Hegerle, Eamon commit for VB; Orr to play hoops
Josie Hegerle didn’t care about playing at the NCAA Division II level. The NAIA was fine with her.
On Feb. 10, Westminster announced that it was applying for Division II membership, as it received an invitation from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. It currently competes in the Montana-based Frontier Conference of the NAIA.
“It didn’t matter,” Hegerle said of playing at a higher level. “I really liked the atmosphere with the mountains, and the team was really nice.”
The two-time first-team all-state setter said she chose Westminster over Montana State-Northern, mainly because the latter didn’t offer special education, which Hegerle said will be her major.
But familiarity also helped, as Al Givens took over as head coach after serving as associate head coach at the University of North Texas. Givens is a friend of the Hegerle family.
“I’ve been coached by him at a lot of the camps he’s run,” she said.
If accepted, Westminster would play next season in the NAIA before getting to play a full RMAC schedule for 2015-16. Westminster returns just five players from last year’s team, and all five are listed as outside hitters.
“There’s 11 freshman incoming,” Josie said. “It should be a lot of fun.”
Hegerle, the Class A player of the year, helped the Blue Jays win their first state volleyball championship, finishing with a school-record mark of 36-4. The title came with Josie’s mother, Sara, as coach. And with her dad coaching the University of Jamestown, she thought about staying home.
“I considered it, but I feel like I better go and get out and trying something new,” Josie said. “Play for someone different.”
It was a decision her parents saw coming.
“It would have been a surprise if she wanted to stay here,” Sara said. “We’re sad to see her go, but she’s gonna do well in Utah. All of our players had a lot of places to choose from.”
First-team all-state middle hitter Addie Eamon also made her decision, electing to go the junior college route. She signed with Bismarck State College.
“I hope to play somewhere after my two years there for sure, but I don’t know where,” Eamon said.
Eamon also considered the Jimmies, but chose the Bismarck school. The Mystics are coached by Jeni Walsh, who won a state title her last year as coach at Class A powerhouse Bismarck Century, which came in 2008.
“I really liked the campus and coach Jeni,” said Eamon, who also considered Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. “I know a lot of people that have played in that program and no one’s had a bad thing to say about it. It felt like the right fit. I liked the distance from home and the size of the school.”
Sara Hegerle said she thought it was a great pick by Eamon.
“I think Addie can contribute immediately,” Hegerle said.
The volleyball team’s other senior — McKayla Orr — said she intends on playing basketball in college, but hasn’t made a decision on where to go. She said it’s down to the Jimmies and Concordia.
Orr, a standout in volleyball, basketball and track and field, was a first-team all-state libero. She said she plans on making a decision in the coming weeks.
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or at firstname.lastname@example.org