PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland State volleyball team completed its 2021 roster with the addition of five players Friday, giving the Vikings further depth on a team that finished last season winning five of its last six matches.
With the five additions Friday, the Vikings upped next season’s roster total to 16, and ensured that they’ll have multiple players at every position on the court.
“To have the opportunity and the time to pull this team together is something we’re going to relish. We haven’t experienced it in over a year [because of the pandemic]. More than any other year, we have so many pieces coming together. If all or even just most of the kids are clicking, then we’re going to be very deep at each position, which I’m really excited about. Most importantly, that depth makes for a great training environment,” Seemann said of the team’s depth and plans for fall camp.
The Vikings’ depth at middle blocker saw the biggest boost with Friday’s signings, as three of the five newcomers play at the net.
Genna Florig adds the most experience of the Vikings’ three additions at middle blocker, as she joins the Vikings as a grad transfer from UCONN. Florig, who prepped at Sunset High School in the Portland area, led UCONN with 94 total blocks as a redshirt freshman in 2017, and recorded a career-high 0.97 blocks per set as a junior in 2019.
“Our greatest need in the offseason was to basically get more depth in the middle, and ideally middles with experience, which is why Genna headlines that in this case. I think she’s someone who is going to bring in maturity and experience to that position, for sure,” Seemann said of Florig.
“What stands out for Genna is her blocking, by far. She’s long, big hands, huge presence across the net, and she makes good decisions. When we talk about experience, especially in the middle, we’re talking about reading and eliminating options for the other team. That’s where Genna’s going to be valuable, not only as an individual, but also as a teacher to the other middles as well.”
Morgan Halady and Sydney Rabe join Florig at middle blocker, though they’ll come into Portland State as freshmen. Halady joins the Vikings out of Kingston High School in Indianola, Wash., where she was a 2019 Washington State Volleyball Coaches Association All-State 2A honorable mention. Halady helped lead her school to its first-ever state appearance in 2017, followed by a repeat appearance in 2018.
“Morgan, athletically, is someone we’re really excited to work with, just in terms of her playing height,” Seemann said of Halady. “She is somebody who is also extremely motivated to maximize her potential. That’s something we already learned from her in the recruiting process, which is great. I know she’s super excited to join the program.”
Rabe signed with UW Green Bay out of high school in 2020, but didn’t play at all during the team’s 2021 winter season. Consequently, she will still be a freshman when she joins the Vikings this fall.
Rabe had a standout prep career in Wisconsin, as she was the unanimous Northern Lakes Conference Player of the Year as a senior at Wabeno High School. Rabe also ranked second in kills and fifth in blocks within the state of Wisconsin as a senior.
“Sydney has spent a year in a Division I program, which will help her transition into our program,” Seemann said of Rabe. “Physically, she has some of the attributes that we like as far as getting off the ground quickly and efficiently. I think her lateral quickness is good as well. We also want to discover what she can do and what she’s capable of, because that will be very interesting to see.”
Makayla Lewis and Lily Snook round out the Vikings’ five new signees, adding depth at outside hitter and libero, respectively. Lewis played the last two seasons at San Jose State, where she started 15 of the team’s 16 matches during the unique 2021 winter season. Lewis recorded a pair of double-doubles in 2021, the second of which came against Colorado State when she had a career-high 19 digs to go with 11 kills. Lewis had another double-double against then-No. 11 Colorado State as a freshman, when she finished with 13 kills and 16 digs.
“We needed someone who has spent time as a primary passer and also someone who we think can handle 40 attempts a match and be able to withstand the amount of opportunities they’re going to have to attack on the left pin,” Seemann said of what his staff looked for in recruiting Lewis.
“Our goal for Makayla will be to get her comfortable in our system, hitting off of our setters, and get her confident as a passer. Once that happens, that’s going to be fun to watch.”
Snook, meanwhile, joins her sister, Ellie Snook, as a defensive specialist for the Vikings. Snook was also teammates with her sister, Ellie, at West Linn High School, where she was part of four straight league title-winning teams. Snook earned All-league honors as a junior and senior, and helped lead her team to a third-place finish at state in 2018, as well as a fifth-place finish in 2019.
“She’s made a ton of progress in her last club season, even during COVID, which was a unique experience for everybody, especially club players,” Seemann said of Snook. “She’s made a ton of progress as a primary passer. She’s defensively very strong, but as important if not more important to us is how she can handle those lanes as a serve-receive passer, and we saw a lot of improvement from her there during the club season. I’m really excited to see what she can do and have some good sister rivalry, of course.”
The Vikings’ five new additions join setter Teniyah Leuluai, who signed with the Vikings last fall. All of the Vikings’ players will report back to campus on Aug. 5, with the team’s season opener scheduled for Aug. 27 against Oregon.
Genna Florig, MB, 6-1, RS-SR, Portland, Ore., Sunset HS
AT UCONN (2016-21)
Led UCONN with 94 total blocks as a redshirt freshman in 2017…Hit a career-best .276 as a sophomore in 2018 when she recorded 1.77 kills per set…Recorded a career-high 0.97 blocks per set as a junior in 2019…Had 33 total blocks in 29 sets during UCONN’s 2021 winter season…Set a career high with 10 blocks in a five-set loss against Boston College on Sept. 6, 2019…Twice had a career-high 14 kills in a match at UCONN, first against Houston as a sophomore (9/23/18) and then against Providence as a junior (9/21/19).
SUNSET HIGH SCHOOL
Four-year letterwinner in high school…First-team all-league in 2013 and 2015.
Daughter of David Florig and Caryn Tierney…Has an older sister, Sarah.
Morgan Halady, MB, 6-2, FR, Indianola, Wash., Kingston HS
KINGSTON HIGH SCHOOL
2019 Washington State Volleyball Coaches Association All-State 2A honorable mention…Helped lead her school to its first-ever state tournament appearance in 2017, followed by a repeat appearance in 2018…Three-time first-team all-league selection (2018, 2019, 2020)…Five-time scholar athlete award recipient (four in volleyball, one in basketball)…Kitsap Daily Player of the Week during her junior season…Captained her team as a senior…Voted Most Inspirational by her teammates in 2018…Voted her team’s Best Offensive Player by her teammates in 2019…Started on her high school’s basketball team as a freshman.
Played for the Olympic Premier Volleyball Club from 2015-20…Played for Dakine Warriors Volleyball Club in 2021…Won the Presidents Challenge with Dakine in 2021…Dakine was ranked No. 1 in the Puget Sound Region in 2021…PSR National Bid Winner with Dakine in 2021…Won the Willamette Valley Classic and Valentine’s Day Classic with her Olympic Premier team in 2019.
Daughter of Pete and Sharon Halady…Has two sisters, Taylor and Sydney Halady…Has been commissioned as a fine artist…Worked as an elementary school tutor in high school…Volunteered as an art docent in high school…Hopes to become a professor in psychology after college…Plans on majoring in psychology with possible minors in education and fine art.
Makayla Lewis, OH, 6-0, SO, Fresno, Calif., San Jose State (Central HS)
AT SAN JOSE STATE (2019-21)
Started 15 of her team’s 16 matches during the unique 2021 winter season…Averaged 1.55 kills and 1.45 digs per set…Recorded two double-doubles…Her second double-double of the 2021 winter season came against Colorado State when she had a career-high 19 digs to go with 11 kills…Played in 20 matches as a freshman when she averaged 1.89 kills and 1.89 digs per set…Recorded three double-doubles as a freshman, the first coming when she had a career-high 14 kills to go with 13 digs in a win over New Mexico…Posted a double-double with 13 kills and 16 digs against then-No. 11 Colorado State as a freshman.
CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL
Four-time first-team All-Tri-River Athletic Conference (TRAC) honoree…2017 and 2018 TRAC Co-Player of the Year…Named to the 2018 Cal-High Sports All-State team, and was a second-team honoree in 2017…Helped lead her team to the 2018 CIF Central Section championship match, where they finished as runners up to Buchanan…Got revenge on Buchanan at the CIF Northern California Regional Open Division final with a 3-0 win to claim the title…Won the CIF Central Section crown with her team as a junior in 2017…Nominated for the 2018 Under Armour All-America Volleyball team after leading the Grizzlies with 462 kills…Totaled 1,889 career kills.
Played for Rage Volleyball Club and coach Gabe Leal.
Majoring in psychology…Hopes to work as a sports psychologist after graduation…Enjoys hanging out with friends.
Sydney Rabe, MB, 6-2, FR, Lakewood, Wis., UW Green Bay (Wabeno HS)
AT UW GREEN BAY (2020-21)
Attended UW Green Bay during the 2020-21 school year but did not appear in a match during the season.
WABENO HIGH SCHOOL
Unanimous Northern Lakes Conference Player of the Year as a senior in 2019…Ranked second in kills and fifth in blocks within the state of Wisconsin as a senior…Led the Northern Lakes Conference in kills and blocks as a senior…First-team All-Northern Lakes Conference selection as a senior, and second-team honoree as a junior…Won back-to-back conference titles with her team as a junior and senior…Won a regional title with her team as a senior.
Played for One Wisconsin in 2019 and FC Elite in 2020…Won the 2020 Wisconsin Dells Showcase title with FC Elite…Won the 2020 Prep Dig titles with FC Elite.
Daughter of Jane and Daniel Rabe…Has a brother, William Rabe…Volunteered in an animal shelter during high school…Lists outdoor activities like kayaking and hiking, as well as painting, as hobbies/interests…Hopes to become a physical therapist…Plans on majoring in biology.
Lily Snook, DS/L, 5-7, FR, West Linn, Ore., West Linn HS
WEST LINN HIGH SCHOOL
Won four straight league titles in high school…All-league selection as a junior and senior…Helped lead her team to a third-place finish at state in 2018, as well as a fifth-place finish in 2019…Voted her team’s Most Inspirational Player.
Played five years for the North Pacific Juniors (NPJ) Volleyball Club…Played four years for the Youth Volleyball Association (YVBA).
Daughter of Dina and Jamie Snook…Mother, Dina, played volleyball at Pepperdine and Linfield College…Father, Jamie, played basketball at Portland State…Sister, Ellie, also plays for the Portland State volleyball team…Has two brothers, Jalen and Jackson Snook…Hopes to become a teacher…Plans on majoring in psychology with a minor in elementary education.