West Marshall’s Benson signs with Morningside

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.

“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.