The Montana State Billings volleyball team bolstered its front row and back row, signing four players to NCAA national letters of intent.
Joining the Yellowjackets this fall are outside hitter Andrea Bowers and middle blocker Alaina Gentili, along with libero/setters Mataia Roderick and Haley Wells.
The 6-1 Bowers is a two-time all state selection from Billings Senior. A four-year all-conference selection, she had 1,024 career kills, helping the Broncs win back-to-back Class AA state title in 2012 and 2013.
“Andrea is a great addition to our program,” said MSUB coach Lisa Axel. “She is extremely versatile and has played all three front row positions. She will add height to our front line and puts up a great block. Andrea comes from a very successful high school program at Billings Senior as she helped them win the last two Class AA state championships.”
Bowers will join former Senior teammates Chelsey Walter and Kierney Findon on the Yellowjacket roster.
The 6-2 Gentili comes to MSUB from Central Valley High School in Spokane, Wash. A three-year letterwinner, Gentili had 108 kills and 74 blocks last season, earning all-Greater Spokane League honors a second straight year.
“Alaina is another athlete who will add a lot of height to our front line,” Axel said. “She is a very big block in the middle who reads well and is quick laterally. She will add immediate depth to our middle hitter position.”
Roderick, of Rexburg, Idaho, joins former Madison High School teammate Ashlyn Ward at MSUB. The 5-3 Roderick is a four-year letterwinner, who earned all-state honors as a junior at setter.
“Mataia is an exceptional athlete and a very hard worker,” said Axel. “She will give us depth at both the defensive specialist and libero positions as well as the setter position.”
Wells guided West Albany High School in Oregon to consecutive state titles in 2012 and 2013 and a second-place finish in 2011. She was all-conference and all-state both her junior and senior seasons.
“Haley has a very high volleyball IQ,” said the MSUB coach. “She comes from a volleyball family and had a very successful high school career. She will add depth to our setter position as she set for her high school team.”
Axel added that Wells will also add depth to the Yellowjackets back row.