BOZEMAN — Taylor Els, who recently completed her second season as an assistant coach with the Montana State volleyball program, will remain on the Bobcat staff, announced MSU’s newly hired head coach Matt Houk on Tuesday.
“I am excited to be keeping Taylor here on staff at MSU,” Houk said. “She is a very accomplished young coach, and the future is bright for her. I believe she will add value to the program in a variety of ways.
“Her passion and grit stand out as soon as you meet her,” Houk added. “Her values are aligned with what the program is going to stand for. Taylor will be a great mentor to our athletes, and a great ambassador for the program.”
Els, who served as a volunteer assistant at Michigan State prior to coming to Bozeman in June 2021, has played an integral role in making the Bobcat defense one of the most efficient units in the Big Sky Conference.
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During the 2021 season, MSU averaged 14.1 digs per set as libero Libby Christensen paced the Bobcats averaging 3.33 per set. Last season, the Bobcats improved to 14.5 digs per set, with freshman libero Lauren Lindseth averaging 3.89 per game. Lindseth was named to the All-Big Sky tournament team last November after averaging 3.56 digs in two matches, including 24 saves against Weber State as the Bobcats upset the Wildcats in the quarterfinals.
“Montana State University is a special place, and I am grateful to Matt for giving me this opportunity,” Els said. “I fully support Matt and his vision for the team, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the program.”
No stranger to the Big Sky, Els served as Northern Colorado’s primary libero from 2016-19 becoming the Bears’ NCAA Division I career digs record holder (1,818). Her 607 digs as a junior in 2018 are still a single season record at UNC. Els also ended her college career with the program’s career service aces mark (106). She was a team captain on the 2019 team that won the Big Sky regular season and tournament championships en route to advancing to the NCAA tournament.
Els was an Academic All-Big Sky selection all four years at UNC and was a two-time Academic All-District Team honoree.
Els coached club volleyball and served as a student assistant at Northern Colorado prior to her stint at Michigan State. While in Lansing, Michigan, she gained experience in a variety of areas. Els ran defense and serve receive drills for the Spartans while evaluating recruiting film and assisting in practice planning. She also completed director of operations duties, which included Data Volley and camp planning, during the 2021 spring season.