Volleyball Team Reloads With New Talent for Next Year

Over the past two weeks, the Portland State volleyball team has announced the signing of three letters of intent for the upcoming 2014 season. Head coach Michael Seemann has personally made statements about each of the three young players and is excited to see how they are going to help him continue with the excellent standard his team has set.

Lauren Nicholson

In her hometown of Upland, Calif., Nicholson averaged 6.3 kills per set during her senior year while hitting .437 overall. Measuring in at 5 feet 9 inches tall, she was named MaxPreps player of the week, listed on her high school’s honor roll twice and played privately most of her high school career. Nicholson is excited to begin her college career at PSU and has high hopes of helping her new team to the conference tournament each year.

“We could not be more excited to have Lauren join our program in 2014,” Seemann said. “Lauren brings a high level of skill and intelligence to the outside position. We see her as a very strong six rotation player that will have an impact on our program immediately. She can bring it from the end line with two different tough serves, a skill we value here at Portland State. I was impressed with Lauren’s ability to attack the ball anywhere she wants with accurate placement and power.”

Roni LaPierre

“Roni is an exciting player to watch,” Seemann stated. “She has a live arm and can bring heat to the outside hitting position. We love the competitive attitude she carries on the court. Roni has incredible vision and feel as an attacker and can score from anywhere.”

At her high school in Glendora, Calif., she leads in kills. Her team looks to be on their way to their sixth consecutive league championship. Although this year’s awards have yet to be announced, LaPierre was named the Most Valuable Offensive Player in the league her junior year.

“She is extremely effective as an attacker out of the back row as well,” Seemann said. “We have seen Roni go on serving runs of three and five points frequently, and that fits well into our philosophy of valuing that skill. She has a high volleyball IQ and has the ability to make big plays. We could not be more proud of her joining our program in 2014.”

LaPierre decided to play for PSU because she felt at home in the city. She immediately bonded with the other women on the team and believes she can bring something positive to the program.

Erin Clark

Hailing from Ruben S. Ayala High School in Chino Hills, Calif., Seemann believes that “Erin will make an immediate impact in our gym at the setting position…along with being an outstanding setter, she brings all of the intangibles in that position. She is a leader, she is extremely competitive and has the ability to score and disrupt from the service line.”

Clark has garnered a number of accolades throughout her high school career, including being named to the 2013 Under Armour High School All-American watch list before her senior season. She totaled 513 assists, 136 kills, 36 aces and 18 total blocks this season.

Clark earned All-Conference first team honors her sophomore and junior years while being named conference MVP as a junior. She was team captain as a senior and earned the Ayala Distinguished Student-Athlete with Character Award.

“We have seen Erin take over matches entirely, and every time she touches the ball, she puts her teammates in quality situations. We are proud and thrilled to have her don a Vikings uniform in 2014,” Seemann said.

Clark has had the dream of playing college volleyball since she was 9 years old, and says she fell in love with PSU the first time she set foot on campus. The athletic department can’t wait for Clark, Nicholson and LaPierre to join what is already a dominant program. The current Viking team is the No. 1 seed at the Big Sky Conference Tournament this weekend. PSU is hosting the tournament, with games beginning at Stott Center Friday, Nov. 29 at 10 a.m. As the top seed, the Vikings’ first game will be at 7 p.m., against the lowest remaining seed after the first round of games.