Kodee Avery, Southwest Oklahoma State University
Snow Canyon’s Kodee Avery, the setter for the state champions, signed her National Letter of Intent to play at Southwest Oklahoma State University (Weatherford, Oklahoma) next season.
From her first visit in February, Avery said she felt a connection to the campus and the volleyball coach. She also loved the SWOSU facilities.
From coming into a new program at Snow Canyon and learning to play with a whole new set of players, Avery said the transition to playing with new teammates at SWOSU will be easy. She lived in Arizona before moving to St. George and playing for SCHS in 2013.
“Last year was an adventure with coming in and starting fresh,” Avery said, “but I know how to fit myself into a new family.”
Kristen Blair, University of Mary
Dixie High School’s Kristen Blair committed to play volleyball at the University of Mary (Bismarck, North Dakota).
She is attending the school on a full academic-athletic scholarship because of her 3.95 GPA at Dixie High.
While she helped lead the Dixie Flyers to fourth place at the 2014 3A State Volleyball Championship, she also gave credit to the time spent with Southern Utah Volleyball Academy.
“It was the combination of the volleyball program and how good the coach was,” Blair said. “She’s really on top of things, and the University of Mary has an awesome nursing program, which is what I want to go into.”
Blair said she learned that the closeness she had with her teammates at Dixie High and their run through the state tournament last year is important to remember when she’s at the University of Mary.
Cedar’s Johnson signs with Iowa Central
Shae Johnson didn’t get involved with volleyball until her freshman year at Cedar High. Even then, she almost didn’t want to try out for the team for fear of getting cut.
Four years later, Johnson’s perseverance has paid off handsomely. The outside hitter for the Lady Reds is bound for Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Once Johnson received the initial contact from Tritons head coach Sara Horn, she got to showcase her talent at several tournaments and the rest was history.
“It just felt right,” Johnson said. “I was debating between a lot of other schools, Division I and Division II, and this JC just felt right — coming down and working yourself up.”
Johnson wants to use her two years with Iowa Central to ultimately move up to a Division I program, and she’ll be used at setter as well as outside hitter for the team that finished with a 30-18 record in 2014 and lost in the first round of the NJCAA National Championship. The best part for the 5-foot-10 senior is knowing she’ll be able to keep playing.
“I have the passion for it, and I want to keep playing at a competitive level,” Johnson said.
Johnson didn’t hesitate to give credit to her coaches from the Southern Utah Volleyball Association (SUVA), including head coach Kolbie Farabee.
“Shae is special because of her height. You don’t find a lot of 5-10 setters,” Farabee said. “As soon as she walked into the gym, I was like ‘yes! She’s going to be good.’ She’s tall, and you can’t teach height. She’s got an awesome vertical leap, and that’s a huge asset as a setter.”