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Heights' Kali Henry among Ichabods' seven volleyball signees

By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

Shawnee Heights senior Kali Henry is one of seven volleyball signees announced by Washburn University coach Chris Herron on Wednesday.

Henry, a 5-foot-4 defensive specialist/libero, was a second-team All-United Kansas Conference selection as a senior.

A four-year player for the T-Bird, Henry earned All-UKC second-team honors three times.
 
"Kali is fast and dynamic,'' Herron said. "She is another competitive player who fits what we are looking for in our program."

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Herron also announced the signing of setter Sydney Conner (Kearney, Neb.), setter Audrey Dowd (Littleton, Colo.), right side hitter Kealy Kiviniemi (Bellevue, Neb.), outside hitter Bella Limback (Waverly, Mo.), setter Corinna McMullen (Bucyrus) and outside hitter Ella Waters (Hickman, Neb.).

"We are extremely excited about the talent level of the 2022 class," Herron said. "We have addressed our needs at each position with outstanding athletes, players and people.

"It is our hope that several of these young ladies make an immediate impact. All come from programs that have been wildly successful. Each are amazing competitors."

Washburn signee capsules:

Sydney Conner, setter, 5-11, Kearney, Neb. (Kearney Catholic HS) -- A four-year member of the Kearney Catholic High School volleyball team … as a junior, she broke the program's season assist record with 953 assists to go with 224 digs, 183 kills, 53 blocks, and 28 aces … was named to the all-conference first team and helped the team to a conference championship and a sixth place finish at the Class C1 State Tournament, closing out the season with a 30-6 overall record … during her senior year, averaged 9.3 assists per set and tallied 716 assists in 77 sets played while also making 201 digs, 118 kills, and 32 blocks … team finished with a 33-5 record and was the state runner-up … also a four-year member of the tennis team… daughter of Doug and Kris Conner … has two siblings, Shayla and Zac … her sister Shayla was an All-American setter for Washburn and is currently the Ichabods' assistant coach … plans to major in business.

Herron on Conner: "Sydney comes from an outstanding volleyball family. She has an excellent volleyball IQ and is very offensive minded at the setter position. She will be one of the tallest setters we have had."

Audrey Dowd, setter, 5-8, Littleton, Colo. (Columbine HS) -- Played four seasons of volleyball at Columbine High School … helped the Rebels to a final four state tournament appearance as a junior … earned three academic letters … daughter of Mike and Amy Dowd … has one sister, Emily … plans to major in occupational therapy.

Herron on Dowd: "Audrey is smooth and consistent at the setter position. She plays for a very good high school program, and an even better club program."

Kali Henry, defensive specialist/libero, 5-4, Tecumseh (Shawnee Heights) -- A four-year member of the Shawnee Heights volleyball team … was named the Newcomer of the Year as a freshman … earned all-conference second team honors three times … also competed in track and field her freshman year and was the high jump city champion … academically, holds a 4.0 GPA … daughter of Jeffrey and Jennifer Henry … has one sister, Kaitlyn … plans to be a pre-med major.

Herron on Henry: "Kali is fast and dynamic. She is another competitive player who fits what we are looking for in our program."

Kealy Kiviniemi, right side, 6-0, Bellevue, Neb. (Bellevue West HS) --  Was a team captain and letterwinner all four years for the Bellevue West High School volleyball team … finished with the highest hitting percentage and led the team in kills in three of her four seasons … at the conclusion of her junior campaign, was also the team leader in blocks and aces … daughter of Don and Kristy Kiviniemi … her father played baseball at Bellevue University … has two brothers, Ty and Cole … plans to major in business.

Herron on Kiviniemi: "Kealy is an excellent shot maker. She is long and can play any front row position."

Bella Limback, outside hitter, 5-11, Waverly, Mo. (Santa Fe HS) -- Bella Limback is a multi-sport athlete from Santa Fe High School (Alma, Mo.) … she helped the Lady Chiefs to four volleyball regular season conference titles and three tournament championships … has received a plethora of awards throughout her high school career including being named All-Conference and All-District four times and has been an All-State selection twice … has also been selected to the all-tournament team in 12 tournaments … also competed in three seasons of basketball, two in track, and two in softball … also a well decorated basketball player, earning All-District accolades three times … has earned All-Conference and All-District honors in track twice … was a team captain for the softball team as a freshman … she has maintained a 4.0 GPA through high school … was named as the Best of the Best for mathematics her freshman year and has also been an Academic All-State selection in volleyball … daughter of Kurt and Michelle Limback … has two sisters, Kylie and Sadie, who both played volleyball collegiately at Central Methodist and Nebraska-Omaha, respectively … plans to major in biology.

Herron on Limback: "Bella is a tremendous athlete. She is a multi-sport athlete who excels in all of them. She has had an outstanding high school career."

Corinna McMullen, setter, 5-5, Bucyrus (Louisburg HS) -- A four-year member of the Louisburg High School volleyball team … made an instant impact as a freshman as she helped the Wildcats to a second place finish at the Kansas 4A State Tournament and was named to the Tri-County Spotlight first team, All-League second team, and the Prep Volleyball FROSH 59 honorable mention … as a sophomore, was selected to the Tri-County Spotlight first team, All-League second team, Kansas State All-Tournament team, and the All-State second team … continued to garner accolades as a junior, earning Tri-County Spotlight, All-League, and KVA Eastern Kansas Sports first team honors as well as being named to the All-State second team … was selected to the All-League first team at the end of her senior campaign …also competed in four seasons of track and field and finished fourth at state in discus as a junior … has earned a place on the All-Academic team all four years and holds a 4.0 GPA … daughter of Scott and Sarah McMullen ... her father played volleyball at Penn State … her sister, Sophia, plays volleyball at Northwest Missouri … her brother, Connor, competed in track and field at Kansas … major has not been declared.

Herron on McMullen: "Corinna has had extensive training with the USA High performance program. She is an outstanding competitor and very good defender as well as setter. She is the type of player you just want on your side of the net."

Ella Waters, outside hitter, 6-3, Hickman, Neb. (Norris HS) -- Played four years of volleyball for Norris High School … helped the Titans to the state tournament all four years with two second place finishes and to a combined record of 115-30 … as a freshman, recorded 166 kills, 43 blocks, and 32 digs … was named an All-Conference Class B and Prep Dig Class B Honorable Mention … closed out her sophomore season with 380 kills, 82 digs, 35 aces, and 28 blocks  and was selected to the All-State Class B first team (Lincoln Journal Star) and the second team (Omaha World-Herald) … as a junior, registered 400 kills, 74 digs, and 44 blocks and the Omaha World-Herald named her to the All-State Class B first team and All-Nebraska second team … additionally, the Lincoln Journal Star placed her on the All-State Class B first team and the Super State third team … in her senior campaign, had 493 kills, 81 digs, and 57 blocks and earned a place on the Class B all-tournament team … academically, has lettered every year of high school and was named to the AVCA Best and Brightest second team … daughter of Scott and Tobiann Waters … both parents were college athletes at Doanne University as her mother played volleyball and her father played basketball …  plans to major in sports management or education.
 
Herron on Waters: "Ella gives us outstanding size at the pin position. She comes from an outstanding high school and club program."