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Volleyball: Cannon Falls' Vandenheuvel picks UMC

Cannon Falls senior Becca Vandeheuvel is headed to the University of Minnesota-Crookston to play volleyball after signing her national letter of intent on Wednesday at Cannon Falls High School. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)

Once she walked on the campus of the University of Minnesota-Crookston, Cannon Falls’ Becca Vandenheuvel knew that’s where she belonged.

On Wednesday, the Bombers’ libero signed her national letter of intent to play volleyball for the Golden Eagles, looking to suit up for Crookston in 2014.

“People always say that you have that feeling once you get to that school,” Vandenheuvel said, “and I definitely felt that at Crookston. It just felt right.”

Along with Minnesota-Crookston, Vandenheuvel said she also considered playing at the NAIA level at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa.

A five-year starter for Cannon Falls, Vandenheuvel is a four-time All-Hiawatha Valley League selection and the team’s Most Valuable Player three years running. The school’s career record holder in digs (2,120), Vandenheuvel finished her senior season with 595 digs and 23 ace serves.

“Becca is a great defensive specialist that plays every point with a lot of heart and passion,” Golden Eagles head coach Lee Anderson said in a press release. “She is going to be a very good player at the collegiate level. I am very excited for her to be in our gym next fall.”

And with Vandenheuvel’s ascension, the Bombers continued to improve, going from eight wins in her first year to 18 this fall.

Getting the chance to play in one of the country’s top Division II conferences just adds to that climb for Vandenheuvel.

“It’s really an honor; I wouldn’t be where I am without my coach and my friends, family and teammates,” she said. “I’m going to miss them a lot, but I’m excited for this next step in my life.”

This fall, the Golden Eagles are ninth in the 16-team Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference with an 8-10 conference mark (13-13 overall).

The chance to play in a top conference with an up-and-coming program was alluring to Vandenheuvel. The NSIC sports five teams in the top 25, including three in the top 10 (Concordia-St. Paul, 1st; Minnesota-Duluth, 3rd; Southwest Minnesota State, 8th).

“I’m definitely a competitive person, so I’m really looking forward to that,” Vandenheuvel said of playing in the NSIC. “Crookston has a very tough conference and that’s something I liked.”

Joe Brown

Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.

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