By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editorfirstname.lastname@example.org
Montana State University-Northern volleyball coach Lisa Handley has added a pair of solid new recruits for the 2004 volleyball season.
Ashley Roth, a 5-9 transfer from NCAA Division I High Point University in North Carolina, has signed an NAIA transfer letter of intent to join the Skylights.
Roth, who hails from Denzil, Saskatchewan, played at High Point the last two seasons, but chose to transfer to Northern to be closer to home and family.
Roth appeared in 17 games as a freshman for the Panthers as a freshman and was a part-time starter this past season, averaging 1.5 kills per game. Off the court, she was awarded the Millis Scholar-Athletic Award for outstanding achievement in 2003-04.
"Ashley is an outstanding athlete with great foot-speed, a great vertical and a fast arm to boot," Handley said. "I was looking for an athlete of Ashley's caliber who also had college playing experience. She is used to playing for top-notch teams and knows her way around the volleyball court.
In high school, Roth showed she knows her way around any athletic environment. During her time at Denzil Sacred Heart High School, she earned countless awards in volleyball, track, basketball, badminton and curling. Roth was named her volleyball team's MVP for three straight years, and as a senior, she was named the school's athlete of the year.
Roth will major in graphic design.
While Roth should step in and contribute immediately for Handley, her other signee may not have that luxury.
Choteau all-state hitter Nicole Henderson has also signed an NAIA letter of intent to join the Skylights.
Henderson was an all-conference and all-state performer despite having her volleyball season cut short by a season-ending knee injury. Instead of finishing the season, Henderson underwent knee surgery and is on the road to recovery.
"I knew that Nicole was a tough person and a player I wanted to give a chance when she called me after having surgery," Handley said. "She told me that she was already proving her doctors wrong and doing things much faster than she was supposed to be doing them. She shows a tremendous work ethic and has always had a dream to play a sport at the college level."
Although there is little doubt that Henderson possesses the talent to play at the college level, Handley isn't exactly sure when that will happen.
"Nicole is working hard in rehab and will be ready to go by next season," Handley said. "We may look at redshirting her to giver her some more time to heal and ease into the college game."
Henderson will major in education at Northern.