Wolter adds eight to 2012 UWF volleyball roster
2012 recruiting class features players from five states
PENSACOLA, Fla. – University of West Florida head volleyball coach Melissa Wolter has announced the addition of eight student-athletes who will compete for the Argonauts beginning in 2012. The diverse assemblage of competitors comes from five states and includes five players who have prior volleyball competition under their belts at the junior college and NCAA Division I ranks.
“I think this a really athletic group, and all of these young ladies come from winning backgrounds,” said Wolter. “We’re going to have a nice balance of players that are more experienced coupled with players that are young and hungry to compete and win. We filled every spot that we needed to with this class.”
Hailing from Randolph, N.J., Cora Bidlack is one of three true freshmen that are occupying roster spots for UWF during the 2012 campaign. An outside hitter, Bidlack was a three-time all-conference honoree for the Rams while garnering a pair of first team All-County and All-Area awards during her prep career.
One of a bevy of players from Illinois scattered about the Argonauts’ roster, Niatha Cullen (Chana, Ill.) will also be appearing at the NCAA Division II level for the first time in her volleyball career, albeit having traversed a different road to arrive at that particular destination. In 2010 and 2011, Cullen competed for Division I Jacksonville University where she amassed some 128 kills and 146 digs during her two-year stint with the Dolphins. Cullen was rewarded for her consistent hard work in the classroom with an Atlantic Sun All-Academic nod during her sophomore season.
Although she was primarily relegated to spot appearances for the University of Arkansas one season ago, KC Dobbins (Winston-Salem, N.C.) has returned to a program that had been recruiting her since her prep days and is eager to assume an expanded role in the UWF volleyball scheme in 2012. While with the Razorbacks, Dobbins played in 55 sets while notching an average of 1.31 digs in each one of them.
Putting the most road behind her in order to reach her present collegiate volleyball assignment, Sierra Hansen (Layton, Utah) is another former junior college star who signed on with the Argonauts for the 2012 campaign. Hansen excelled at the setter position at the College of Southern Idaho, competing in 49 matches during her two-year junior college sojourn, averaging 3.50 digs per set during her collegiate initiation and 3.71 during her final season with the Golden Eagles.
An additional member of the squad who is taking up a fresh post-preparatory residence, Andraia Leja (Cary, Ill.) comes to the Sunshine State after a sensational season at Harper College where she nearly rewrote the record books. The accomplished libero totaled 699 digs during her sole season with the Hawks and proved to be equally adroit at the service line, registering 94 aces. Her mark of 4.48 digs per set was 21st in the nation among the junior college ranks. Leja was subsequently honored as the Harper College Female Athlete of the Year after gathering North Central Community College All-Conference and NJCAA All-Region laurels.
The Argonauts’ sole product from the Windy City, Maddy Lenzini displayed plenty of promise as an outside hitter at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School and looks to make a name for herself among the talent-laden outside hitter brigade for UWF in 2012. Lenzini racked up four All-City Team selections during her prep career as well as a second team All-State selection in 2011 and an honorable mention nod to the same squad in 2010.
Rounding out the Argonauts’ fresh-faced Illinois quintet – as well as the trio of Division I transfers – Sarah Scott (Plainfield, Ill.) helped the University of Texas-San Antonio capture a 2010 Southland Conference Championship before redshirting in 2011. As a can’t-miss performer during her prep career, Scott captured all-conference, all-area and all-state honors during her last high school hurrah. She was also tabbed as one of the top 50 players in the state prior to helping Plainfield North to a 22-7 mark and a trip to the Class 4A region finals.
Competing at Walled Lake Central High School, the defensive-minded Colleen Starrs (West Bloomfield, Mich.) captured all-conference accolades during her closing prep go-round by recording 644 digs. From 2009-11, she also was named a scholar athlete on three occasions during a similar span. Starrs will be one of three true freshmen on the squad in 2012.
The eight newcomers will join forces with an octet of returnees, and aim to capture the school’s fifth consecutive Gulf South Conference championship. The Argonauts kick off their season on Friday, August 31 by hosting the Hemmingway’s Island Grill Invitational. The Argonauts will take on Lock Haven University at 2 p.m. before squaring off with the University of Central Missouri at 7 p.m.
For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.