GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- University of North Dakota Head Volleyball Coach Ashley Hardee is proud to announce the signing of three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the recent NCAA early signing period. Faith Dooley, Alaina Gentili and Sydney Griffin are all set to enroll at UND and begin competing in the fall of 2014.
"With the departures of our three seniors (Ellen Krueger, Lisa Parlich, Ronni Munkeby), we have these three coming in at a perfect time," Hardee said. "Chelsea Moser is ready to step in and play for us now and with an experienced setter and all our ball control back next year, the future is looking very bright."
Dooley is a 12-varsity letter athlete at Central Cass High School (Casselton, N.D.) in volleyball, basketball and track. She is hitting .416 this season for the Squirrels as they defended their N.D. Class B Region 1 District 2 title and are in the regional title match tonight. Dooley was a key member of the 2011 state championship team and has been an all-region honoree in each of the past two seasons. As of Tuesday, she's racked up 967 kills in her last three seasons while also leading the team in blocks in each of those campaigns.
"Faith, at 6-foot-3, is a tall, physical middle," Hardee said. "She already has the strength in her body to be a legitimate player for us during her freshman year. She will be a very good blocker and has the offensive game to match it. She is a great fit in our program.
Gentili is 10th in the state of Washington in blocking heading into the prep playoffs. The Spokane Valley, Wash., native is hitting .262 while averaging a block per set and has helped lead her Central Valley High School team to a 20-8 record thus far this season. Gentili was an all-conference second team performer as a junior and has guided her team into the Washington state tournament this coming weekend.
"Alaina brings us great length in the middle as well as a physical presence," Hardee said. "She has good lateral speed which translates into being a good blocker and she already has some offensive skills, too. She can be a contributor early on for us.
Griffin was part of three straight Minnesota Class 2A state championship teams at Marshall High School. She averaged 12.6 assists during the regular season as a senior while adding 3.8 kills per set. She earned all-state, all-conference and all-state tournament accolades in each of her last three seasons as a prep. She is a three-sport standout for the Tigers, also competing in track and field and basketball.
"Sydney comes to us from one of the arguably most successful high school programs in the country," Hardee said. "She has been a key component in three straight state championships in Minnesota. She is a versatile player who can attack, block and set. Sydney will learn a lot working with our current setter, Nikki Husfeldt, next year and could be our setter for many years to come."
The UND volleyball team is currently in first place in the Big Sky Conference with a 19-9 overall record and a 14-2 mark in league play with four matches remaining in its regular season.