North Idaho College Head Coach Miles Kydd announced today that the Cardinals have signed a pair of foreign-born outside hitters in 5-foot 10-inch Larissa Claassen of Bad Essen, Germany and 5-foot 8-inch Brittany Aldridge of Coquitlam, British Columbia.
Kydd said Claassen can be a major contributor to the Cardinals in both the practice gym and on the court.
“Obviously with Larissa being in Germany, all we have seen of her is on videotape, but what we have seen leads us to believe that Larissa will be able to come in right away and compete for a spot in the line-up,” Kydd said.
Claassen played youth volleyball with SV Bad Laer, which finished second at Germany’s 2012 U18 Volleyball Championships. She also played on her state team (Lower Saxony), leading her team to three third-place showings in three years. Claassen has extensive experience in beach volleyball as well garnering a second-place finish at Germany’s U17 Beach Volleyball Championships in 2010, and a third-place finish with her state team at Germany’s U17 Beach Volleyball Championships in 2011.
“Larissa has shown herself to be an aggressive attacker with good overall skills,” Kydd said. “She will have a relatively short period of transition since she has spent time in Denver visiting relatives and is a good student who speaks excellent English. I am very excited to work with Larissa and look forward to the contributions she will make to our team in 2013.”
Aldridge was her high school’s four-time MVP in volleyball. She was a first-team all-star at the British Columbia AAAA High School Provincial Championships, where her team placed fourth her senior year. She was also a 2013 member of the Fraser Valley Volleyball Club, which placed third at Canada’s U-18 National Championship this past May, and has been a member of Team BC Volleyball for the past three seasons.
“Aldridge is one of those rare athletes who can make fans and teammates alike say ‘Wow!’” Kydd said. “Brittany will play a big role in our team’s offense in 2013. She has explosive power and an ability to terminate the rally in all situations.
Aldridge also excels in track -- particularly the sprints and jumps. Her brother played NCAA D1 soccer for Bowling Green State University.
“Brittany is a good student who has her sights set on a D1 opportunity in the future and she certainly has the right combination of athleticism, academic habits and determination to make that a reality,” Kydd said.
The Cardinal volleyball season is set to kick off training on Aug. 1. The women compete in their first scrimmages at the HUB in Spokane Valley Aug. 23-24.