UMW News BureauUniversity of Montana Western head volleyball coach Lisa Griffiths announced the signing of three players to Frontier Conference/NAIA letters of intent. Sallie Sams, a middle blocker, and Breanne Kelley, an outside hitter, come to Montana Western from the Polson High Pirates in Polson, Mont. Emily Erickson, a rightside hitter, joins the Bulldogs after playing for the Broadview High Pirates in Broadview, Mont. By Lowell Peterson University of Montana Western head volleyball coach Lisa Griffiths announced the signing of three players to Frontier Conference/NAIA letters of intent. Sallie Sams, a middle blocker, and Breanne Kelley, an outside hitter, come to Montana Western from the Polson High Pirates in Polson, Mont. Emily Erickson, a rightside hitter, joins the Bulldogs after playing for the Broadview High Pirates in Broadview, Mont. Sams played four years of volleyball, three at the varsity level, for Polson High. She earned second team all-conference honors her junior year and both first team all-conference and all-state her senior year. Sams was also named the most inspirational player on her volleyball team as a senior. “Sallie is a dynamic athlete who will make an immediate impact on our team as a middle blocker,” said Griffiths. “Her athletic ability is matched by her confidence and competitive personality. I’m excited to add her to our outstanding freshman class.” Sams also was a varsity cheerleader for two years and played two years of basketball and four years of varsity softball at Polson High. She was named to the second team all-conference for softball as a sophomore and both first team all-conference and all-state as a senior. The Pirates were state champions in softball in both 2010 and 2011. Sams in the daughter of Robert and Sallye Sams and intends to major in biology and health and human performance at Montana Western. Kelley excelled as an all-around athlete at Polson High where she played varsity and lettered all four years in volleyball, basketball and track and field. In volleyball, Kelley was second team all-conference as a freshman, first team all-conference as a sophomore, and earned both all-conference and all-state honors in her junior and senior seasons. She was named “Most Inspirational” as a freshman and earned the “Offensive Most Valuable Player” title as a senior on her volleyball team. "Breanne is coming to Montana Western after a very prolific high school career at Polson,” said Griffiths. “She has excelled in a variety of arenas and I cannot wait to add that competitiveness and attitude of excellence to our program. Breanne is an excellent passer and outside hitter who has the ability to contribute immediately.” Kelley also earned numerous awards in basketball and track and field. She was named all-conference as a sophomore, junior and senior and all-state as a junior and senior in basketball. Kelley was chosen her team’s “Offensive MVP” in basketball as a sophomore and junior and “Defensive MVP” as a senior. Kelley made the all-state team all four years in track and field. She was named her team’s “Track MVP” all four years and the “Track and Field MVP” as a sophomore and senior. Kelley graduated from Polson High with honors and a 4.0 grade point average. She is a member of the National Honors Society and was named “Academic All-State” in volleyball, basketball and track all four years. Kelley is the daughter of Randy and Tammy Kelly. Both parents graduated from Polson High and attended Montana Western. Randy played football for the Bulldogs. Kelley is undecided on a major but is considering elementary education. Erickson is also an excellent all-around athlete, playing four years at the varsity level in volleyball, basketball and track at Broadview High. She was a four-year starter in volleyball and a co-captain and team MVP in 2010. Among her volleyball honors Erickson was named all-conference for three years, all-state for two years and academic all-state for two years. “I am excited to announce the addition of Emily to Bulldog volleyball,” said Griffiths. “Emily has the ability to contribute in a variety of positions and her hitting and blocking skills will definitely be an asset to the program.” In basketball, Erickson was all-conference for two years and academic all-state for three years. In the 2010-11 season she was a co-captain and named co-team MVP. Erickson was a state qualifier for three years in track and field and was named her team’s “Field MVP” for the 2011 season. Erickson is the daughter of Bart and Lynne Erickson and plans to major in English at Montana Western. She will be the second member of her family to compete for the Bulldogs in the coming season. Erickson’s older brother Kyle plays for the men’s basketball team.
The University of Montana Western has launched a national search for the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs position.