Two seniors from Cannon Falls will continue playing Volleyball in the fall at the colleges they will be attending.
April 18, 2022
Seniors Halle Hustad and Jaci Winchell have both announced they will be continuing their Volleyball careers in college. Halle Hustad will be playing for St. Cloud State University and Jaci Winchell will be playing for Winona State University. Both girls are excited for the opportunity to carry on their passion for Volleyball in the future.
Senior Jaci Winchell has recently unveiled that she has committed to play Division II volleyball at Winona State University, in Winona, Minnesota.
As a four-year varsity player for the Cannon Falls volleyball team, Winchell was a key leader on the court and helped lead the team to their first ever state tournament last fall. The setter also holds the school record for career set-assists, an astounding 2,599. In Winona, Winchell will be continuing to grow in her volleyball skills as a setter and potentially a defensive specialist.
Winchell shared that she decided to commit to Winona State University because she truly felt like she was a part of the team. After practicing with the players at one of their morning spring practices, Winchell said she felt like she connected well with every single player. “I saw eye to eye with the coaches and enjoyed their feedback and coaching style,” Winchell stated. She also enjoyed the facilities WSU has to offer. Winchell added that “their gym is awesome, their weight room and equipment they have is outstanding, and their school buildings are pretty up to date as well.” She also chose Winona because of the town, scenery, atmosphere, and campus size. “The campus is very beautiful and I feel like it is the perfect size for me,” she said.
After being surrounded by sports her whole life, Winchell is excited to continue being an athlete in college. She claimed that “it would just be extremely weird to not compete anymore.” But, Winchell is most interested about the new friends she’ll make in college. “I am most excited to meet new people and build relationships with those I meet. It is a place where a whole new chapter in my life will begin,” she exclaimed.
During her time at WSU, Winchell says she plans on majoring in either Elementary Education or Nursing. “I love kids, so both of these careers would be so much fun for me,” she mentioned. “Both of these careers are definitely the toughest to pursue when being a student-athlete, but I am confident in myself that I could do it,” Winchell explained.
But, above all, Winchell is eager for her new beginnings and extended volleyball career at Winona State University.
Senior Halle Hustad has announced that she too has committed to a Division II program. St. Cloud State University, located in St. Cloud, Minnesota, will be adding Hustad to their roster starting this fall.
The Cannon Falls volleyball team had Hustad for four years. She was a very versatile player who hit from the middle, right side, and occasionally the outside. The presence of a 6’0” front row player was essential to the Bomber’s success this year. This upcoming volleyball season at SCSU, Hustad will be a middle hitter/blocker. She knows this position very well and will get to take her experience to the next level.
Hustad claims the main reason she chose SCSU was because of the coach and the volleyball girls. “It was like I knew them, they were so sweet and inviting,” she emphasized. Another factor that played a huge role in her decision was their well known volleyball program. This year, the St. Cloud volleyball team was the number one seed in the NCIS and they conquered many aspects of the game. Hustad exclaimed that it makes her thrilled to know she will be playing good volleyball while facing tough competition at the college level.
Hustad isn’t just excited about St. Cloud’s volleyball program, though. After touring the school, she stated that the campus was different from all the other colleges she had visited. “The people were so kind, the campus was easy to get around, and they have great programs in many different areas, which is kind of reassuring. It just felt right,” Hustad shared.
While Hustad is mostly excited about continuing to play volleyball, she is also excited about her college experience. “I’m so eager to experience it all,” she says. “Seeing all the new things, meeting new people, living in a new town, it is all so exciting,” Hustad explains. Although she knows moving out of her house will be hard, Hustad understands she is ready to change her life and start on her own.
As of right now, Hustad is planning on majoring in Business. “I know many people change their major, so if it’s not for me, I am not hesitant to switch,” she clarified. Overall, Hustad is very excited about the program she will become a part of and the school she chose. “It just gets me pumped to know I will be playing good volleyball at a tougher level, but I’m beyond stoked for it,” she said.