College News

College: Rookie Report (Sept. 19)

Melissa Evans has provided instant offense for the NC State lineup.

(Courtesy NC State Athletics)

This week’s Rookie Report features an array of teams off to solid starts with freshmen contributing in key ways.

— Chinaza Ndee, Pitt, RS/MH

Another former Senior Ace, Ndee makes this week’s Rookie Report for two reasons. One, she’s off to a decent enough start for the Panthers. The freshman is currently fourth in kills with 69 (1.77 per set) and third in blocks with 27 (0.69). The second is because at 17 years old, Ndee is the first student-athlete to earn the prestigious Helen Faison Scholarship, annually awarded to incoming freshmen from around the nation. In 2017, only three scholarships were granted for 4,057 students. You can read more here.


— Dani Dennison TCU, Libero

Taking over the libero role as a rookie, Dennison has provided TCU with a steady back row defender to rely on. She’s played in all of the team’s 39 sets and has racked up 198 digs. That’s an average of 5.08 per set. She’s also tied for second with 7 aces.


— Melissa Evans, NC State, RS

Evans is already making her mark and looks to be a future stalwart of the Wolfpack attack. The springy left starts this week currently second on the roster in kills with 126, averaging 3.00 per set and hitting .278 in 302 attempts. She’s also tied for second with 23 blocks (0.55 per set).


Hailey Dirrigl, Arkansas, OH

The Razorbacks’ offense figured to get a boost from redshirt senior Pilar Victoria coming back and it certainly has. At the same time, Dirrigl’s made steady contributions so far through her rookie campaign. Last year’s Senior Ace No. 62 is second behind Victoria with 1-1 kills, averaging 2.24 per set. She’s also chipped in with 20 blocks.


Mima Mirkovic, Cal, OH

Mirkovic was rated as PVB’s Senior Ace No. 72 and her contributions for Cal have been both immediate and impactful. She’s second in kills with 118, putting down 2.81 per set. She’s been valuable in the back row as well, as she’s second in digs with 142 (3.38 per set).

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