Big Rapids, Mich. - Defending NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Volleyball Champion Ferris State has added another talented Michigan prep standout to its 2014 recruiting class with the addition of prep middle hitter Maria Kronner (Haslett).
"Maria is a special athlete with a huge upside," said FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. "She's a great fit for the Ferris State family and already well connected with our team. We are really excited to add her to our program."
Kronner played on the prep level for former Bulldog standout All-American Wendy McCann. Together, they helped Haslett to three-straight district championships along with a pair of regional titles. In addition, the squad won six out of seven tournaments during the fall 2013 campaign.
Last fall, Kronner claimed all-state honors for the second year in a row while earning her third-straight all-region nomination. She was also tabbed to the all-conference squad for the third consecutive campaign and chosen as her team's Most Valuable Player Award recipient after previoulsy earning team Most Improved Player Award laurels in 2011.
In addition to her standout prep career, Kronner also played on the club level for a pair of squads, including OEV in 2013 and LAVA in 2014 under head coach Kyle Anderson. She claimed Lansing State Journal Volleyball Athlete of the Year recognition as a senior last fall.
Besides volleyball, Kronner also competed in basketball for Haslett in the Capital Area Activities Conference (CAAC) Red Division. The daughter of Tom and Peggy Thias-Kronner, Maria is yet undecided on an academic major at Ferris State, but will join the Bulldogs when fall camp opens in August.
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 last 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 past 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.
Ferris State is tentatively slated to open the fall 2014 season by taking part in the highly-competitive University of Tampa Invitational in early September in Tampa, Fla.