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Jeff Kolpack, Published July 10 2013

DeGagne to try hand at volleyball

FARGO – The recruiting attention on Dani DeGagne out of high school was mostly for basketball, with a small parcel of hockey mixed in. This fall, she’s adding something else to her athletic resume.


Fresh off of four years of basketball with North Dakota State, she’s going to use her final year of Division I eligibility on a sport she hasn’t played since coming out of high school in Brandon, Man.

“I’m learning a lot and trying to pick it up quickly,” DeGagne said. “It’s starting up soon and I have to pick it up fast. The learning curve has to be there.”

The learning curve actually started a couple of weeks after basketball ended, when she made the decision. DeGagne has worked Bison summer volleyball camps, so it’s not like the sport is totally foreign to her.

NDSU head volleyball coach Kari Thompson saw DeGagne play in high school when she was playing with a high-level Manitoba club. Thompson said she told DeGagne last summer that when her basketball career ended, they would talk about volleyball for her fifth year.

DeGagne played spring volleyball with the Bison and fit in well, Thompson said. Moreover, with eight incoming freshmen this fall, her veteran presence will be welcomed.

“That definitely will be one of my roles,” DeGagne said. “I’ve played at the Division I level for four years. I’ve never played volleyball, but I’m assuming I can relate some points and some leadership skills to the team.”

The 5-foot-11 senior will be an outside hitter.

“She picked things up super quick,” Thompson said. “You can tell she’s an athlete. She may not be a six-rotation player but she’s pretty specialized in blocking on the right side.”

DeGagne was one of six players officially added to the roster this week. She’s joining high school recruits setter Monica Claxton from El Paso, Texas, setter Ali Moody from Dickinson, N.D., and defensive specialist Morgan Samec from New Hartford, Iowa and two transfers: middle hitter Katie Anderson from Stony Brook (N.Y.) and middle hitter Jackie Lee from Williston State (N.D.).

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia