Spearfish, S.D. - The Black Hills State volleyball team will have a great mix of upperclassmen and untested freshmen when they take the floor for the first time this season. The Yellow Jackets have eight returners with experience at the college level and eight freshmen on the 16-person roster entering the 2006 campaign. Head Coach Jhett Albers is excited about the opportunity to lead such a diverse team.

"We are going to have a great mix of experience and youth this season," said Albers. "I think that our veterans will provide maturity and experience, while our youth will provide us with a lot of energy to build on."

Seniors Alyssa Boeding and Amber Elliott will each play key roles in the Yellow Jackets success. Boeding, an outside hitter from Caputa, S.D., and Elliott, an outside hitter from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will both be expected to be floor leaders for the Yellow Jackets.

“Both Alyssa and Amber have an outstanding floor presence,” said Albers. “The two of them will be asked to lead the team on the floor.”

Even with the youth that abounds on the floor for Black Hills State, a core group of juniors will be returning. Libero Chelsey Mort, middle blocker Mindi Mayer, right side hitter Carly Benz and outside hitter Victoria Cross are all expected to make significant contributions in the Yellow Jackets success. Redshirt freshman Kristin Engle will also be looked to and asked make an impact early.

“This team is not all about the young players and the two seniors. We will need solid contributions from a number of our returning players if we want to be competitive this season,” said Albers.

The Yellow Jackets will be looking for a new setter to emerge as well with the departure of Devin Eppler. Junior college transfer Jennifer Weitzel and incoming freshman Mandy Brumfield will try to fill the shoes left by Eppler’s departure.

Albers said, “We have a lot of work to do if we want to become an elite team in the region. This team really began to gel in practice this spring. Now, we need to transition that to the competition floor this fall.”
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