Marquette Signs Chelsea Heier and Jalyn Smith
July 6, 2011
MILWAUKEE – Head coach Bond Shymansky and the Marquette University women’s volleyball team has announced the addition of two student-athletes for the 2011 season in setter Chelsea Heier and defensive specialist Jalyn Smith.
Heier heads into the fall as the heir apparent to outgoing AVCA All-American Nikki Klingsporn at the setter position. The California native earned three letters in volleyball during her time at San Clemente High School, where she played for head coach Rob O’Rear. As a senior, Heier led the Tritons to a 28-5 record, a No. 62 national ranking by MaxPreps.com, and earned the South Coast League Championship with an unblemished conference record.
“Chelsea is a smooth operator as a setter and competitor,” Shymansky said. “The best part is that she’s a great person and her teammates are already looking forward to her presence on court this fall. She is creative, gutsy, smart and gifted. We were fortunate that she has strong Wisconsin ties, otherwise, we would have never stolen her away from the California schools.”
The 5-foot-9 setter was fourth among high school volleyball players according to MaxPreps with 11.6 assists per frame during her final prep campaign, just as Klingsporn ranked fourth in the NCAA in assists per set in 2010. She also holds the San Clemente career record with 3,051 assists and played club volleyball for coaches Kelli Mulvany and Ki Yi with the Saddleback Volleyball Club.
Heier joins fellow Californian Rachel Stier on the MU roster and is the third player from the Golden State to sign with Shymansky in as many seasons.
Smith comes to Marquette after a stellar senior season in which she helped East Kentwood High School to a spot in the Michigan Class A state semifinals. As a senior team captain, the 5-foot-2 libero notched 721 digs and 65 service aces for the Falcons, while earning numerous academic accolades, including EKHS’s Bud Cole Award and the O.K. Red Conference Student-Athlete Award. Smith competed as a prep under head coach Desirae Hemmes and played club ball for the Dead Frog Volleyball Club and head coach Kyle Stahl.
“Jalyn is a great competitor and player,” Shymansky said. “She is deeply respected by her coaches and teammates for her work ethic and skills. We do our homework when it comes to recruiting back row players and we loved everything we learned about Jalyn during the recruiting process. She will be a great addition to a strong backcourt at Marquette.”
The Caledonia, Mich., native was born in Seoul, South Korea and is the first MU volleyball player from the state of Michigan since former middle blocker Erica Heisser (Greenville, Mich.) played for and coached the Golden Eagles from 2001-08.
The Golden Eagles begin the 2011 fall campaign on Aug. 26 at the Hawkeye Challenge in Iowa City, Iowa against Saint Louis. Marquette will serve as host of the 2011 BIG EAST Women’s Volleyball Championship on Nov. 18-20 at the Al McGuire Center.