VOLLEYBALL LANDS THREE, TWO HAVE FAMILY TIES TO ISU

Moratzka (right) has been signed to ISU from Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Moratzka (right) has been signed to ISU from Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Lucas Gebhart

Sports Editor

After falling in the quarterfinals to Idaho and seeing the 2017 season come to an end, Idaho State head volleyball coach Rick Reynolds announced the signing of three new players for the 2018 season last week, two of which have family members who played collegiate athletics at ISU.

Idaho State signed Reagan Steiner from Billings, Montana, Danielle Devlin out of Great Falls, Montana and Duquesne Moratzka from Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Moratzka and Steiner, will continue their family tradition of playing collegiate athletics at Idaho State as Moratzka’s father, Doug Moratzka, played basketball at Idaho State in the 1980s and Steiner’s mother, Chantelle Sharp, played volleyball at Idaho State in the early 1990s and still holds school records.

“They represent everything we are looking for in future Bengals,” Reynolds said in a press release. “What excites us the most about this group is they are passionate about volleyball and committed to making a difference on and off the court… They each bring a high level of athleticism to the gym. Danielle, Duquesne, and Steiner have all played multiple positions in high school and have a high volleyball IQ.”

In 1992, Sharpe, averaged 3.8 kills per game for the Idaho State volleyball team. That mark ranks 11th in the Idaho State single-season record books. In 1991, Sharpe collected 55 aces, a single-season school record that stood for eight years until it was broken by Joy Kugler’s 60 aces in 1999 and now stands second in the school’s single-season record book.

“We are excited to watch Duquesne and Raegan create their own legacies in the orange and black,” Reynolds said.

After growing up in Cheyenne, Moratzka’s father, who currently coaches the Cheyenne Central High School boys’ basketball team, a crosstown-rival to Moratzka’s Cheyenne East High school, played three seasons for the Idaho State men’s basketball team from 1982-85.

Going into her senior season, Moratzka, 6-foot-1, had 490 kills, 356 digs, 164 blocks and 46 ace serves in two seasons. She was second on the team in kills (256), digs (328) and aces (41) her junior year, according to Wyoming Sports.

“I decided that if I kept thinking about Idaho State and felt so comfortable there, that I should just go there,” Moratzka told Wyoming Sports, who reported on Moratzka’s verbal commitment to Idaho State in August. “When I started the recruiting process, everyone told me I would just know where I should commit.”

Moratzka is a three-time All-State selection and was named to the 2017 Under Armor Watch List and was MVP of the Emerald Division at the Nike Tournament of Champions in 2017.

“She has developed into a six-rotation left side hitter and produced at a high level this fall,” Reynolds said. “She has worked with coaches we have high respect for in Geri Wagner, Dan Box, Glenn Sapp, Michelle Buckner, and most recently Nicole Quigley, Cheyenne East High coach, and Jim Stone, former Ohio State, current USA Youth National Team, and NORCO Volleyball Club coach.”

Devlin, a six-foot setter, is a three-sport athlete at Great Falls High School.

During her freshman year, Devlin was named Rookie of the Year in volleyball, basketball and track, and was named MVP of the volleyball team after leading the team in kills (205), hitting percentage (.140) and aces (36) her sophomore year.

Devlin earned MVP honors for the second-straight year following her junior season and was named All-State following her senior volleyball season.

“Danielle brings a diversity of skills to Reed Gym having played middle, outside and setter for her high school and club team,” Reynolds said. “We recruited her to be a setter for us, and our ultimate goal is to maximize her athleticism. From the first time we saw her play, we knew she was someone we wanted.”

Reynolds said that Devlin would be battling to be the team’s setter going into the 2018 season.

Idaho State will lose three players – Marissa Dance, Chloe Hirst and Makayla Lundin – to graduation, but will return Abby Garrity, who was the only returning Idaho State player to receive All-Conference honors, next season.

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