Tuesday, November 17, 2009Valparaiso volleyball head coach Carin Avery announced today that eight newcomers will be joining the Crusader volleyball program as freshmen for the 2010 season, five of which were on the 2009 AVCA High School All-American Watch List entering their senior years.
Sarah Chrabaszcz is a 5’4” defensive specialist out of Reedsburg, Wis. A two-year letterwinner at Reedsburg Area H.S., Chrabaszcz led the squad with 310 digs and 51 service aces in 2009 and was named the team’s Best Server and Best Passer, as well as being named a team captain.
“Sarah is a hard-nosed and gritty player,” said Avery. “She has a passion for playing volleyball as well, all attributes that you want in a defensive specialist.”
Ariel Cudney is a 5’8” outside hitter/setter/defensive specialist out of LaPorte, Ind. A three-year letterwinner at LaPorte H.S., Cudney was an Indiana All-Star and First Team All-State honoree this year after earning Second Team honors as a junior. She has been a part of sectional champion squads at LaPorte each of the last three years, and ranked among the state’s leaders in service aces this year while being named Conference MVP.
“Ariel is a true volleyball player,” said Avery. “She can play three different positions all very well, a versatility which is hard to find these days. That versatility will make her very valuable to our program, as well as the fact she knows how to win, having played at a great high school program.”
Sarah Dooms is a 5’9” outside hitter out of Greenwood, Ind. A product of Center Grove H.S., Dooms recently received the IHSAA Mental Attitude Award, a state-wide honor, for Class 4A and was also named an Indiana All-Star. She also was named a member of the 16 Club All-Star Team at the 2008 AAU National Championships.
“Sarah is a very athletic player, a great jumper and an all-around skilled outside hitter,” said Avery. “We were looking for someone who has great skills in both the front row and the back row, and we found that in Sarah.”
Lindsey Hauch is a 6’0” middle hitter/outside hitter out of Coloma, Mich. A four-year letterwinner at Coloma H.S., alma mater of current Crusader Andrea Balsis, Hauch has earned First Team All-Conference accolades each of her four seasons and is also a three-time All-Region honoree. A Second Team All-State honoree as a junior, she has been a part of four conference championship squads, as well as a pair of district champions.
“Lindsey is another versatile player who we will try at a number of positions on the floor,” said Avery. “Her skill set gives us flexibility using her in our lineup. She has a heavy arm, along with quick feet and big hands that will make her a great blocker at this level.”
Janelle Hobbs is a 6’1” middle hitter/outside hitter out of Hartland, Wis. A product of Arrowhead H.S., Hobbs has received Honorable Mention All-State notice each of the last two years and was named Conference Player of the Year as a senior. Playing club volleyball for the Milwaukee Sting, she has made national tournament appearances with the Sting each of the last six years, and was selected to the Badger Region High Performance team as a starting middle each of the last three years.
“Janelle has gotten better and better every year she has played and is really coming into her own as a volleyball player,” said Avery. “She is another athlete that plays a number of positions well, which is invaluable for our program. She will cause lots of problems for opposing teams with her ability on the court, and has a great work ethic and great attitude.”
Casey Phillips is a 5’6” defensive specialist out of Dyer, Ind. A two-year letterwinner at Lake Central H.S., she was named team MVP and earned All-Conference honors as a senior after totaling 403 digs and 41 service aces on the year. Phillips previously had earned Honorable Mention All-Area recognition from the Post-Tribune as a junior.
“Casey is a great team leader with a great upbeat personality,” said Avery. “She comes about those qualities naturally and will help keep our team strong and together both on and off the court.”
Ellen Vanden Berg is a 6’1” middle hitter out of Kaukauna, Wis. A three-year letterwinner at Little Chute H.S., Vanden Berg was a Third Team All-State selection by the WVCA as a senior after earning Honorable Mention All-State honors as a junior. She also is a three-time All-Conference honoree, receiving First Team notice each of the last two years.
“Ellen comes in with a lot of potential,” said Avery. “We are excited to have her in the middle because she has great blocking instincts and hits at a high reach. She is a perfect fit at middle in this league and will do great things here.”
Kelsey Victor is a 6’1” outside hitter/middle hitter out of Logansport, Ind. A four-year letterwinner at Logansport H.S., Victor earned All-Conference recognition all four years, including First Team honors each of the last three seasons. She was named team MVP as a senior while helping Logansport to the best record in program history.
“Kelsey is another outstanding athlete with loads of potential,” said Avery. “We are excited to start working with her. She can play either position very well, and we are looking for her to be a terminator for our team.”
“I am so very excited about this entire class we’re bringing in,” concluded Avery. “They are all very athletic and still somewhat raw and developing on the court. Their potential truly excites me, and I feel they are all the types of players that we need to stay competitive in the Horizon League and to reach our goal of advancing to the NCAA Tournament.”
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