Seven sign to play for SOU Raiders

ASHLAND — Five high school seniors and two junior college transfers has signed to played volleyball at Southern Oregon in the fall, including Hidden Valley standout Haley Fikso.

Fikso, a 6-foot middle blocker, will be joined in her recruiting class by Kiely Nelson of Redding, Calif., Natalie Scheller of Bend, Caryn Westrick of Bonney Lake, Wash., and Liz Madden of Manson, Wash. That group follows the Raiders' signing of Chemeketa Community College's Alisha Shigley and Linn-Benton Community College's Chelsea Hartman.

"This class will add great depth, strength and exceptional skill to our front line and skill positions," SOU head coach Josh Rohlfing said. "They will help to solidify our middle blocker position with the loss of All-American Mia Wortel. This is an exceptional group of student-athletes."

Fikso earned all-state honors last year at Hidden Valley and was named the Skyline Conference's player of the year. She also was an all-conference basketball player and was a four-year scholar-athlete award winner.

Nelson, a 5-11 outside hitter/middle blocker, was named all-Northern Section and all-conference at Shasta High School as both a senior and junior. Nelson also was an all-conference basketball player this past year.

"Kiely is a very dynamic jumper and has the ability to get off the floor exceptionally well," Rohlfing said. "Kiely is going to be a tremendous blocker here from many seasons to come. Her best volleyball is ahead of her."

Scheller, a 6-0 outside hitter, was a four-year varsity starter on Bend High School's playoff team and earned all-conference as a senior.

Westrick, a 5-6 setter/libero, earned three all-conference awards during her four years at Bonney Lake High. Westrick also shined on the Junior Olympic level, leading her club team to a fifth-place finish last year.

Madden, a 5-11 outside hitter/right-side hitter, was named all-state and league MVP after leading Manson High to a second-place finish at the Washington state championships this past fall. Madden also earned all-conference honors as a junior.

Shigley and Hartman will both bring collegiate experience to the Raiders.

Shigley, a 6-1 junior middle blocker, earned second-team All-American honors at Chemeketa Community College. As a prep, Shigley was named all-conference in volleyball and basketball at Douglas High.

"Alisha is a long, quick and athletic middle blocker that will bring speed, experience and awareness to the middle blocker position," Rohlfing said. "She's been on our radar since she attended Douglas High School and our camp in 2006."

Hartman, a 6-0 junior outside hitter, earned all-conference honors at Linn-Benton Community College in 2006 and 2007 before sitting out last year. Hartman earned all-state honors as a senior at Lebanon High and was named all-conference all four years of high school.

"Chelsea is a very good volleyball player and a multi-faceted athlete," Rohlfing said. "Chelsea will contribute immensely on the outside for us in the coming seasons."

Southern Oregon went 20-10 last year and 17-3 in Cascade Conference play. The Raiders graduated one player from that team and return two-time All-American and two-time Cascade Conference player of the year Lindsey Stone.

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