ThunderWolves to add six newcomers to 2012 roster with more expected.
PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Feb. 1, 2012) - The CSU-Pueblo volleyball team rolled out its preliminary 2012 roster Wednesday, which includes six new recruits, one being a mid-semester junior college transfer who is already on campus.
After losing nine members from a team that won 15 games and qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2006, the ThunderWolves are looking to reboot the roster.
Returning are three starters: setter Kacy Griffin (Jr., Houston, Texas), right side Sierra Moran (So., San Diego, Calif.) and middle blocker Angela McAdams (Sr., Jarrell, Texas), as well as defensive specialist Michelle Lambayan (Sr., Aiea, Hawaii), who played in nearly every game last season, rotating in on the back row. All four played huge roles in the Pack's sudden resurgence in 2011 under new coach, Jen Gomez.
Among the newcomers to the squad are mid-year transfer Aislyn Karney (Jr., La Junta, Colo.), who was ranked ninth in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) last season in blocks at Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kan. She will be a junior next season.
Five freshman join her as the "Class of 2012", including two Colorado products, outside hitter Alex Winkler (Fr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) and right side hitter Morgan Wilkening (Fr., Fleming, Colo.). Winkler brings height (at 6-foot-1) and a winning pedigree, helping lead Pine Creek High School to the bring of a state title in 2010. Wilkening led a Fleming High School squad that went an unbelievable 124-7 in her four years on the team and won two state championships.
The class is rounded out by outside hitters Marissa Calvillo (Fr., Rio Rancho, N.M.) and Skylar Conner (Fr., Edmond, Okla.) and libero Erin Insell (Fr., The Woodlands, Tex.). Each have two major things in common: they all come from winning high school programs and boast considerable club experience.
"[The coaching staff] is really happy with the kids we signed," Gomez said. "In [the careers of Gomez and assistant coach, Jordan Willis] we really feel like this is one of the best classes we'd ever put together. The kids coming in are very dynamic and athletic."
Gomez said that the Pack's recruiting efforts for next season are by no means over, and several transfers could still be added.
"We are still looking at balancing our freshman to upperclassman ratio, and will try to get a few more transfers into the program that could make an immediate impact."
CSU-Pueblo will kick off its season Aug. 31 when it travels to San Antonio, Tex. for the Rattler/Hilltopper Classic.