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Jones brings Waldorf experience, leadership as dual-sport athlete

Waldorf Warriors LogoBy Matt Oliver

IOWA FALLS – April Jones is prepared to be an impact player for the Waldorf University volleyball and women’s basketball teams.

Jones, a 5-foot-10 transfer from Ellsworth Community College, signed a letter of intent with the Warriors on March 3 and is embracing the chance to continue her career as a dual-sport athlete.

“The opportunity to continue my athletic career at the collegiate level means a chance to grow and learn,” Jones said. “I would like to coach some day and want to have as much knowledge and experience that I can have to help my athletes be better people both on and off the court as my coaches have done for me.”

A 2014 Humboldt High School graduate, Jones excelled as a three-sport athlete for the Wildcats. She was a three-year varsity starter and letter winner on Humboldt’s volleyball team, playing as a middle hitter. Jones earned first-team all-North Central Conference (NCC) honors as a senior when she guided the Wildcats to a 20-10 record and led the team in kills (217), hitting percentage (.268) and blocks (58).

A two-year varsity letter winner on the basketball court, Jones helped Humboldt to a 13-10 record during the 2013-14 campaign. She was also a four-year varsity letter winner in track and field and was a three-time Class 3A state qualifier in the 4×800-meter relay.

Jones is coming off a strong sophomore year at Ellsworth. During the 2015 volleyball season, she led the Panthers with 53 blocks. Jones ranked second on the team with a .263 hitting percentage while racking up 209 kills.

“April will bring so many things to our team,” Waldorf volleyball coach Paul Meyer said. “She has great leadership skills and is a very disciplined, motivated athlete.”

Though Jones has primarily served as a middle hitter, she’s expected to contribute for the Warriors in numerous capacities.

“She is a very versatile athlete who can play all front-row positions, giving us depth at every position,” Meyer said. “April will be a huge asset to our team next fall and we are very excited to have her sign with us.”

On the hardwood, Jones played as a center at Ellsworth and averaged 3.2 points a game as a sophomore. Her experience and leadership are expected to bring a boost to Waldorf.

“We are looking forward to the experience and leadership aspect that April will bring to this team,” Waldorf women’s basketball coach Katie Schutjer said. “She’s a good leader both on and off the court, being a good student, multi-sport athlete and her affiliation with the National Guard.”

Competing at the junior college level for the past two seasons, Jones will be a player for the Warriors who can lead by example.

“She brings in two years of collegiate experience, which is something we lacked this past season,” Schutjer said. “She will give us strength in the leadership area, which is something we also lacked this past season.”

Jones is ready to make the most of her playing days at Waldorf and knows not every student-athlete has the chance to compete at the collegiate level.

“I know not everyone gets the opportunity to continue their athletic careers for whatever reason, so being able to is a blessing to be very grateful for,” Jones said.

Jones is the daughter of Kristina and David Jones. She will study physical education at Waldorf and said the volleyball and basketball coaching staffs led her to her decision to join the Warriors, who aim to make their presence known in the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) during the 2016-17 academic year.

“I chose Waldorf, because I believe that I can really gain a lot from the coaching staff there,” Jones said. “It seems that the programs have a huge amount of potential to do great things. I do believe that Waldorf will excel my knowledge of both basketball and volleyball and very much increase my skill.”