Grizzlies add four for 2008
ALAMOSA, Colo.— Adams State College volleyball coach Lindy Mortensen announced Tuesday the addition of four new players to her 2008 roster as Trinidad High School senior Kristen DiPaola, Gunnison High School senior Kelsey Huckle and Rampart High School senior AJ Palmer have all signed letters of intent while Rio Rancho, N.M. native Tamara Fowler has announced her intent to transfer from West Texas A&M University.
The group will join Hoehne High School senior Megan Hiss, who signed with the Grizzlies during the fall, as newcomers on the 2008 Grizzly squad that will also return eight players from the winning 2007 campaign.
DiPaola, a 5-foot-11, middle, outside hitter and right side hitter, was named as the Tri-Peaks League Player of the Year in 2007 after recording 127 kills, 103 digs and 40 blocks while earning all-state honors from both the CCGS (Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports) and CHSCA (Colorado High School Coaches Association).
"I saw Kristen play at the 3A CCGS All-State match. I had heard of her athleticism and was very impressed with her volleyball ability,” Mortensen said.
“I think Kristen has a ton of potential and will continue to grow as she practices at the collegiate level. She is a good student and has family with ties to Adams State. We are excited to have her here."
Planning to major in pre-dentistry, DiPaola carries a 3.8 High School GPA and was a member of Miners’ Academic State Championship team in 2005.
Huckle, a 5-foot-7 defensive specialist, was a first team all-conference pick for the Cowboys in 2007 and was named as the league’s top five seniors. Playing both the outside hitter and defensive specialist positions in high school, Huckle recorded 173 kills, 79 digs, 39 service aces and 24 blocks as a senior.
She also shined in the classroom, sporting a 3.70 GPA while earning three academic all-state honors.
“Kelsey is a very hard worker. I think she is one of those athletes that will give everything to a practice and the program,” Mortensen said.
“When she came to our team camp last summer, I could tell she is a competitor. We are glad to have Kelsey join our team."
Palmer, who stands 5-feet-6-inches, was also an all-conference selection. She played setter in high school and set the state record for single-match assists. She played libero, a position she is likely to play at ASC, for her club team, the Colorado Juniors.
"AJ will be a great addition to our team. She plays for one of the best clubs in Colorado and is very solid. She is quick and has great consistent ball control. She is also very versatile as she was the setter in high school. AJ is a good student and good person. We are excited for her to become a Grizzly, Mortensen said about Palmer, who plans to major in secondary education.
Fowler, a 2006 graduate of Rio Rancho High School, has spent the last two years at WTAMU. Injured and unable to play during the 2006 season, that saw the Buffs make the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Tournament, Fowler concentrated on school alone during the 2007-08 year.
A 5-foot-9 middle and outside hitter, she was a first team all-state and all-district pick while in high school helping lead the Rams to two state titles and a runner-up finish in her final three years of high school.
“We recruited Tamara out of high school two years ago. She decided on another program, had injury problems and decided it was in her best interest to transfer. She is only 5-foot-9, but has over a 34-inch vertical. She has not played for over a year but has the athletic ability and previous training to be a very solid hitter for us,” Mortensen said.
Fowler, who still has four seasons of eligibility remaining, intends to major in nursing at ASC.