December 10, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – John A. Logan College volleyball coach Bill Burnside landed his third Southern Illinois recruit for next year with the recently announced signing of Crab Orchard High School senior, Johanna Mandrell.
A middle hitter with the Trojans, Mandrell is versatile enough to play other positions. She has played outside hitter with a local club team.

“Wherever Coach (Bill) Burnside needs me is fine,” said Mandrell, who was twice voted South Egyptian Conference Most Valuable Player while at Crab Orchard. She was also All-South, All-State Honorable Mention and All-State Special Mention over the last two seasons.

Mandrell said Logan was the right choice for her.

“I think it’s the best move for me to make coming from a small high school,” she said. “I’ve been on campus a few times, so I know my way around a little. I enjoy the idea of playing close to home. And Logan has such a fine volleyball program. Coach knows what he’s doing. I know that he will push me to be a better player.”

Mandrell said she can’t wait to perform at the collegiate level.

“Not many people get the opportunity, so I am really looking forward to the challenge,” she said. “It’s great to know that I can continue playing the sport I love.”

Burnside said signing Mandrell makes his team better for next fall.

“Johanna is a solid athlete,” he said. “She isn’t real tall, but she is a very good jumper. I think she could help us in a variety of different ways at several different positions. Our sport is becoming more and more specialized, and players who can do it all are becoming harder to find. That’s why I think Johanna can help us. She has a great start on her in-game skills and I am confident that I can help her grow as a player.”

Burnside added that the fact that Mandrell is coachable should make the transition to college volleyball easier.

“Johanna is a quick learner. She attended a hitter’s camp I ran last summer and impressed me with her ability to adapt to what I was teaching. We made significant changes in her arm swing in only a couple of days. Most players cannot adjust so well, even after a longer period of time.”

Mandrell plans to study veterinary science.