From University of Southern Mississippi Sports Information
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – The University of Southern Mississippi volleyball program will welcome two transfers to finish off a three-woman signing class.
Transfers Sierra Bolen of Duluth, Minn., and Kenzie Smith of Manhattan, Kan., will join signee Maddie Stayer of Mentor, Ohio, to bolster the ranks of Coach Stephanie Radecki’s program.
“We are so excited about these three student-athletes," Radecki said. "Our staff is confident that they can make an immediate impact on our program."
Bolen, a middle hitter, comes to Hattiesburg after spending her first two seasons at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Bolen left the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” as one of the most decorated players in Hermantown High School history. A four-time Academic All-State honoree, Bolen led the Lady Hawks to four-straight Lake Superior Conference titles and two state tournament appearances.
As a sophomore, Bolen delivered the final kill in the sectional finals to send Hermantown to the state tournament for the first time in 20 years.
“Sierra is dynamic, versatile, and has a great one-foot takeoff,” Radecki said. “We are excited to train her in the middle and at the pin. We are so excited to have her with us this Spring.”
Smith, a setter, joins the Golden Eagles after spending two seasons at Kansas State University. The defensive specialist appeared in four matches for the Wildcats as a redshirt freshman but did not register any statistics. She was a two-time, Big 12 Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll honoree.
At Manhattan High School, Smith guided the Indians to three consecutive state tournament appearances en route to setting a single-season record with 983 assists in her junior campaign.
She was a two-time all-state honoree, two-time all-league honoree and earned state all-tournament team honors.
Smith’s father, Michael, coaches wide receivers at the University of Kentucky.
“Kenzie is hungry,” Radecki said. “She has a great understanding of the college game and is a strong setter. She will be a huge asset for us this spring and as we continue to build on our young roster from the fall.”
Stayer, a setter who signed with the Golden Eagles in November, was a two-time team captain at Mentor High School. She registered 652 assists, 255 kills and 71 aces as a senior. In her junior campaign, Stayer had 353 assists, 78 kills, 25 aces and 24 blocks.
“Maddie is a very talented setter and can also be utilized as an attacker,” Radecki said. “She has been trained and is ready for the collegiate atmosphere. She can run a fast tempo offense and be an offensive threat.”