April 7, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

MURPHYSBORO – Two of the premier Southern Illinois prep spikers the last two seasons have declared their intent to play volleyball at John A. Logan College this fall.

Kierra Nolan will be an incoming freshman from Murphysboro High School. Morgan Corn of Benton has already played a year of college ball with Lincoln Land in Springfield and will be a sophomore in terms of eligibility.

They are the sixth and seventh Vols’ recruits to accept a scholarship offer from head coach Bill Burrnside. Nolan signed Thursday, while Corn was brought into the fold Friday.

Both are 6-foot power hitters that have mostly played in the middle of the front row.

“We’re excited to have them on board,” Burnside said. “Morgan was a girl we tried to recruit directly out of high school a year ago. We’re glad she is coming to Logan. Morgan will be a good addition to the team. She has good size and quickness and is very competitive.

“Kierra is a big, physical player and a good athlete, who should fit in really well here,” Burnside said. “Like Morgan, I think she can have a big impact with our team in the fall. She brings power to the team, along with aggressiveness at the net. Her size and leaping ability should lend to a lot of blocks.”

Nolan led all of the area in kills this past fall with 351 and stuffed blocks with 107, according to her high school coach, Mike Layne.

“I think Kierra is a great fit at Logan,” he said. “She is an excellent net player who can leap with anybody. The improvement she made from her junior year to senior year was incredible. Like apples and oranges. Two different players. I think she will be able to further develop her skills at Logan with Bill and stand a good chance to play at the Division I level in a couple of years.”

Nolan said playing college volleyball has been a dream of hers for a while now.

“Probably since my freshman year,” she said. “That’s kind of when I knew that volleyball was going to be my best sport.”
Nolan, who plans to eventually study physical therapy, has been a multi-sport athlete at Murphysboro, competing in basketball and track, as well as volleyball.

“I’m looking forward to going to Logan and doing my best,” she said. “It helps that I already know some of the girls on the team.”

Two, in fact, are former Red Devils teammates in JALC freshmen Audrey Vaughn (outside hitter) and Jessica Stanton (middle hitter).

At Lincoln Land, Corn played in 36 of the team’s 41 matches last fall and registered 169 kills, or the sixth-best total on the team. She was also a standout at Benton High School, and like Nolan, a multi-sport talent.

“I had a chance to play against Logan this past semester and like the way they play,” Corn said. “I know some of their players and am excited to be a part of their team now.”

Corn, who said she would be comfortable playing any position on the front row, will be reunited with former Rangerettes teammate, newly signed setter Christy Hayden.
“It should be a lot of fun. I got to talk to Christy the other day about it,” she said. “And I know several of the other girls, too. We played against one another in high school. We’re all extremely competitive and I think that will help make the team better.”

Corn said she believes Logan will open up some “great opportunities” for her next school year and is hopeful she will turn some heads and get the chance to play for a four-year school.

Corn plans to major in psychology.