BEMIDJI – Bemidji senior Jess Yost made it official Wednesday afternoon, signing her National Letter of Intent to play her college volleyball and softball for Bemidji State in 2013.
Yost, an outside hitter who helped lead the Lumberjacks to a berth in the Class 3A state tournament for the second year in a row, was named to the all-state team this season. She finished the year with 494 kills on 1100 attacks, 76 blocks and 422 digs.
Yost will be joined by Amanda Tronick, an outside hitter from Hutchinson, and MaKenzie Franklin, a middle hitter from Cannon Falls.
“I think they’re going to present us with some options offensively—they’re going to give us more weapons,” said BSU head coach Wayne Chadwick of his new recruits.
“Time will tell, but they all have the potential to start playing for us next year. This class will give us some additional size, which will be nice. It’s the smallest class I’ve brought in and I’m very pleased with the class as a group.”
Yost will be the first player to come from Bemidji High School since setter Courtney Bitter played at BSU in 2008 and 2009.
All three players were ranked in Breakdown Magazine’s top 100 players in the state of Minnesota. Yost was the highest at No. 19.
Yost, who was a team captain for the Lumberjacks, reached the 1,000-kill mark in her junior season and also holds BHS’s career kills record. She also set the school’s single-season kill record in her sophomore season and broke it in both her junior and senior years.
Chadwick said he was glad to get the Bemidji native to stay at home.
“It’s always good to get the local players to stay in town,” he said. “Jess has had a great year. The team went to state for the second year in a row and she was named all-state and all-tournament down there.
“Jess has the potential to play all the way around and can help us defensively and with serve/receive. Something that has impressed me with her is that, for her size, she really does a great job at getting down to the floor for balls, moves well and has good instincts from a defensive standpoint.”
Tronik will join fellow Hutchinson natives Courtney Fox and Molly Monahan on the 2013 squad.
She started on a team that made it to the state tournament and finished in second place in Class 2AA in her sophomore season.
As a senior, she tallied 318 kills on a .358 hitting percentage and recorded 31 service aces, 158 digs and 21 blocks.
“Tronick hits a heavy, heavy ball,” Chadwick said. “She doesn’t necessarily hit the ball fast and it’s not necessarily going to explode off her hand, but it just sits on the defenders’ arms —she’s going to hit the ball hard, which is sometimes different from fast.
“She’s got the ability to get off the ground well and she has the ability to play all the way around for us, which will help us from a serve/receive and defensive standpoint.”
Franklin, from Cannon Falls, racked up 691 kills, 452 blocks and 90 service aces in her career. This season she helped guide the Rebels to the school’s best record of 23-6 in her senior season before the team fell in the subsection semifinals to end the season.
“I think she’s pretty quick,” Chadwick said. “She gets off the ground well and she has the athleticism and the flexibility to play any of the three positions along the net. Having that flexibility will only add to the depth of the team and give us some options.”