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Loyola Women’s Volleyball Signs Three Recruits, one a former northern lights volleyball player

By Robert B.

Loyola University Chicago head volleyball coach Liz Tortorello-Nelson announced today the signing of three recruits to National Letters of Intent. Middle hitters Melissa Craig (Magnolia, Texas/Magnolia) and Shelby Henriksen (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville) join outside hitter Keily Zins (Barrington, Ill./Lake Zurich) in making up the class.

I am excited about this class, said Tortorello-Nelson. All three of these talented young ladies are extremely smart players and will compete for spots right away. Melissa and Shelby will give us a presence in the middle and Keily, who is coming off a great senior season, will help on the outside.

Craig, who stands 6-foot-2, will team with the 6-foot-1 Henriksen to give Loyola some size and power in the middle. Craig, who played club volleyball for the Texas Tornados, was named first team all-district 16-5A as a senior while Henriksen, a member of the Northern Lights volleyball club, earned Second Team All-State honors from the Pioneer Press after helping her team to a second-place finish in the state tournament, the second time she received all-state accolades during her prep career.

Both Melissa and Shelby come from excellent club teams, said Tortorello-Nelson. They know the game very well and can come in and play right away. Perhaps as importantly, they will give us an athletic presence at the net for years to come.

Joining them in Rogers Park next year is Keily Zins, who will give the Ramblers another athletic hitter on the outside. Zins earned honorable mention all-state honors as a senior and was a two-time all-area selection, helping her team to the first Super Sectional appearance in school history. She played her club volleyball for a successful local club, SkyHigh.

I think Keily will be a terrific player for us, stated Tortorello-Nelson. She reminds me a lot of former Loyola star Heather Thomas with the way she plays. I feel that Keily can give us a boost in both the front and back rows.

Loyola concluded its regular season with an 18-13 record and enters this weekend's Horizon League Championship as the No. 2 seed. The Ramblers receive a bye until the semifinal round and will face either UW-Green Bay (No. 3 seed), Cleveland State (6) or Illinois-Chicago (7) at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis, Ind.

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