Barcus, Carlson, Larson Sign With Cougar Volleyball

Nov. 15, 2001

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Jen Barcus, a middle blocker from Nine Mile Falls, Kristen Carlson, an outside hitter from Purcellville, Virginia, and Brenn Larson, a setter/outside hitter from Westlake, Calif., have signed National Letters of Intent to play volleyball next fall at Washington State University, Cougar coach Cindy Fredrick announced Thursday.

'I don't think we could have signed three finer quality people or finer quality athletes than these three. They are really incredible young women,' Fredrick said. 'To have a setter, a middle hitter and a left side/right side hitter is just perfect for us right now.'

Barcus is a highly-decorated volleyball and basketball player at Lakeside High School, located just outside Spokane, Wash. The Lakeside Eagles, coached by Kara Moffat, have won the past three state 2A volleyball championships, and the 6-1 Barcus has earned the state 2A most valuable player award the past two years. She was the Gatorade Player of the Year for 2000. Lakeside is also the defending state champion in basketball, under coach Lisa Schultz, and Barcus earned state MVP honors there. She services as ASB vice president and played club volleyball for the Spokane Splash for coach Wade Benson.

'With Jen Barcus being from Washington, that's another added plus,' Fredrick said. 'We've watched her for several years when she came to play Pullman High. We were fortunate enough to get a real early commitment out of Jen and that was very exciting for us because she is a tremendous athlete and being a local talent is really an added plus.'

The 6-2 Carlson has played volleyball and basketball for three years at Loudoun Valley High where she earned all-district, all-region and all-state honors in both sports. The Vikings' volleyball team was a state semi-finalist Carlson's sophomore year, won the state title with an undefeated record her junior year, and has not yet begun the season this year. In the Dulles District Athletic League, the basketball season is completed prior to the start of volleyball season. This year in basketball, Carlson was selected district player of the year but her LV High squad was defeated for the district title. Carlson's mother, Donnalee Wennerstrom Carlson, swam in the 1976 Olympics and for UCLA, while her father, Joseph, rowed for the Bruins. Kristen has four younger brothers and two younger sisters.

'Getting Kristen Carlson was a real stroke of luck in that one of her coaches is one of Farokh's (assistant coach Dr. Mashallah Farokhmanesh) very good friends from way back,' Fredrick said. 'With Kristen out in Virginia, her coach knew a lot of programs wouldn't see her play and this coach told Farokh to watch this 6-2, left-handed player. That was just about all we needed to hear. We are very excited to get her.'

Larson brings a wealth of national competitive experience. The 5-11 setter played for the Asics Nova club team that finished third at the 18-open Junior Olympics in 2000. Her club squad also won the 2001 Las Vegas Tournament and were runners-up at the Crossroads Tournament. As a freshman, Larson participated at the USA High Performance Camp at the Olympic Training Center. Her Westlake High School team was the CIF Division III runners-up last year and Larson is a two-time Marmonte League most valuable player. Larson carries a 3.986 grade point average and wants to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.

'Brenn Larson has to be one of the top setters in the country, without a doubt,' Fredrick said. 'And to combine that with a study in veterinary medicine, what could be more perfect than Washington State University and perfect for us? Brenn brings an incredible intensity and work ethic and great, great talent as a setter. With these three recruits, we just couldn't be happier.'

Barcus, Carlson and Larson are the first announced recruits of the early signing period for volleyball. Coach Fredrick expects to make another announcement next week.

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