O'Connell played for Reno High School and led her senior team to the semifinal match of the 4A North Volleyball Regional Championship. Her team lost a hard-fought match, 3-2, to Bishop Manogue, but O'Connell had 18 kills in the match. In her junior year, the team lost in the semifinals of the 4A state tournament, and the team did not lose a set in the regional tournament. O'Connell plays club for the Northern Nevada Juniors 18 Baden team.
"Samantha is a solid, strong outside hitter," said Crespo. "She and Savanah (Leaf) are great additions to our outside hitter positions. I am really excited for the future."
O'Connell joins early signees Savanah Leaf and Mary Alice O'Reilly on the Spartan team.
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