After concluding her junior college career, Rieley Rodman is set to bring veteran experience to the Waldorf University volleyball team.
Rodman, an incoming junior transfer from Ankeny who was a libero and defensive specialist at Marshalltown Community College (MCC) the past two seasons, signed a letter of intent with the Warriors on Thursday.
“Rieley adds great experience and leadership to our team,” Waldorf coach Bri Ebenhoe said. “Rieley had a great high school career where she was a three-time all-conference award winner and played on a team that was a two-time state qualifier.”
A 2015 Grand View Christian School graduate, Rodman was a three-year varsity starter, four-year letter winner and a three-year captain for the Thunder. She helped Grand View Christian earn trips to the Class 1A state tournament during the 2012 and 2014 seasons.
During Rodman’s sophomore year, the Thunder posted a 29-7 record, won the Rolling Hills Conference title with an 11-0 league record and advanced to state. She capped the season with second-team all-conference honors after providing 194 digs and seven ace serves.
Rodman continued with a strong junior season as Grand View Christian turned in a 28-11 record and finished with a 5-0 record in the Bluegrass Conference. She garnered second-team all-conference recognition after ramping up her production with 225 digs.
The Thunder powered to a 28-11 record once again during Rodman’s senior season while going 5-1 in conference play and reaching the state tournament. She was honored as an all-district selection and was named to the all-conference second team. Rodman produced a team-high 433 digs and 44 aces while sporting a .910 serve efficiency.
Continuing her career at MCC, Rodman was a two-year starter for the Tigers and served as a team captain as a sophomore.
“In her two years at Marshalltown, she played in every match and led her team in digs both seasons,” Ebenhoe said.
As a freshman at MCC, Rodman tallied 361 digs and 15 assists. She continued to elevate her game during her sophomore season, racking up 479 digs and 193 assists. Rodman was named to the 2016 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Region XI All-Academic Team.
Waldorf assistant coach Mady Van Metre, an MCC alum who served two years as an assistant coach for the Tigers, coached Rodman for one season and was instrumental in bringing her to the Warriors.
“I had the pleasure of coaching Rieley a year ago at Marshalltown and she is everything a coach wants,” Van Metre said. “She is hardworking, coachable and has a great attitude. On top of that, she is an outstanding volleyball player.”
Waldorf looks to Rodman to use her skill set as she plays an important role at libero this fall.
“She has a real feel for the game and knows how to read the ball well, which is such an important skill for a libero/defensive specialist to have,” Van Metre said. “Rieley will be a great representative of Waldorf as an athlete, student and person. I really look forward to seeing what she is able to accomplish in the next two years.”
After two solid years at MCC, Rodman is excited to have the chance to continue playing the sport she loves with the Warriors.
“As a junior college transfer, it is such an honor to be able to continue my volleyball career competing at a high level,” Rodman said. “I am happy that I will continue to push myself as a player and a person. I am looking forward to working with new teammates, playing under Coach Ebenhoe and her staff while being able to contribute to the Waldorf volleyball program.”
Rodman is the daughter of Jeff and Debi Rodman. She will study elementary education at Waldorf and said she chose to attend the university because of the campus, environment, class sizes and volleyball program.
“I really enjoyed the campus and all the activities Waldorf has to offer,” Rodman said. “I enjoy the small class sizes and the personal attention I will be able to receive. The volleyball team and coaches were very welcoming, making me feel right at home and at ease. I am very excited about becoming a Warrior academically and athletically.”
The fifth member of Waldorf’s 2017 recruiting class, Rodman joins a strong group of incoming freshmen that includes Ariel Pindegayosh, a middle hitter from North Community High School in Minneapolis; setter Alexa Hort from Eastview High School in Apple Valley, Minn.; Collins-Maxwell High School setter Kathleen Baldwin and Rockford Senior High School middle hitter Skylar Schmitt.
Rodman’s experience and positive influence on her teammates during both her high school and junior college careers will make an immediate impact for the Warriors, who begin the season in the Northwestern Classic on Aug. 25-26 at Orange City.
“The fact that she was a team captain at both schools speaks to the level of leadership she brings and the type of teammate she is,” Ebenhoe said. “We saw that on display when she came to campus for her visit and knew right away she was a great fit for our team.”