Volleyball: Four new recruits signed for 2014

By Max Sullivan
On April 15, 2014

The UNH volleyball team announced it has signed four incoming freshmen for their team next season, and head coach Jill Hirschinger is excited to add to a championship team that, only losing two players to the graduating senior class, will remain mostly intact in 2014.

Courtney Bowman is a two-time Division II first-team selection from Chagrin Falls, Ohio. In her time at Beamont High School, she led her team to an Ohio High School Athletic Association semifinal.

"Her team has been contending, and Ohio has really strong volleyball," head coach Jill Hirschinger said. "So her credentials coming in, at the level of volley ball she had [played], she's going to make an impact."

Molly Wotton from Dover, N.H., is a two-time New Hampshire Gatorade Player of the Year. At 6 feet tall, she's an outside hitter/middle blocker who stands as the only New Hampshire native among the incoming freshmen. Her father played ice hockey for the Wildcats during his time at UNH. Hirschinger said the Wildcats are "very fortunate" to have Wotton join the team next fall. Wotton led the Green Wave to an undefeated NHIAA championship in 2013.

"She's just an incredible athlete," Hirschinger said.

Katie Rebrovich is the shortest of the recruits, standing at 5-foot-4, but Hirschinger said that her Texas pedigree indicates that she'll bring a high level of play to UNH. Rebrovich was the two time captain for Centennial High School in Burleson, Texas. This last year, she earned the 8-4A Defensive Player of the Year Award.

"[Rebrovich] has over 2,000 digs in her high school career, which is incredible," Hirschinger said. "And Texas is such good volleyball that she's coming in with great experience."

Sasha Cucuz, a 6-foot-1 hitter from Plymouth, Mich., will be the only left handed player on the team next season. Seeing as the Wildcats are losing its only two left handed players in seniors Morgan Thatcher and Destiny Tolliver, it helps that Hirschinger could recruit a south paw.

"We were looking for a lefty, because it does make a difference," Hirschinger said.

The players have confidence that they'll be able to roll with the momentum created by their championship season. Only two players are graduating, leaving much of the winning team in tact. 

"It was a big point with Morgan [Thatcher] and Destiny [Tolliver] leaving that we don't want ... it to seem like such a big loss," junior Taylor Dunklau said. "We have been so focused on the future, and we've done a really good job of [keeping that focus] so far... [the seniors] definitely helped, but [the winning season] was a team thing."

Hirschinger said that they will miss the leadership that Thatcher and Tolliver brought to the team. 

"They played a big role on the development of this program," Hirschinger said. "We're really going to miss them. They've been kind of a one-two force, not just on the court but we're going to miss the leadership they provided."

Hirschinger has faith in the experience players to provide quality leadership next season.

"What's good, though, is, as leaders leave, new kids step up, and we're seeing that now," Hirschinger said.

The incoming seniors are excited to take over that responsibility.

"We [the juniors and sophomores] have a lot of leadership and knowledge of the culture and the program because we've been here for three years," junior Katie Sattora said.  

The Wildcats host the UNH Invitational this Saturday, April 19. Hartford, Harvard, UMass-Lowell and Bryant will be in Durham to compete in the exhibition invitational.

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