HAMMOND, Ind. & WESTVILLE, Ind. – Purdue University Northwest head volleyball coach Julie Wiejak has announced her 2017-18 recruiting class with the recent signings of Serene Jones, Danielle Fowler and Morgan Spencer.
The three join a PNW Pride program that finished with 18 wins in 2016-17 in the team’s final year in the NAIA and the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Purdue Northwest, a provisional member of NCAA Division II, enters its first season of play in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference this fall.
The Pride open the 2017 campaign Sept. 1-2 in St. Augustine, Fla., at the Flagler (Fla.) University Saints Invitational. PNW will play four matches in Florida before returning to Westville, Ind., for the Pride’s home opener against Indiana Kokomo Sept. 6.
More detailed info on each recruit below:
Serene Jones, Lockport Township H.S., Crest Hill, Ill.
Jones, a multi-year letter winner at Lockport Township High School, was named team captain, received a pair of athlete of the week honors and recorded the Southwest Suburban Conference All Academic Award.
The 5-foot-8 standout was a member of the National Honor Society, Illinois Scholar Award recipient and Porter Pride award winner.
“Serene is one of the strongest freshman we have committed to our program,” Wiejak said. “She has a heavy arm and loves to operate in a fast offense. Serene is also one of the most talented students that we have committed and I look for her to set a great example in the classroom as well as offer her talents when it comes to leadership.”
Danielle Fowler, Highland H.S., Highland, Ind.
Fowler comes to the Pride after a standout career at Highland High School, where she was a three-sport athlete.
Fowler received first-team all-conference honors along with all-area and academic all-conference accolades. She led the Trojans to a softball sectional championship and basketball sectional runner-up performance.
“I have known Danielle since she was in grade school and she has always been an amazing athlete,” Wiejak said. “We are incredibly lucky to have her on our roster as she brings so much speed and athleticism to our back court. She has played three sports her whole life and I am excited to hone in her skills on just volleyball and help her reach her full potential.”
Morgan Spencer, Aurora Central Catholic H.S. (Chowan University), Oswego, Ill.
Spencer comes to PNW aftter spending the past two seasons at NCAA Division II Chowan (N.C.) University, where the Hawks were Northern Division Champions.
Spencer received all-conference accolades while helping the Hawks earn the No. 1 ranking in NCAA Division II for service aces. During her prep days, she was an all-conference and all-area award recipient for Aurora Central Catholic High School, while helping her team make a regional championship appearance.
“Morgan is a transfer from a Division II school and I look for her to offer her expertise to our team as we embark on our first season of Division II,” Wiejak said. “She has been a two-year, six-rotation starter and I have no doubt she will find a way to get on our court. Morgan also brings her competitive fire as well as her leadership skills to our team, and as an incoming junior, I look for her to mentor younger players and be a part of our overall athletic community.”