STATE CENTER - Step by step, cut by cut, Whitney Benson just could not cross Morningside College off her list.
Score one for the Mustangs.
The West Marshall senior multi-sport standout finally settled with the Sioux City-based school when she figured out the next step for her future, signing her letter of intent with the Morningside volleyball program a month ago.
West Marshall High School senior Whitney Benson signed her letter of intent to play volleyball at Morningside College in Sioux City. Benson was joined at the signing event by her parents, Jay and Nan Benson, seated, Morningside assistant coach Marty King, standing at left, and West Marshall athletic director Dave Shipley.
"Morningside kept making the cuts when it came to my college search, and when it came down to the final decision, they wanted me the most," said Benson, a 5-foot-11 middle hitter for West Marshall.
Benson was a first-team all-NICL West Division performer for the Trojans this past fall, finishing eighth in the conference and third on the team with 2.16 kills per set. Those came, however, at a team-best .260 hitting efficiency. Benson finished second on the West Marshall squad in blocks.
She also earned Class 2A all-Central District selection and was on the Times-Republican's All-Area Second Team.
Benson will join a Morningside program that in 2011 was the Great Plains Athletic Conference's regular season and tournament champion, earning an NAIA National
Tournament berth. The Mustangs finished 17-16 last season, making it 12 years in a row with a winning record.
"I played all the way around in high school, so I'm excited to see where Morningside will put me," Benson said.
The Mustangs are coached by Sara Horn, a former academic all-Big 12 middle blocker from Nebraska. Morningside's home venue, Allee Gymnasium, underwent a $3 million facelift in 2007.