A pair of Tiger Volleyball players are moving on to compete at four-year schools.
Coming off of the most successful season in program history, the Tigers continued their success as both of their sophomore's signed National Letters of Intent to continue their education and volleyball careers.
While Jelena Dukic was the only sophomore athletically, Sadie Smith was academically a sophomore as she had completed many dual-enrollment credits through MCC prior to graduating high school. Smith still has three years of athletic eligibility.
Dukic, the captain of the 2018 squad has signed a National Letter of Intent with Delaware State University. The Hornets are an NCAA Division I program and member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. DSU will welcome a new head coach, Dr. Bruce Atkinson for the 2019 season.
Dukic spoke fondly of her time at MCC while looking forward to attending Delaware State. "MCC has helped me to improve my academics and athletic abilities. From the academic side, I've improved my English as well as gained a lot of knowledge in my career path. Being here and playing at MCC really helped me to develop as a player and as a leader on the court. I'll always be thankful to Coach Justin for giving me this opportunity and helping me become a better setter. He helped me to be self-confident on the court and that's something that I was missing when I first came to Marshalltown. I'm proud of what we've been able to accomplish these last two years and I can't wait to continue playing at DSU and be a part of their vision. Thank you MCC for the amazing two years!"
Smith will make her next stop at Lindenwood University after signing an NLI with the Lions. The Lions compete as a member of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association and are an NCAA Division II program. Lindenwood is led by head coach, Will Condon.
Smith believes Lindenwood will be a great fit for her moving forward while appreciating her time as a Tiger. "Choosing Lindenwood University was the right choice for me for a lot of reasons. Geographically, financially, academically, and athletically, it fit everything I was looking for. MCC helped prepare me for the next level by allowing me to compete at a higher level than I'd ever competed at before. My time as a Tiger really taught me a new level of work-ethic necessary to be successful in the classroom and on the court with the increased time commitment from high school. I absolutely loved my time at MCC and will cherish the friendships and bonds that I had with all of my teammates and coaches!"
Both players will be missed both on and off the court next season. Smith finished the season with 311 kills and 70 service aces while Dukic compiled 1272 assists to go along with 121 kills, 68 aces, and 324 digs. Smith's 70 aces tied her for second in the country while Dukic's 68 was right behind her in fourth place nationally.
"Sadie and Jelena will always have a place in the Tiger Volleyball Family" stated Head Coach, Justin Hoskins. "I can't say enough good things about them. They were both obviously successful on the court and I look forward to following their careers and Delaware State and Lindenwood. But beyond that, they're both great people. Jelena came to this program as we were just starting to get moving in the right direction and really helped lead the transformation of our program while Sadie came in a year later and helped take our program to a new level. I wish them nothing but the best moving forward and I know they'll continue to make Tiger Volleyball proud."