One junior college standout and two high school seniors have committed to Eastern Washington Volleyball, head coach Wade Benson announced Thursday, Nov. 14.
Ana Jakovljevic (Valvejo, Serbia) comes to Eastern after a stellar two-year stay at Northwest College while Chloe Weber (Gilbert, Ariz./Williams Field HS) and Haile Watson (Couer d'Alene, Idaho/Lake City HS) join the Eagles after impressive high school careers. Watson stands 6-2 while both Jakovljevic and Weber check in at 6-0.
"This class greatly increases our team athleticism," head coach Wade Benson said. "All three of our signees are great athletes with good size. I think all three will prove to be some of the best athletes in the Big Sky."
A native of Serbia, Jakovljevic has all of the tools to step right in and be one of the premier players in the Big Sky. She been one of the best players at the JC level the last two seasons, earning NJCAA Player of the Week honors multiple times during her career at Northwest College. In her first year with the Trappers, she picked up Region IX Player of the Year honors while leading her team to the Region IX Tournament, earning all-tournament honors. NWC is back in the tournament this season, and Jakovljevic needs just 10 kills to reach 1,000 career kills.
"Ana is one of the most polished players Eastern has signed in the last few years," Benson said. "She's a five-tool player that jumps very well. We expect her to come in and establish herself as one of the best players in the Big Sky right off the bat."
Weber gives Eastern a versatile athlete with the ability to play both outside and in the middle. She averaged almost four kills per set as a senior, hitting .434 on the season. She also finished the year with 84 service aces and 41 total blocks. As a junior, she tallied an impressive 169 service aces and 93 blocks.
"Chloe is a very exciting athlete who can jump out of the gym," Benson said. "She can play both outside hitter and middle blocker, and she's a raw talent with tremendous potential to help us all over the court. We're confident that she'll continue to improve over the summer and we're excited to see her growth."
Like Weber, Watson is another high-level athlete without a defined position. Having picked up the sport recently, she has earned two letters in volleyball for Lake City while also lettering in track and basketball. This season, she was a Second Team All-State pick in volleyball while also collecting all-conference honors. Current EWU freshman Kylie Curtis also prepped at Lake City HS.
Her father, Deon, played basketball at Idaho while her brother, Deon, Jr., currently plays football for the Vandals.
"Haile is another spectacular athlete who is new to the game," said Benson. "I think we're going to see some great things from her as she gets more experience on the club circuit, especially this winter. She's another player with the athletic ability to play multiple positions for us."