Nov. 15, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Prep standouts Simmone Collins and Katie Higgins have signed National Letters of Intent (NLI) to continue their volleyball careers with the University of Notre Dame, head coach Debbie Brown announced on Thursday.
"We are thrilled to add two very talented athletes to our program," said Brown. "Both have played primarily the middle blocker/hitter position, but have the versatility to also play outside or opposite."
Collins lettered all four years at Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs, Co., and was named the No. 82 recruit in the country by PrepVolleyball.com before missing her senior season with a knee injury.
During her final year of play in high school (2011), Collins led her team to a league and district championship, earning first team Colorado Springs 5A Metro League accolades and all-area honors. She was tops on the team in kills and blocks during the year.
As a sophomore, Collins was a second team all-conference selection and an honorable mention Colorado Springs 5A all-area member as she helped Pine Creek to league, district and region championships before finishing second in the 5A state championship tournament.
Collins is the daughter of Roy and Jenniffer Collins and has a younger sister Sydney.
"Simmone has tremendous lateral speed and a phenomenal jump," said Brown. "Those attributes are certainly part of the reason she is an elite level blocker. She is also a talented hitter who challenges her opponents because of her ability to get off the ground so quickly. We are looking forward to having her in our gym and seeing her compete at this next level. Simmone will be an integral part of taking our program to the next level."
Higgins earned four letters in volleyball and track and field and one in basketball at Kearney High School in Kearney, Neb. Higgins ended her career as the school record holder in kills (1,043) and also added 200 blocks, 80 aces and 384 digs. As a senior she was named to the all-conference team a year after a standout junior campaign saw her earn Kearney Hub Territory Player of the Year honors as well as Lincoln Journal Star second team all-state and Omaha World Herald honorable mention all-state accolades as she helped Kearney to a conference championship.
A standout on the track and field team as well, Higgins qualified for state as a 6-1 member of the 4x400m relay team as a junior and in the high jump as a senior.
Higgins is the daughter of Tim and Sue Higgins and has an older brother Nick and a younger brother Cal.
"Katie has a great arm," said Brown. "She is able to attack the slide very well and also hits out of the back row with power and accuracy. She is a very hard worker and has shown tremendous dedication to the sport by traveling two hours to practice with her club team. Katie will be a tremendous addition to our program and we are eager to see how her versatility, dedication and athleticism positively impact our program in the coming years."
The Irish head to Milwaukee, Wis., Wednesday for this weekend's BIG EAST Tournament. Notre Dame earned the No. 3 seed and meets No. 6 seed USF in the quarterfinals at 4:30 p.m. ET Friday. Fans can follow the match through live stats or by watching the BIG EAST's free online video at BIGEAST.org.
Notre Dame Volleyball November 2012 Signees
The Collins File: Four-year letterwinner as a prep at Pine Creek (Colo.) ... only freshman to make varsity squad in 2009 ... school team won the league and district championships in their 2011 campaign ... was named to the first team Colorado Springs 5A metro league, first team Colorado Springs all-area team, and first team Academic All State ... led team in kills and blocks ... did not play her senior season due to knee injury ... was named top 100 Senior Ace by PrepVolleyball.com, ranked the #82 recruit in the nation ... as a sophomore, won the league, district and regional championships with her school team ... led the team to a second place finish in Colorado 5A State Volleyball Championship ... was a second team All-Conference selection ... earned an honorable mention, Colorado Springs 5A All-Area team ... won a student athlete award ... played on the Colorado Juniors club team ... won first place at Rocky Mountain Region and Rocky Mountain Region Junior National Qualifier ... was named regional All Star 2010, and junior national qualifier All Star 2010 ... team went on to place fifth at the Junior National Championships, National Division (Reno, Nev.) ... led team in blocks ... earned special mention on the Best Sophomore List from PrepVolleyball.com ... helped team place fifth at the 17Open President's Day Classic and Colorado Crossroads ... team won second place at the 17Open Pacific Northwest Qualifier and earned an open bid to the JO's ... placed ninth in 17Open ASICS Northeast Qualifier ... was named one of the top-85 junior recruits in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com after leading her team in blocks ... off the court, was a student council representative and member of Creek in the Community student club ... was a nominee for People to People Ambassador program, and a national scholar nominee for Colorado ... named to the Principal's Honor Roll all four years ... born in Aurora, Co. ... father, Roy, attended the Air Force Academy and played basketball ... has a younger sister, Sydney ... intends to major in sociology at Notre Dame.
The Higgins File: Four-year letterwinner in volleyball and track and field at Kearney High School (Neb.) ... also lettered once in basketball ... was first freshman at high school to be a triple letterwinner in volleyball, basketball and track and field ... during freshman year, team went on to be conference runner-ups ... as a sophomore, was an Omaha World Herald all-state mention and won the conference championship ... recorded 171 kills, 43 solo blocks and 78 assisted blocks ... qualified for the 4x400m relay team at the state meet in track and field, placing ninth ... had breakout junior campaign, earning the Kearney Hub Territory Player of the Year, Lincoln Journal Star second team all-state and all-conference honors and Omaha World Herald honorable mention all-state accolades ... broke four school records, kills in a match (32), kills in a season (459), kills per game (4.6) and blocks per match (2.3) ... won the conference championship... qualified for the state meet in track and field in the high jump ... as a senior was named to the all-conference team ... broke the school record for most kills in a career ... over her career notched a total of 1,043 kills, 200 blocks, 80 aces and 384 digs ... played with the Nebraska Juniors club team ... actively involved in her school as a member of DECA ... was president of DECA in 2011 and 2012 ... member of the National Honor Society, Youth Leadership Club, Key Club and FBLA ... won the Nebraska School Activities Association Believer's and Achiever's Award ... won the Wendy's Heisman Award School Winner, and made the All-Conference Academic Team during junior and senior seasons ... has one older brother, Nick, and a younger brother, Cal ... grandfather is cousin to former Notre Dame President Monk Malloy ... intends to major in business at the Mendoza College of Business.