HOUGHTON, Mich. - Michigan Tech volleyball coach Matt Jennings announced that four players – Briana Sharkey (Lodi, Wis.), Janie Grindland (Woodbury, Minn.), Grace Novotny (Wauwatosa, Wis.) and Maggie Petersen (Mattawan, Mich.) – have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Huskies for the 2018 season.
"I think we've built another solid recruiting class with this group," said head coach Matt Jennings. "Each one of them is a high character and high achieving student that is excited about continuing their athletic careers in college. We're very happy that they've chosen Michigan Tech as the place to do that and we're humbled by the trust they've shown in us and our program. They each possess the skills and ability to have successful careers as Huskies on the court, in the classroom, and out and about on campus. There's no doubt we're a better team with the addition of these four future Huskies."
Briana Sharkey is a 5-11 setter out of Lodi, Wis. Sharkey attended Madison Edgewood High School where she was 2017 First Team All-Conference, All-Area Honorable Mention, team MVP and served as the team captain. Sharkey was First Team All-Conference in 2015 and an All-Conference Honorable Mention in 2014. She was an WVCA Academic Award winner in 2015 and 2014 and a four-year varsity letter winner for volleyball and a two-year letter winner in track. She was selected to the USA Select National A2 Training Program in 2015 and was a member of the Badger Region High Performance Volleyball Training Team in 2014.
"Bri is an exceptional setter with a strong skill set and very high volleyball IQ," said Jennings. "She's a playmaker who is both athletic and versatile and seems comfortable commanding an offense. She's one of the better setters coming out of Wisconsin this year and we're thrilled to have her coming our way this fall."
Janie Grindland is a 6-1 middle hitter out of East Ridge High School in Woodbury, Minn. In 2017, Grindland served as the varsity team captain and led her high school team to win the conference championships for the first time in school history. Grindland was also named All-Conference, earned the team Raptor Award for leadership and commitment and placed third in the AAU Nationals. Grindland was named an Academic All-State in 2017 and an Academic All-American in 2016 while maintaining a 3.9 GPA.
"Janie is a fast and powerful middle who moves well at the net and who can score points," Jennings said. "She is very well trained and will arrive with the kind of tools that should prove valuable in her career here at Tech."
"A high energy and character player with an exceptional academic record, Janie is a great addition to the program. I expect her to make an early impact in the conference so long as she continues to work hard and improve."
Grace Novotny is a 5-9 defensive specialist and three year starter for Divine Savior Holy Angel High School near Milwaukee. As a senior, Novotny's high school team finished as the 2017 State Semifinalists and she earned First Team All-Conference and Second Team All-State for her successful season. Novotny was First Team All-Conference, Third Team All-Area, Third Team All-State and helped her team to the State Quarterfinals in 2016. In 2015 her high school team won the Wisconsin Division I State Championship where Novotny was named Honorable Mention All-Conference. Novotny won a Premiere Division AAU National Championship in 2014 where she was named Premiere Division MVP.
"Grace adds a lot to our backcourt with strong passing and defense and solid all-around ball control," said Jennings. "A talented player with a strong work ethic, we were impressed by her passing accuracy and her ability to track down balls on defense."
"Like her classmates, Grace is just as strong academically as she is athletically, which makes her a great fit on our team here at Tech."
Maggie Petersen is a 5-7 defensive specialist out of Paw Paw High School. Petersen is a four-year varsity athlete and a two-year varsity captain. In 2017 Petersen was named second team Wolverine All-Conference and team MVP. Petersen earned Wolverine Conference Honorable Mention in 2016 and has been active on the USA Michigan Volleyball Club. She's served as a member of the National Honor Society since 2015 and was named Michigan All-State Individual Academic in 2017.
"Maggie is a great pickup for us and will add skill and depth to our backcourt," Jennings added. "Our system is, in part, built around solid ball control and disciplined defense. I believe Maggie will help us a great deal in this department. She's a hard worker, excellent student, and a competitor; all things we value here at Tech."
The Huskies wrapped up their 2017 season with 20 wins for the first time since 1997, a GLIAC quarterfinal win over Tiffin, a semifinal win over Northern Michigan, and earned an NCAA Appearance. Tech had two shots at a GLIAC championship, falling in tight sets to Ferris State in both the GLIAC regular season and tournament championship matches. Matt Jennings was named GLIAC Coach of the Year and Tech freshman, Laura DeMarchi, was named GLIAC Freshman and Setter of the Year. DeMarchi also earned All-GLIAC First Team Honors with Mariah Sherman. MacAulay Petersen was All-GLIAC Second Team and Elle Heinonen was Honorable Mention.
Volleyball Signs Sharkey, Grindland, Novotny and Petersen for 2018
Dec 14, 2017