Duck Volleyball Inks Two of Northwest's Top Signees

Nov. 14, 2001

EUGENE - In his quest to keep the best players in Oregon and the Northwest close to home, University of Oregon volleyball head coach Carl Ferreira has added two players from the Nike Northwest Volleyball Club in Portland as fall signees for the 2002 season.

Jodi Bell, a 5-9 setter from Barlow High School in Portland and Kelly Russell, a 6-foot outside hitter/middle blocker from Prairie High School in Vancouver, Wash., will join the Ducks next season.

'We want people to understand that great things can happen with athletes from Oregon and the University of Oregon wants those athletes,' Ferreira said. 'Players from Oregon and the Northwest have proven in the Pac-10 and nationally that they can be successful and I want the foundation of our roster to be those players.'

Bell, whose team was the state runner-up in 2000 and 2001, was the state 4A Player of the Year in 2000. Bell competed in the Mt. Hood Conference, which Ferreira says is the premier conference in the Portland area.

'Jodi is the best setter in the state and I think the best setter signing in the Pac-10,' Ferreira said. 'She has all of the intangibles - speed, competitiveness and emotion. She's one of those players that makes the people around her better.'

Russell, who played primarily in the middle during her career at Prairie, may play both in the middle and at outside hitter at Oregon.

'Kelly is an explosive player with great speed and she just understands the game of volleyball,' Ferreira said. 'She has a high ceiling of potential and even though she's mainly a middle blocker, I think she can develop into a first team all-Pac-10 outside hitter.'

As it looks right now, the Oregon volleyball team is comprised of mostly players from California. There are three players from Arizona, two from Washington and one from the states of Utah, Colorado and Minnesota. Only one player - freshman Katie O'Neal, who was one of Ferreira's first recruits for the 2001 season - is from Oregon. O'Neal, who has played in 85 of Oregon's 92 games this season, was the 2000 Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year.

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