|Volleyball adds three|
MOSCOW, Idaho - Idaho volleyball coach Debbie Buchanan has signed three high school seniors to join the program next fall, including two standouts from within the state.
Katelyn Peterson, a 6-foot outside hitter from Camas County High School in Fairfield, Idaho; Jenna Ellis, a 5-foot-8 libero from Century High School in Pocatello, Idaho; and Ali Forde, a 6-foot-2 outside hitter from Woodinville High School in Woodinville, Wash., will join the Vandals in the fall of 2012.
"When you look at this whole class, it's a very athletic group of girls and it's a very hard working group of girls," Buchanan said. "If you watch Katelyn and Jenna and Ali in the gym, those kids are working their butts off the whole time. That's one of the things that's impressed us about these kids is they compete the whole time. It's a hard working group and it's a competitive group and it's great to get some top kids out of Idaho."
Peterson was a three-time first-team all-state selection at Camas County High School, and led CCHS to three consecutive Idaho 1A Division II state championships. She was a two-time Times News Volleyball Athlete of the Year, two-time team captain and also competed in basketball and track. Peterson is an honor roll student, and earned the Leadership Award and Citizenship Award at CCHS.
"Katelyn is an outside and she hits the ball hard," Buchanan said. "She was one of the reasons her team won state this year. She averaged 33 kills per match, which is pretty incredible. She can hit out of the front row, she can hit out of the back row, she passes, she has a great serve, she can play the whole game, and she's competitive."
Ellis is a two-time Idaho 4A Player of the Year, and led Century High School to back-to-back state championships in 2010 and 2011. As a senior in 2011 she averaged 4.7 kills and 4.5 digs per game while the Diamondbacks compiled a 36-4 overall record. She has played 10 years of club volleyball for the Pocatello Elite.
"Jenna's got great touch on the ball," Buchanan said. "She's a good defender, she passes the ball perfect. She's good all the way around. I don't see her hitting for us, but that is an option if we need her to."
Forde signed with Idaho on a basketball scholarship and will play volleyball as well for the Vandals. She was named the Female Athlete of the Year for 2010 by the Seattle Times. During her senior season in volleyball, Forde led Woodinville HS to the KingCo 4A championship and the Washington high school state volleyball tournament, where she was on the Seattle Times' "Six to Watch" list. Forde's brother Maxx is a defensive lineman on the Idaho football team.
"She still has some things to learn, but as far as coming in here as an athlete I think Ali can be a great outside hitter," Buchanan said. "I look for her to be similar to (2010 first-team all-WAC selection) Allison (Walker), and I think she can do that. She's going to be able to bring a lot. She's playing both sports so we're excited that she's coming and that she's going to be part of the program."