WWU Introduces 10-Member 2012 Volleyball Recruiting Class
FULTON, MO -- William Woods University volleyball head coach Monica Herschelman introduced her 10-member fall recruiting class Wednesday. The class is highlighted by three all-state players and five scholar-athlete standouts. A geographically-diverse class, the group includes three Missouri products along with a pair of recruits from California and a recruit from Michigan.
"The 2012 class for William Woods volleyball adds great depth and fills some big holes from the 2011 season," said Herschelman. "With the loss of first team all-AMC outside hitter Lauren Fleming and second team Alicia Green, we needed to add some size and athletic ability to the middle. Further we needed to add athletic, strong and powerful hitters to compliment Kristen Bauer on the outside and replace Morgan Bauer on the right side. Finally we wanted to add to our already stable backcourt with efficient passing and incredible digging with more tenacity and energy."
Emma Aschenbrenner and Madison Mincone lead off the class. Aschenbrenner was a four-year letterwinner for Jefferson Academy in Broomfield, Colorado. A two-year all-state honoree, she was also a Junior Nationals qualifier for 303 Club.
Mincone was a two-year letterwinner at Peters Township High School in McMurray, Pennsylvania. She helped the Indians to a WPIAL Elite Eight appearance in 2011, following a sectional co-championship in 2010.
"Emma, Madison and returner Melanie will be a strong trio to hold down the middle position for us and produce a lot of points," added Herschelman. "We will expect them to continue last year's blocking presence, improvement and strength, but continue to add more of an offensive threat both in front of the setter and behind the setter."
Emily Becker, Lauren Rodewald and Danielle Gibson-Stiglich join the roster at the outside hitter positions in 2012. Becker was a four-year letterwinner for Belleville West in Belleville, Illinois, who helped the Maroons to three regional titles, earning first team Champaign News/Gazette all-State honors as a senior.
Rodewald was a four-year letterwinner at St. Peters's Fort Zumwalt South, earning first team all-GAC North honors as a junior and senior. She played every set for the Bulldogs, racking up a career 2.16 kills per set average.
Gibson-Stiglich was also a solid performer for her club squad, playing for Solana Beach Volleyball Club. The Carlsbad, California, native helped the club to a third-place finish in the 16-and-under Gold Division SCVA Junior Nationals, following up on a ninth-place finish at the AAU National Championships.
"On the outside Emily, Lauren and Danielle add great strength and ability to the pin," remarked Herschelman. "Each of them respectively adds something different to the team and will make it fun to watch throughout the season to them compete with each other and push everyone on the team to get better."
The Owls shore up the right side as well, adding Sarah Evans and Rachel Frabotta for the fall. Evans is a three-year letterwinner from Clever High School, pushing the Blue Jays to a third-place finish in the Missouri 2011 Class 2 State Tournament. The Clever, Missouri native also earned a nomination to the 2012 Sertoma Southwest Missouri All-Star game.
Frabotta is another long-distance recruit for WWU, joining the Owls from Sterling Heights, Michigan. She was a three-year letterwinner for Henry Ford II, helping the Falcons to a Macomb Area Conference White Division Championship in 2010 and earning third team MAC all-county honors in 2011.
"Sarah and Rachel together on the right side will provide us great size and blocking ability," said Herschelman. "They both can hit off one foot which helps us in our offensive set and each has the ability to hit multiple, powerful shots."
Rebekah Roe and McKenna Hisel will fortify the back court for WWU. Roe is a four-year letterwinner from Marquette High School, where she helped the Mustangs to a Missouri Class 4A District Championship in 2010. The Ellisville, Missouri, product posted a serve receive percentage of 98.72% as a senior, with 469 receives and 232 digs on the season.
Hisel is a three-year letterwinner for North Forney High School. The Forney, Texas, native powered the Falcons to their first ever state playoff appearance as a senior, earning second team all-District honors. She was also recognized as the 2010 District 3A Libero of the Year.
"With the addition of Rebekah and McKenna to our returning defenders, we will have a solid group of girls that can dig, pass and control the back court," remarked Herschelman. "It will be fun to see them all compete for the two to three defensive spots that we could potentially use this season."
Rounding out the class is Cassandra Merica. A two-year letterwinner for Rancho Buena Vista High School, she helped the Longhorns to the CIF Championsips finals as a senior. She earned second team all-league honors and was earned a North County Times Player of the Week nod as well.
"Finally, teamed with senior setter Sarah Wehmeyer, Cassandra will add additional depth and experience in the setting position and give us the ability to seamlessly switch from a 5-1 to a 6-2," commented Herschelman. "She will do anything to get her hands on the ball and plays much bigger than her size reflects."
The Owls open the 2012 season on August 28 at Evangel University and return to Fulton for the home opener on August 30 against Lindenwood University-Belleville.