By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Today, the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M volleyball team will leave Miami for Toledo (Ohio) and the NJCAA Division iI National Tournament at Owens Community College.
Monday, NEO coach Eric Iverson and his assistants were at Carthage High School to sign Tiger standout Emily Goeken.
“Emily has the ability to come in and immediately contribute,” Iverson said. “We’re picking up a great volleyball player and a better person. We wanted to get this done before the national tournament.”
Goeken, a 5-foot-10 middle hitter, had 70 blocks, 85 digs, 164 kills and 27 aces as a senior for Carthage (19-12-2, 3-4 Central Ozark Conference Large Division).
Said Carthage coach Cheryl Sharples: “Emily started as a sophomore and made a major impact (for a team that won 28 matches). Her coming back as a senior (after missing her junior campaign from an ACL injury) solidified what we were trying to do on both offense and defense.
“It’s exciting that she’s continuing her career,” Sharples said. “She’s a great kid and has been involved in a lot of positive activities such as president of the Key Club.”
Goeken, in addition to earning honors on the volleyball court, also has earned academic honors, Sharples said.
Plus, she’s active in the winter (basketball) and spring (a thrower in track) for the Tigers. She’ll play club volleyball this winter with JOMO after several years with the Spikers.
Emily, the daughter of Annette and Vic Goeken, plans to concentrate on criminal justice or education at NEO.
“I’m very excited,” Goeken said. “Last week, I visited the campus, enjoyed playing some volleyball and met the players.”
Added Iverson (in an NEO release): “We know we signed a big-time player with a huge personality. Emily brings a big punch offensively in the middle and at outside hitter while delivering a big block at the net.”
Assistants Lee Johnson and Lydia Niemegeers came with Iverson for the signing. NEO opens in the national tourney on Thursday.