FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona volleyball team will bring in three talented incoming freshmen to join the program next fall as announced by Ken Murphy on Monday. Emma Grimsrud (Regina, Saskatchewan), Kaylie Jorgenson (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) and Reese Laufasa (Bothell, Wash.) will join what will be another talented Lumberjack squad that will lose just two seniors heading into 2014 season.
"As a group they provide the things we need in terms of the depth of our program," Murphy said. "We're thin at outside hitter and defensive specialist and we addressed that with these three players. All three of them are tough, competitive kids and they have great work ethic. They'll come in and compete."
Grimsrud is a 6-foot-3 hitter from Lumsden High School where she was a three-sport athlete. In addition to being a four-year starter in volleyball, Grimsrud starred on the basketball team and was a high jumper on the track & field team. She helped lead her volleyball team to the provincial championship this season and was a member of Team Saskatchewan that competed against China in the MVP (Multi-Cultural Volleyball Program). Grimsrud was also part of a provincial championship team in basketball and was a high jump provincial champion.
Jorgenson was her team's MVP at Marion Graham Collegiate in 2012 and was a four-year starter during her prep career. The 6-foot outside hitter twice received her school's Female Athlete of the Year and her team won the Saskatoon High School Volleyball Championship three consecutive years from 2011-13. Jorgenson also helped her team to two bronze medal finishes in the Saskatchewan High School Volleyball Championship. She also competed in track & field and she was a two-time gold medalist in the high jump.
Laufasa is a 5-foot-6 setter that could also provide depth in the back row at NAU after wrapping up her high school career at Bothell High School. Laufasa spent one year at Juanita High School where she was an honorable mention all-league outside hitter. She then finished at Bothell where she was named an all-league first team selection at setter. This fall, Laufasa helped her team to a third-place finish in the KingCo conference and an eight-place finish at the state tournament.
Emma Grimsrud – Regina, Saskatchewan/Lumsden HS
Head coach Ken Murphy: "Emma is a really elite athlete and she's still developing. She'll play middle or on the right side and she's high above the net. As she adds strength and continues to gain experience in the game, there will be very few athletes in the conference that will be at her level."
Kaylie Jorgenson – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan/Marion Graham Collegiate
Murphy: "Kaylie is an outstanding athlete and great competitor with really good leadership qualities. She's moving from middle blocker to outside hitter and although that'll be a transition for her, she's got all of the qualities we want. She's fast, has a live arm and she's the prototype at outside hitter for the systems we want to run."
Reese Laufasa – Bothell, Wash./Bothell HS
Murphy: "Reese is going to play setter and defensive specialist for us. She's a skilled player and she's going to compete for a spot right away. She's a tough kid and she's just one of those players that will find a way to impact a match. She's got all the intangibles you want and all you have to do is put a goal in front of her and she'll go get it."