The rich get richer if you are Northwestern State volleyball with the signing of three standout players this week as a part of the early signing period.
The Lady Demons inked Kingwood, Texas, native Breanna Burrell as the next force on the outside.
“When we went looking for the 2020 class it was with the mindset of who is going to replace Reagan Rogers and Hannah Brister when the time comes,” coach Sean Kiracofe said. “So, it was a tall task, but Breanna immediately stood out.”
Burrell has been a key member of four straight district 22-6A championship during her prep career. She was named first-team all-district following her junior season and is a two-time all-Vype outside hitter.
She amassed over 1,000 kills in her time at Kingwood HS, was named to the Under Armor All-American watchlist prior to her senior season and named District 22-6A MVP this year.
“We took our time to see how she competed in both good and difficult situations. She is very competitive and is everything you want in a L1 type outside.
“She’s going to get kills whether the other team knows she’s getting the ball or not. She’s going to be a great addition to Demon Volleyball and follow in line behind some great outsides.”
Feeding Burrell on the outside will be setter Ragan Ward.
Ward, the Waxahachie, Texas, native makes her way to NSU with an impressive resume under her belt.
During her prep career, Ward broke the Waxahachie High School record for sets in a season twice, topping the mark she set as a junior with more than 1,302 assists as a season. Not surprisingly, Ward was named the District 7-6A Setter of the Year following both her junior and senior seasons.
“We knew this was a class that we wanted to take a setter in,” NSU coach Sean Kiracofe said. “We took a long time to find who we thought could make an impact on the program.
“The first thing that stands out is the consistency she has with her sets which makes life easy for any attacker. Then the more you watch you can start to see decision making during and between plays.
“Whether it’s by training, playing experience, or it’s just innate, Rags can find the open attacker or create situations to make those hitters successful. Finally, she’s a setter that plays good defense. I don’t know the best way to relate that to other positions in other sports, but when you have a chance to get a setter that plays defense you make it happen.”
Looking to add some more depth in the middle, the Lady Demons made a step towards filling that spot with the addition of middle blocker Audrey Quesnel.
Quesnel comes from the same high school as Kiracofe and seeks to maintain the middle blocker prowess of Westwood High School.
She led the area in block and was a first-team all-district player following her junior season as well as earning all-state honors from the Texas Volleyball Coaches. She was selected to the AVCA All-American watchlist prior to her senior year where she landed on a pair of all-tournament teams and helped lead her team to a top 20 ranking in Texas’ 6A classification.
“Audrey is a player that we found late in the recruiting process and it really couldn’t have been a better situation for us,” Kiracofe said. “She is a true middle that makes great decisions within plays. She finds the ball naturally on the block and has a wide range she can use to hit the ball and find ways to score. Audrey was coached, and recommend, by coaches I’ve known and trusted for a long time.”