MSU Billings athletic director Gary Gray has announced the hiring of Lisa Axel as the 13th head volleyball coach in the school's history.
Axel comes to MSUB from Metro State University in Denver, where she has been the top assistant and recruiting coordinator for the past six seasons. In the past six seasons, Metro State has reached the NCAA Division II national tournament every year and posted a record of 130-57.
Axel was a recipient of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Thirty Under 30 Award in 2010.
"I am very pleased that Coach Axel has accepted our offer to become our head volleyball coach," said Gray. "She brings a wealth of experience from one of the top NCAA Division II programs in the country, and she played at a very high level and has learned from some of the best mentors in intercollegiate volleyball.
"Coach Axel is a strong proponent of Division II and has recruited well in our geographical region. I am very confident she will advance our volleyball program in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and the West Region."
Prior to her time at Metro State, Axel was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at North Dakota State for two seasons and also served as NDSU's interim head coach from January to May of 2006.
A native of Buffalo, Minn., Axel was named her state's Miss Volleyball and Gatorade player of the year as a senior in 1998. She played libero for four years at the University of Minnesota, where she helped the Golden Gophers to the school's first and only Big Ten championship in 2002. She played in four NCAA Tournaments, reaching the Sweet 16 three times.
"I would like to thank Dr. Gray and the Montana State University Billings athletic department for the opportunity to be the next head volleyball coach," said Axel. "I'm looking forward to taking the MSUB volleyball program to the next level in the GNAC. I'm excited to get in the gym with the team and start training for next season."