Bend's Crowell signs with Griz volleyball team


Coach Jerry Wagner just finished his sixth season at Montana


Coach Jerry Wagner just finished his sixth season at Montana

Nov. 22, 2011

Montana volleyball coach Jerry Wagner announced recently that Gabby Crowell of Bend, Ore., has signed a National Letter of Intent and will join the Grizzlies next fall. Crowell, a 5-11 outside hitter, is currently a senior at Summit High School.

Crowell led the Storm to the Oregon Class 5A state championship earlier this month. She finished with 17 kills and 13 digs in the final as Summit High came back from a 2-0 deficit against West Albany to win the program's first state championship.

Crowell was a second-team all-state selection as a sophomore and first-team all-state as a junior, as well as the Intermountain Conference Player of the Year. Oregon's 2011 all-state teams have yet to be released.

At Summit High Crowell played for coach Jill Waskom, who played collegiately at Oregon State, as did Wagner's assistant coaches Gina Schmidt and Allison Lawrence.

"Montana is getting a fiery, intense, and passionate volleyball player," Waskom said. "She'll bring power and experience to the court, along with a deep love of the game.

"I know she will have an outstanding collegiate career. I look forward to watching her in a Grizzly uniform."

Like all of Montana's recruits, Crowell's playing experiences go beyond just the high school level. She was a member of the Rimrock Volleyball Club, and she and her teammates placed 10th in the 18 National division at last summer's USA Volleyball Junior Olympics in Atlanta.

Crowell was in town last weekend, along with her parents, for an official visit. She watched the Grizzlies conclude their season with a 3-2 win over Idaho State Friday and a 3-1 victory over Weber State Saturday.

"I think it's going to be a really good fit," she said. "I like how Jerry, Gina and Allison run the program and their coaching style, and I like the feel of campus. It reminds me of Bend."

 

 

With the graduation of outside hitter Amy Roberts, one of only seven players in Montana volleyball history with 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs, Crowell will join the short list of players who will be competing to play alongside current sophomore Kayla Reno on the left side.

"We feel really fortunate to have Gabby join our program," Wagner said. "At this point in her development she is already a polished, focused, six-rotation player, so she is going to be able to contribute very early in her career.

"What really sets her apart is the mental side of the game and her understanding of how hard you have to play. She's the most solid, determined player on the court, and that's why I think she can come in and join a very experienced group and make an impact right away."

Montana loses Roberts and middle blocker Brittany Quick to graduation. Wagner expects to announce more roster additions in the future.

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