Simpson University's Volleyball Program Signs 11 for 2014

For Immediate Release


REDDING, Calif. - The Simpson University women’s volleyball program announces the signing of 11 players for the 2014 season: Rachel Ellis (Tiller, Ore.), Michelle Jaramillo (Corning), Victoria Failor (Kokomo, Ind.), Amanda Webb (Redding), Elizabeth Volz (Modesto), Amanda Robbins (Chico), Sara Armstrong (Eureka), Chelsea Mae White (Yreka), Stevielee Jansen (Canyonville, Ore.), Jasmyn Herrington (Canyonville, Ore.), Ashley Job (Richvale), and Taylor Newman (San Antonia, Texas).

“Each of these young ladies bring something different to the team but with a common goal of making it to the NAIA championships,” said head women’s volleyball coach Thomas Kirst. “We are looking forward to this upcoming season and to watch the growth of these young women not only playing volleyball but more important their continued relationship with God while working toward a degree in their prospective fields.”

Ellis is a setter who graduated from Days Creek Charter School with multiple athletic and academic honors. She earned second team all-league honors for volleyball and honorable mention all-league honors for basketball. She won the Most Inspirational Player Award. Her academic honors include being a member of the National Honor Society and receiving the President’s Education Award, Personal Finance Student of the Year, and various awards for math and history. She was also a part of a peer mentoring program.

“I felt like God was opening up more doors at Simpson than any other school,” said Ellis.

Jaramillo is a defensive specialist from Mercy High School. She earned all-league volleyball and basketball honors, defensive MVP basketball honors her junior year, and MVP cheerleading honors. She was also the captain of the cheer team. She received the Mercy Faith Award, student of the month and quarter awards, and was on the honor roll. She plans to major in psychology.

“I chose Simpson because of the small Christian atmosphere,” said Jaramillo. “I felt at home the minute I stepped onto campus and I knew that God wanted me here. Without Him I wouldn't be where I am today and I'm going to keep following his path.”

Failor is libero/defensive specialist who graduated from University Preparatory School (U-Prep) in Redding. Her athletics honors include NBC Camp’s Highest, Golden Ruler, and All-Star awards. She received the Sports Booster Scholarship Award from U-Prep. She plans to major in elementary education.

“I chose to attend Simpson to continue playing volleyball and receive a great education while doing so,” said Failor. “I have met many incredible coaches and educators that received their degree through Simpson, which only makes me feel more confident in choosing to attend this university and be a part of their sports program. Simpson also allows me to stay close to my family and close to God, which are also very important to me.”

Webb is an opposite hitter who graduated from Shasta High School. She earned honorable mention basketball honors. She plans to major in psychology.

“I chose Simpson because the location is in my hometown, the campus is small and beautiful and the people here are extremely friendly,” said Webb.

Volz is a hitter who graduated from Quincy High School and earned MVP, all-league, and scholar-athlete honors. She was a member of the Dean’s List and plans to major in psychology.

“I love the campus and the environment it's in and it just seemed like the perfect fit for me,” said Volz.

Robbins is a libero who attended both Pleasant Valley and Durham High Schools. She won Best Defensive Player of 2012-2013 and MVP Butte District Tournament 2011-2012.

“Simpson presented itself at a time where I needed it most,” said Robbins. “It came through the only thing I've ever been as passionate about as my friendship with Jesus, volleyball. For me it's the best of both worlds, growing in my faith and building my relationship with God, and progressing and being the best that I can be at volleyball.”

Armstrong is a setter who graduated from Eureka High School. She earned Humboldt-Del Norte (HDN) honorable mention honors in 2011 and HDN All-Star honors in 2012 and 2013. She plans to major in biology.

“I chose Simpson because I wanted a school atmosphere that would allow me to grow in my relationship with God and to play volleyball,” said Armstrong.

White is a outside hitter who graduated from Yreka High School where she was the Associated Student Body commissioner and on honor roll. She was team captain in 2012 and earned MVP, all-league, honorable mention, Most Improved, and Most Inspirational honors. She plans to major in communication.

“I wanted to be a part of a challenging yet rewarding volleyball program that pushes me to do better on and off the court,” said White. “Simpson University has given me the opportunity to excel athletically, improve academically, and further my relationship with the Lord.”

Jansen is an outside hitter who earned MVP, first team all-league, third team all-state, all-defensive team, and scholar-athlete honors while attending Days Creek High School. In addition to being a member of the National Honor Society, Jansen received the President's Education Award and Student of Merit honors. She earned multiple science awards, including being recognized by the Willamette Valley section of the Society of Women Engineers for honors in science and mathematics.

“I chose Simpson University because it shows incredible qualities,” said Jansen. “I see how Christ-centered it is. Everyone seems extremely friendly and I was looking for that environment in a college.”

Herrington is a setter who also attended Days Creek High School. She earned first team all-league and second team all-state honors in 2012 and 2013. Her team was Oregon state champion in 2011 and 2013. She earned championship game MVP both years. She was Math Student of the Year and Life Student of the Year in 2011 and received the President’s Award all four years she was in high school. She is also a member of the National Honor Society. She plans to major in biology.

“I chose Simpson University to play volleyball and follow what the Lord has in store for me,” said Herrington.

Job is an outside hitter who attended Durham High School. She earned all-league basketball and volleyball honors and received the Most Valuable Leader volleyball award. She was also a scholar-athlete. She plans to major in psychology.

“I come from a Christian family and for an opportunity to arise for me to play a sport I love, while serving the God I love, it could not be passed up,” said Job.

Newman is right-side hitter who graduated from John Marshall High School. Her academic honors include being an English scholar student.

“I chose Simpson because I love the school and love the fact that it is small so I can do well on my academics,” said Newman.


Simpson University is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults in the north state. Simpson’s newest programs include bachelor's degrees in Spanish and nursing, and master’s degrees in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Learn about our new Science & Nursing Building at For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit


Contact: SU Public Relations