Volleyball Gains Five For 2003

Nov. 13, 2002

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Four athletes have signed national letters of intent to play volleyball for Oregon State next season, coach Nancy Somera announced Wednesday. In addition, one other athlete has announced her plans to attend OSU and join the team in the fall of 2003.

Britt Cahoon (Shelton, Wash./Shelton HS), Michelle Franz (Carmichael, Calif./Rio Americano HS), Kristin Murray (Crescent City, Calif./Del Norte HS), and Abby Windell (Gresham, Ore./Gresham HS) have signed letters of intent, while Taylor Studzinski (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township HS) will also join the Beavers next year.

'We're excited about the group. Teamed with our current freshman class, it's a great future core to take our program to the next level,' Somera said. 'It may take a couple of years, but they've got the talent, the skill level and the athleticism that it will take to gain national recognition.'

The group includes two players who were listed among the Student Sports Class of 2003 Hot 100 list. Cahoon, a 6-0 middle blocker, and Windell, a 6-1 middle blocker/rightside hitter, were listed at 48th and 85th, respectively.

Cahoon was named the PAC-9 League's Most Valuable Player the last three seasons and also earned all-area honors this year.

Windell, a two-time Mt. Hood Conference All-Star, led Gresham HS to its second consecutive 4A state championship title last week and earned first team all-tournament honors at the state tourney. She was a second team all-state pick as a junior.

'Britt is very physical and very strong. Her attacking will immediately improve our team's offense,' Somera said. 'She's quick on the move, and once she adusts to the pace of the college game, she'll definitely be pushing for quality playing time.'

'Abby is a winner, and a great leader. She's very skilled in the fundamentals of the game and is capable of making others around her play better,' said Somera. 'We're excited to watch her grow in our gym and in our conference.'

Franz, a 6-0 middle blocker, earned Sacramento Bee first team all-city honors the last two seasons, and she was named the Offensive Player of the Year this season. Rio Americano won the Sac-Joaquin League title and the sectional championship in both 2000 and 2001.

'Michelle is a quiet, intense competitor. A large part of her success comes from making very few mistakes,' Somera said. 'She's reliable and consistent, and we need players who can fill that role.'

Murray, a 5-10 outside hitter, earned two Most Valuable Player honors in the Humboldt-Del Norte League. She was a two-time all-league pick in basketball as well.

'Kristin is our diamond in the rough. Not a lot of people know about her. She's from a small high school and doesn't play club, so she didn't get seen a lot,' Somera said. 'But, we saw her at our camp and fell in love with her athleticism and her coachability. She's physically very strong so she'll be able to keep pace with the upperclassmen when it comes to training. I anticipate that she'll close the gap quickly with the others who have played club volleyball.'

The 5-11 Studzinski is a versatile athlete who has played every position, and she could continue to see several roles at the collegiate level. She was named to the 2002 Kentucky Junior Olympic all-tournament team, and she was an all-area pick by the both the Chicago Sun Times and the Joliet Herald.

'Taylor does all skills very well. We'll definitely cross train her, because she's such a skilled player that she'll provide depth everywhere,' Somera said. 'She's very athletic, and it will be fun to see where she ends up in our line-up over her career.'

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