Saturday, December 8, 2007

University of Albany Volleyball Signs Three Recruits for 2008-09

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – The University at Albany volleyball team signed three recruits for the 2008-09 academic year, as announced by head coach Kelly Sheffield on Thursday afternoon. Laurie Gonzalez, Kelly Corkum and Kalyn Mostert will all join the Great Danes next season.

Gonzalez, a native of Carolina, Puerto Rico, will arrive in the spring 2008 semester. A 5-foot-9 libero/outside hitter, Gonzalez was named the 2006-07 St. Francis School Student-Athlete of the Year and earned the top defense and loyalty awards. As a captain of the Borinquen Coqui Under-15 team in 2005, she led her squad to a 3rd place finish at the National Volleyball Festival. She also led St. Francis to a 5th-place finish at the 2006 AAU National Tournament in Orlando, Fla. Gonzalez was a three-time LACC All-District All-Star Selection in her scholastic career.

“Laurie is a stud in the backcourt,” said Sheffield. “She will be one of the great competitors that our program has had. She reads the court very well and her defensive range is very, very good.”

Corkum is a 6-foot-4 right side hitter from Toronto, Ontario. Corkum, who has only been playing competitive volleyball for three years, was the captain of her 2006-07 team and received the Award of Excellence in her first year playing at the under-16 provincials. Corkum, who is a member of the Scarborough Vipers club team, played on the Ontario Volleyball Association’s Region 5 team and was the Queens University Tournament MVP.

“We have tried to get bigger and more powerful players. Kelly certainly fits that mold,” offered Sheffield. “She will be a player that will be able to slow down other team’s outside attack. She is a lefty and that gives us another dynamic to our offense.”

Mostert also joins the Great Danes from Canada, hailing from Nepean, Ontario. Mostert stands 6-foot-2 and will play a combination of middle blocker, right side and outside hitter. She played on the under-16 indoor regional team at the Ontario Summer Games in 2006. As a member of the under-18 squad in 2006-07, she earned the Most Improved Player award. In the summer of 2007, Mostert had the opportunity to play for Team Ontario in the NTCC tournament, which took place in London, Ontario.

“Kalyn is a very versatile volleyball player,” said Sheffield. “She can hit everywhere along the net and all three tempos. She reads the court very well and her defensive range is very, very good.”

UAlbany recently claimed its third America East Conference Championship in the past four years. The Great Danes, who finished with a 24-10 record, also won their first-ever Division I NCAA Tournament match, a 3-0 victory over Cleveland State. UAlbany then dropped a 3-0 decision to No. 1 Penn State in the second round of the tournament.

“All three players have a great passion for the sport of volleyball and are tremendous competitors,” said Sheffield, who now boasts a 142-79 record in his seven seasons at the helm of the UAlbany program. “They are positive, hard-working and fun people to be around and all three are great students with very supportive families. These are players that will be fun to coach and I think our fans will really have fun watching.”

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