Big Rapids, Mich. - A second prep volleyball standout plans to embark on her collegiate career as a member of the Ferris State University women's volleyball program, according to an announcement made by FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.
Prep middle hitter Nicole Malouhos (Valparaiso, Ind./Boone Grove) recently inked with the Bulldogs in the fall signing period and becomes the second official member of FSU's 2014 recruiting class with a couple additions expected in the near future.
The Bulldogs are coming off a season in which they captured the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championship to advance to the Elite Eight last fall.
"Nicole is a relentless and determined competitor with tremendous athletic gifts," said Brandel-Wilhelm. "She will strive to add a strong impact in the program early in her career. We are extremely excited to have Nicole join the program."
The 6-2 Malouhos produced 248 kills along with 108 blocks as a prep senior in 2013 while helping Boone Grove High School to a 20-11 overall record under head coach Linda Eleftheri. A three-year letterwinner, she twice served as team captain and claimed the squad's Most Valuable Player honor as a senior while being chosen to compete in All-Star competition.
Malouhos, a two-time all-conference honoree, also enjoyed a successful career at the club level for the Altitude Volleyball Club. She helped the squad to a silver division title in the Windy City Power League 16 and 18's along with a third-place finish at the Asics Junior Nationals in the 18's division under coach Biran Erminger.
Along with volleyball, Malouhos also has participated in basketball during her prep career and is a three-year letterwinner who claimed All-Porter County Conference accolades last season. She's been active in the Student-Athletic Advisory Committee along with the Spanish Club and earned National Honor Society recognition. She's also been a volunteer for Junior Achievement and the Red Cross while serving as a youth volleyball coach and mentor for the Porter County Career and Technical Center.
The daughter of Nick and Roz Malouhos, Nicole plans to major in nursing at Ferris State and joins recent addition Lauren Reminga (Hudsonville) as announced members of the Bulldogs' recruiting class to date.
Ferris State closed a memorable 2013 campaign with a 25-9 overall record after nearly pulling off a major win over eventual national runner-up BYU-Hawaii in their first appearance deep on the national stage since the late 1980's. FSU, which made its 18th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance this past fall, claimed a regional crown to reach the Elite Eight and national quarterfinals for only the third time in school history and first since 1989.
This past year marked Ferris State's first regional championship since previously winning two back in 1987 and 1989. The Bulldogs reached at least the regional semifinals for the third year in a row and have now made the NCAA Tournament nine times under Brandel-Wilhelm, who led FSU to the Elite Eight for the first time in her tenure after notching her 500th career victory in an exciting 3-2 comeback win over archrival Grand Valley State in the Midwest Regional title match in Allendale.
The Bulldogs also placed tied for second this season in the GLIAC with a 15-3 overall record, reached the conference tournament for the 16th consecutive year and posted 20 wins or more for the 12th time in 18 seasons under Brandel-Wilhelm's direction.