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Juniata women's volleyball announces incoming freshmen for 2009

(Posted May 28, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College women's volleyball has received commitments from six high school seniors who will be continuing their education at Juniata while competing for the two-time NCAA Division III national champion Eagles.

Shelby Cassell (Grantham, Pa.), Kelsey Fuller (Red Lion, Pa.), Sarah McMichael (Norristown, Pa.), Madison Petsos (Portsmouth, Va.), Brianne Reau (Trafford, Pa.), and Ashley Schnader (Reinholds, Pa.), will be joining the Juniata women's volleyball program beginning this August.

"I am incredibly excited about this group of young women who will be joining our program this fall," said Juniata head women's volleyball coach Larry Bock. "This class enhances an already deep core of returning players, and should enable us to compete for a national championship again this season.

"I want to thank Heather Pavlik and Jenn Habel for their tireless efforts in recruiting these young women, as well as the admissions team and members of the faculty who assisted us throughout the process," said Bock.

The six incoming freshman, in alphabetical order, are:

Shelby Cassell
5-7, Setter, Grantham, Pa. (Mechanicsburg HS)

Shelby earned First team All-Mid-Penn conference honors during her senior season, and was also a Third team All-District III selection. The daughter of Randy and Barbara Cassell, Shelby also played for the Triad Volleyball Club.

"Shelby is a good setter right now, but is just scratching the surface of her potential," said Bock. "She is a bright, tough, athletically gifted leader who seems to be in the center of good things at critical junctures of games. We think she is going to be a really good volleyball player here at Juniata."

Kelsey Fuller
5-11, Middle Hitter, Red Lion, Pa. (Red Lion HS)

Kelsey earned All-State and All-District honors in both 2007 and 2008, and graduated as Red Lion's all-time kills leaders following her four years under longtime coach Scott Musselman. At the club level, she played for the Yorktowne Volleyball Club, and more recently the Synergy Volleyball Club. Kelsey is the daughter of Mary Ann Crawford.

"Kelsey is a dynamic attacker and a complete volleyball player who has the ability to win matches in many different ways. She'll be coming into one of the most sophisticated volleyball environments in the country, and brings a game that will be highly appreciated by the Juniata College and Huntingdon communities," said Bock.

Sarah McMichael
5-11, Opposite, Norristown, Pa. (Methacton HS)

Sarah earned All-State and All-District I honors last season, and was a Second team All-Suburban League selection in 2007. The daughter of Pat and Bettyann McMichael, she played for both the Synergy Volleyball Club and the Infinity Volleyball Club.

"Sarah is a dynamic, powerful attacker and has been well taught as a blocker. It will be a lot of fun to have such a good player in our gym and on our team for the next four years. She is an absolutely terrific addition to Juniata's volleyball program," said Bock.

Madison Petsos
6-1, Middle Hitter, Portsmouth, Va. (Norfolk Collegiate)

Madison earned First team All-State honors as a senior, and was a Second team All-Tidewater selection. A National Honor Society student at Norfolk Collegiate, she played for the Beach Elite Volleyball Club. She is the daughter of Nick and Ginger Petsos.

"The energy and positive life that Madison creates on the court sets her apart from other players. She is a terrific athlete whose length and skill will add to our team on the court and will be matched by the positive attitude and personality that she will bring to the team off of the court. The entire Juniata community is looking forward to her four years here on College Hill," said Bock.

Brianne Reau
5-6, Libero/Defensive Specialist, Trafford, Pa. (Penn Trafford HS)

Brianne was a Third team All-WPIAL selection as a senior, and also earned First team WPIAL All-Section honors last season. She lettered all four years under the tutelage of Penn Trafford coach Jim Schall, and played her club ball with the Foothills Volleyball Club. The daughter of Brian and Christy Reau, she was very active in Penn Trafford's music department and performed in the school's musical during each of her four years.

"Brie is a terrific volleyball player who contributed significantly to all the success her teams have enjoyed at Penn Trafford. She has been extremely well coached, and should make an immediate positive impact on our team here at Juniata," said Bock.

Ashley Schnader
6-0, Middle Hitter, Reinholds, Pa. (Garden Spot HS)

Ashley earned All-State honors in both 2007 and 2008, and was recognized as an All-Tournament selection in the state championship in those same seasons. Under coach Denny Werner, she helped to lead Garden Spot High School to back-to-back appearances in the state championship match during her junior and senior seasons. Ashley was named 2008's Player of the Year by the Lancaster (Pa.) newspapers, and played club volleyball for both the Spot Volleyball Club and the J-Stroke Volleyball Club. She is the daughter of Mark and Karen Schnader.

"Ashley brings a proven history of success to us from Garden Spot. She has been coached in a system that will translate very well to what we do here, and she should provide an immediate push on our team's accelerator. She is a great attacker, but possesses an all-around set of skills that will allow her to adjust to the college game very quickly," said Bock.

All six players will be competing for one of the storied programs in NCAA volleyball. Juniata coach Larry Bock will begin his 33rd season this fall with a career record of 1,182-182; his 1,182 wins are the most of any collegiate women's volleyball coach in any division.

With Bock at the helm, Juniata has won two Division III national championships (2004 and 2006), and has made 28 straight trips to the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship. Juniata women's volleyball teams have advanced to the national semifinals on 23 occasions, and 34 players have earned All-America honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) รข?" the most of any team in NCAA women's volleyball.

Juniata posted a 35-5 record last season, winning the Landmark Conference championship. The Eagles advanced to the national semifinals, where they dropped a 3-2 decision to the University of La Verne (Calif.). The Eagles graduated three starters and two key reserves off last year's team, headlined by four-time All-American and two-time AVCA Division III Player of the Year Amber Thomas.

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.