On Monday, the Illinois Fighting Illini announced their final addition to their 2014 roster as incoming freshman Matti Bielfeldt will join the team in 2014.
Bielfeldt will be the third new face on the Illini roster in 2014 as she will join freshman Brandi Donnelly and sophomore transfer Allison Palmer, who both enrolled in January. Bielfeldt will also be reunited with newest assistant coach Hillary Haen who was Matti’s coach at both Eastside Volleyball Club and Peoria Elite.
Matti stands tall at 6’1″ and played middle blocker at Peoria Notre Dame High School in Peoria, Illinois. During her time at Peoria Notre Dame, she was named First-Team All-Mid State Six following her junior and senior seasons, all-area and all-state honors in 2013, and all-tournament at the Lincoln High School Tournament.
While playing for her high school squad, Bielfeldt also played four seasons with Eastside Volleyball Club and one year each with Peoria Elite, BAVC and Metamora.
Per fightingillini.com, new Illini assistant coach Hillary Haen had this to say about Illinois’ newest addition:
“Matti is a really amazing kid. She’s a very good volleyball player and understands her role on any team she’s a part of. She’s an excellent teammate who is constantly motivating her teammates, not only vocally but also by example. She shows up to practice to work hard every day and brings a great, positive energy to the gym. I’m excited for Matti to get here and see how she uses her talents in our gym.”
Matti should fit right in at Illinois because of her family’s history with the school. Both her parents and sister attended Illinois. Her grandfather played football for the Fighting Illini in the 1950s. The athletic administration building even bears her family’s last name.