, comes from Pueblo, Colorado. â€œWe are very pleased to have Taylor join the Trojan volleyball team,â€ Veenhof said. â€œTaylor is a solid, consistent player and it's an additional bonus that she has the ability to pass six rotations. We expect for Taylor to bring a positive energy to our program.â€
Mosco was a four-year letter winner at Pueblo County High School. Mosco was named the most valuable player and served as the team captain for two seasons. This past season playing at Trinidad State Junior College, Mosco recorded 167 kills, 29 service aces, 71 blocks, and 170 digs in 40 matches.
Taylor is the daughter of Gene and Jennifer Reno. She plans to major in Pre-Medicine at DSU.
Shervonn Johnson, 5'6â€ setter/libero, comes from Colorado Springs, Colorado where she graduated from Sierra High School. â€œShervonn is a very versatile, athletic player who has experience playing a variety of positions. She has great fundamentals as a hitter and a defensive specialist. We're excited to have Shervonn join the Trojan volleyball team,â€ said Veenhof.
Johnson played right side for four years for Pikes Peak Volleyball Club. She played on the Pikes Peak 17-1 national team that ranked fourth in the Rocky Mountain region and won the Bronze Division at both the Lone Star National Qualifier and the Big South National Qualifier. Johnson served as the team captain at Trinidad State Junior College for two years. She recorded 444 sets (3.52 assists per set) as a setter in her freshman season and she amassed 425 digs (3.9 digs per set) as a libero player in her sophomore year.
Shervonn is the daughter of Russell and Karen Johnson. She will major in Business Management at Dakota State University.
Dakota State is a member of the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) after leaving the Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC). DSU went 11-22 overall and 4-10 in the DAC conference in 2010. The Trojans will open their 2011 season, participating in the Grand View Tournament on Aug. 26 and 27.