Southern Illinois University Edwardsville should have a strong volleyball team next year with several new additions and one of them is Edwardsville High School’s own Annie Ellis.

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The powerful, athletic 6-foot-2 Ellis was menacing at the net for both kills and blocks this season and will be a force to develop in her four seasons ahead at SIUE. She joins another former Edwardsville High player – Katie Shashack – on the Edwardsville’s roster for next year. Shashack is a former star for the Tigers. Ellis was first team All-Southwestern Conference and All-Region this year and was recently selected to play in a state all-star game in Chicago with only 30 of the top volleyball players in Illinois. The all-star match will be in early December.

“I realized SIUE fit everything I wanted,” Annie said. “I am going to be living in the dorms next year. The school had every aspect I was looking for from volleyball to an excellent nursing program. My family and friends have been super-supportive and encouraging of me.”

Ellis thanked her present coach Jami Parker and her St. Louis volleyball club coach Katharina Boes for helping her develop as a player.

“I am a lot more aggressive after playing club volleyball,” she said.

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Newcomers to the 2016 SIUE roster are Emma Leahy (St. Louis), Madison McKinley (Russellville, Ark.), and Dylynn Otte (Grand Rapids, Mich.). All four newcomers, including Ellis, come as much heralded players in their states.

Annie Ellis said her 6-foot-2 frame helps immensely at the net. Ellis said she is looking forward to playing again with Katie Shashack. “I get a lot of good feedback from her,” Ellis said. “I know most of the players coming in, which is good.”

Jason Ellis and Jennifer Schwalb were both extremely proud of their daughter for her decision to sign a letter of intent to SIUE. Annie praised her parents for their help through her high school career and club play in St. Louis.

Parker said Annie was excellent to work with in her four-year stint as a member of the Tigers team.

“She cares a lot about the team and all the girls around her,” Parker added. “She averaged one and a quarter blocks per game and led our team in blocks this year. She had a high percentage of kills out of her attacks. She was definitely a go-to girl on offense and defense. She is capable of taking over a match with her skills and definitely impact player.”

Parker said Annie Ellis has “great reach” and is “very athletic.”

“She spends a lot of time in the weight room,” the coach added. “I think she will get better and better at SIUE.”

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