Volleyball Signs 11 New Players


Rochester Community and Technical College signed 11 new players to join its volleyball team for the 2016 season. These eleven women will join six returners from RCTC’s NJCAA Division III Volleyball Championship team.

Jaycee Anderson, Mankato, MN. Jaycee played for Mankato West High School. She received two letters and was on the B Honor Roll. She is planning to complete her education at RCTC to work toward a career in Sonography.

Emily Brandstand, Stewartville, MN. Emily played for Stewartville High School. She was All-Conference. Her team was Conference Champions and Section Champions in 2014 and 2015, State Champions in 2014, third place at state in 2015, and received the Gold Academic Award in 2013-2015. She is majoring in Dental Hygiene.

Brittany Ellis, Lansing, MN. Brittany played for Kee High School. She was awarded All-Conference. She was also part of the RCTC basketball team finishing their season as the Region 13A runner-ups. She is majoring in Elementary Education.

Ali Grabau, Kasson, MN. Ali played for Kasson-Mantorville High School. She is majoring in Nursing.

Maddeson Hintz, Byron, MN. Maddeson played for Byron High School. She was a four-time letter winner in volleyball and five-time letter winner in track and field. Her team was awarded Academic All-State.

Rachel Kimball, Fountain, MN. Rachel played for Lanesboro Public High School. She was awarded most improved and lettered in volleyball and track. She is planning on completing her general education with an emphasis in accounting.

Lauren Larkoski, Austin, MN. Lauren played for Blooming Prairie High School. She was a two-time All-Conference player, All-Herald team, team MVP, team captain, and she was awarded academic All-Conference. She is a student council member, Chamber Ambassador, and FCCLA. She is majoring in Nursing.

Jessica Nelson, Tracy, MN. Jessica played for Tracy Area Public High School. She was awarded All-Conference and was on the Honor Roll all four years. She is majoring in Nursing.

Tara Rogers, Stewartville, MN. Tara played for Stewartville High School. She was All-Conference, All-Conference Honorable Mention, and made the All-Tournament Team at the Oshkosh Tournament. Her team was Conference Champions from 2013-2015, Section Champions both 2014 and 2015, State Champions in 2014, third place at state in 2015, and received the Gold Academic Team Award from 2013-2015. She received the Academic Letter for outstanding scholastic achievement and is in the National Honor Society.

Sami Sorenson, Lake Crystal, MN. Sami played for Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial High School. She achieved 1,000 set assists as a sophomore, and 1,000 digs and 2,000 set assists as a senior. She was awarded All-Conference four years, MVP, and started every game all four years of high school. She was on the B Honor Roll and a Spotlight Scholar athlete.

Brooke Wendland, Balaton, MN. Brooke played for Immanuel Lutheran High School. She was second-team All-Conference for three years, two team All-Conference four years for track, and she will graduate with honors. She is majoring in Nursing.

RCTC welcomes back six National Champions to the 2016 team. Returning sophomores include: Maria Tibesar of St. Paul, MN; Megan Schock of Northrop, MN; Callie Hanley of Dover, MN; Johanna Bungum of Hayfield, MN; Ashley Bichel of Caledonia, MN; and Kenna Bannister of Lakefield, MN.

RCTC’s Volleyball Head Coach, Amber Zitzow, was selected Coach of the Year at the NJCAA DIII Volleyball Tournament. Zitzow has been honored with three consecutive Minnesota College Athletic Conference (MCAC) Southern Division Coach of the Year awards (2013, 2014, 2015). Amber was also named NJCAA Division III Region 13A Coach of the Year in 2014 and NJCAA Division III District E Coach of the Year in 2014.

In 2015 RCTC women’s volleyball won the MCAC Conference Championship and the NJCAA Region 13A Championship. The RCTC team went on to capture its first national volleyball championship in the College’s history. The Yellowjackets finished their season 27-6 overall with their victory over Brookhaven (Texas) in the NJCAA DIII Volleyball championship match.

RCTC Volleyball’s Mission/Philosophy

Rochester Community and Technical College volleyball dedicates itself to the mission of providing athletic opportunities to a wide range of students and an environment in which all student-athletes can achieve their academic and competitive goals. Our staff respects each student as an individual and their personal welfare is our highest priority. We promote traditional values of honesty, integrity, commitment, and hard work as the foundation of the RCTC volleyball reputation and our continued success. The individual players who participate in our program can learn the benefits of teamwork, self-discipline, personal responsibility, the setting of high standards, and the joy of achievement. We aspire to achieve success at the highest level of academics, as well as the highest level of athletic performance. Together, our staff believes we can make a difference in a student-athlete’s life.

For further information about RCTC Yellowjacket volleyball, contact Coach Zitzow at amber.zitzow@rctc.edu or 507-285-7255.

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