Five players – four of them over six feet tall – will be joining the two-time Great Midwest Athletic Conference champion Hillsdale College volleyball team in the Fall of 2019.
Head coach Chris Gravel will enter his 24th season guiding the program by bringing in one of his largest classes to date.
Joining Hillsdale College next year are: Madeline Zenas (6-1 setter, Spring Lake, MI), Emily Susitko (6-0 right side, Novi, MI), Megan Kolp (6-2 middle hitter, Petoskey, MI), Linnea Larson (6-3 middle hitter, Northfield, MN), and Audrey Riley (5-8 defensive specialist, Stillwater, OK).
Pictured - left to right starting at the top - are Susitko, Kolp and Larson, with Riley (bottom left) and Zenas.
Zenas was named the top player in the Muskegon area after the 2018 season. In her career at Spring Lake High School, she handed out 1,113 assists, had 71 total blocks, 272 digs, 149 kills and 38 service aces. She was a two-time team captain and named All-Conference and All-Region. She was among 20 finalists for Miss Volleyball in the state of Michigan.
Zenas played her club volleyball for Inside Out. Away from the court, she was a Coast Guard Festival volunteer and participated in The Chalkboard Project and Skate for Change.
A standout right-side for Farmington Mercy High School, Susitko had a .341 hitting percentage as a senior in 2018 and helped lead her team to back-to-back appearances in the state semifinals. Mercy won two district and two regional titles among her four years on the varsity team.
Outside of volleyball, Susitko performed the cello for four years in high school, was a member of the Science Club, helped coach sixth-grade girls in the local CYO and volunteered at St. Aloysious. She will graduate in the top 10 in her class in June.
Kolp was a dominant middle hitter at Petoskey High School, where she was a two-time Player of the Year in her area. She was twice named First-Team All-Conference and earned All-Region distinction as a senior in 2018. This year she had 364 kills with a .393 hitting percentage to go along with 122 total blocks and 271 digs. She had 332 kills with a .383 hitting percentage as a junior in 2017. Kolp played club volleyball for Five: 1 Athletics and the Michigan Elite Club out of Midland.
She is a member of the National Honor Society and was a recipient of Petoskey's People's Choice Award.
Larson comes to Hillsdale from the volleyball-rich state of Minnesota, where she was a terrific middle hitter. She was a team captain and earned All-Conference honors three times. In 2018 she had 187 kills with a hitting percentage of .446. She's an AAU Academic All-American and played club volleyball for Mizuno Northern Lights.
Riley was a dynamic back-row specialist at Stillwater High School in Oklahoma where she led her team to the state championship match this fall, the furthest a volleyball team had ever advanced at her high school. Her 92 service aces in 2017 are a school record and she had 594 digs as a senior in 2018.
She was named Player of the Year by the Stillwater Press newspaper. Riley was also named to the All-Tournament Team for the Stillwater Invitational Tournament, was First-Team All-Conference and qualified for the All-State Team.