The Central Connecticut volleyball team is set to welcome five new student-athletes for the Fall of 2011. The group includes three high school students and a pair of junior college transfers. The new student-athletes join a team that reached the Northeast Conference Tournament in 2010, but that also lost four seniors to graduation.
Both of the transfer students come to New Britain from Santa Barbra Community College. Jennifer Waddill will enter CCSU as a junior in the Fall. She is a 6'1" middle blocker who was named to the All-Conference team in both of her seasons at SBCC. This past season she led the conference in hitting percentage and blocking percentage. She is a native of Santa Barbra, California.
Allyson Rene' Porter also spent time at SBCC, and she brings the ability to play multiple positions including outside hitter, libero and defensive specialist. She was selected to the All-Southern California Regional team after her 2010 season in which she recorded 263 kills and 267 digs, those numbers ranked third and 10th in the conference, respectively. She is a native of Louisville, Colorado.
According to Coach Linda Sagnelli, "Allyson will strengthen the overall ability of the team with her energy, competitiveness, and volleyball I.Q. She is an outstanding outside hitter who possesses great ball control skills. Jennifer is an established middle hitter at the junior college level, she is very quick and athletic and will have a lot of opportunities to swing as a main part of the offense this season."
Joining the Blue Devils as freshmen next season will be Meaghan Salmers, Brittany Schumacher, and Emma Le Maitre.
Salmers is a 6'1" middle blocker from Whitby, Ontario. Last season her volleyball team won a LOSSA and OFSAA Championship. In addition to volleyball, Salmers also participated in lacrosse, basketball, cross country and badminton at Sinclair Secondary School.
Le Maitre is a 5'8" outside hitter from Leesburg, Virginia, and Heritage High School. During her time at Heritage Le Maitre picked up a pair of All-District selections and an All-Region honor. Her team won three district tournament championships and a regional championship.
The final member of the incoming class is a native of Hartford, Wisconsin. Brittany Schumacher played her prep volleyball at Hartford Union High School. A 5'6" libero and defensive specialist, Schumacher was an All-Conference selection for her school volleyball team in 2010 and her AAU volleyball team finished third at the National Championships.
"Meaghan is one of the most athletic players coming in; she has a tremendous amount of potential and works hard to be available in transition. She will strengthen our middle," said Sagnelli. "Emma also has excellent athletic ability and good fundamentals which will help her strengthen her skills as an outside hitter. Brittany also has great fundamentals and she should be able to contribute to the team in ball control."
"With five student-athletes coming in this is one of the largest incoming classes for the CCSU volleyball team. We are very excited about the talent in this group as we strive to win an NEC Championship. These student-athletes aspire to high goals both in the classroom and on the court."
The Blue Devils will welcome their new teammates in August for preseason practice with the season set to kickoff on August 26, in a tournament at Holy Cross.