posted on January 16, 2009 08:57
The Yellow Jackets finished an awesome season going 26-8 and earning their first trip ever to the NAIA National Tournament. “It was a tremendous honor and achievement for our program to get an opportunity to play in the National Tournament. This experience proved we could play with the best teams in the nation. We were able to close our season feeling confident and proud of our accomplishments,” said Head Coach Jhett Albers. The Yellow Jackets played #1 and eventual National Champion Fresno Pacific, #12 Morningside, and Point Loma Nazarene in pool play. The Yellow Jackets finished 1-2 in pool play which included a narrow victory by Point Loma Nazarene by two points in a five game set to advance to the championship round of the NAIA National Tournament.
“Even though the Point Loma game was a disappointing loss we were able to gain valuable experience for the years to come. We are extremely close to being one of the top teams in the country,” added Coach Albers. The Yellow Jackets will lose only one senior in Annie Grim to graduation and will return six starters in the fall of 2009. The Yellow Jackets have already added two key recruits to help strengthen the 2009 team in Amy O’Neill from Bennett County High School. Amy is the sister to Maggie O’Neill who will return next year as a junior. BHSU also added Kylee Lamb from Sully Buttes High School who is one of the top overall athletes in the state of South Dakota.
Junior Kristin Engle for her accomplishments in the 2008 season was awarded 1st Team All-DAC, DAC Player of the Year, 1st Team All-Region, and 2nd Team NAIA All-American. On top of her court accomplishments Kristin was also named NAIA/DAC Scholar Athlete. Sophomore Maggie O’Neill was 1st Team All-DAC and 1st Team All-Region. Junior Mandy Brumfield was 1st Team All-DAC, All-Region Honorable Mention, and NAIA/DAC Scholar Athlete. Junior Kayla Haines was awarded NAIA Champion of Character and NAIA/DAC Scholar Athlete.
The Yellow Jackets will now prepare for the 2009 season that open in August. “We are extremely excited what the future holds for BHSU volleyball. We are looking forward to the upcoming season,” said Coach Albers.