Cedar Valley Athletes Going Into IGHSAU Hall Of Fame
Three former athletes with ties to the Cedar Valley will be among the newest inductees into the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union's Volleyball Hall of Fame later this week.
Haley Eckerman of Waterloo East and Hannah Willms of Dike-New Hartford will be honored alongside former UNI standout Shelby Kintzl of Mount Vernon prior to the start of the Class 3A championship match at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids on Friday (Nov. 11, 2016).
The accomplishments of each inductee are featured below.
* Haley Eckerman is one of Iowa’s most decorated volleyball players. The 2011 Waterloo East graduate earned Elite all-state honors all four years of high school ball. She finished with 2,494 career kills and led the state in kills all four seasons. She was named Iowa Player of the Year twice. Highly recruited, Eckerman signed with the University of Texas and enjoyed similar success. After being named the National Freshman of the Year in 2011, she was named the National Player of the Year her sophomore and junior seasons. As a sophomore, she led the Longhorns to the NCAA national championship, recording 12 kills in the title match. Earning first team all-American for the fourth time in 2014, Eckerman finished her Texas career ranked fifth all-time with 1,662 kills. Eckerman is currently playing professional volleyball in Monza, Italy.
* Hannah Willms starred at Dike-New Hartford from 2007 to 2010. She led the Wolverines to three state tournament appearances and twice was named to the Class 2A all-tournament team. Willms was a three-time Elite all-State selection and was named the Class 2A Player of the Year twice. As a senior, she averaged five kills and 2.7 digs a set. Willms signed with Iowa State and after redshirting as a freshman, she averaged over two kills a set as the Cyclones reached the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament. A record-setting track and field athlete in high school, Hannah retired from volleyball to concentrate on track and field for the Cyclones. She remains the state record holder in the high jump and the 400 meters. Willms was inducted into the track and field Hall of Fame in 2014 and is the first person to be inducted into both the track and field and volleyball halls of fame.
* Shelby Kintzl starred at Mount Vernon from 2005 to 2008. She led the Mustangs to a pair of state tournament appearances and was twice named elite all-state. As a senior, Kintzl was the Class 3A Player of the Year, averaging 2.9 kills and leading her team to a runner-up finish in Class 3A. In the championship game, she had 17 kills with three blocks, four digs and five service aces, earning a spot on the all-tournament team. Kintzl signed with Northern Iowa and made an impact for the Panthers immediately. She was named to the Missouri Valley Conference All Freshman team and helped Northern Iowa reach three NCAA tournaments. As a senior, Kintzl was named first team all-conference and first team all-Midwest Region, averaging 2.7 kills with 113 block.
* Photos are courtesy of Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU)