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June 10, 2011 > East Bay volleyball adds 14

East Bay volleyball adds 14

Submitted By Kelly Hayes, CSUEB Sports Info Director

Coming off a second-place showing in conference, Cal State East Bay and 2010 CCAA Coach of the Year Jim Spagle announced the signing of 14 players for the 2011 season on Wednesday, June 1. CSUEB Lady Pioneers will add three true freshmen and 11 transfers to a depleted roster after losing nine seniors.

"We are very excited to announce our huge recruiting class for 2011," Spagle said. "This group of athletes will bring in athleticism, quality skills and volleyball knowledge, as well as strong academics, leadership and a ton of potential to the CSUEB volleyball program."

Tatum Bales joins the Pioneers from Solano College. She was also a two-year letter winner at Wood High School in Vacaville and played club volleyball with Vacaville Extreme.

A native of Chapel Hill, N.C., Nicole Boyle will be a junior for the Pioneers in 2011. As a sophomore at Cypress College in 2010, Boyle led the Chargers to the CCCAA SoCal Regional championship and a state semifinal appearance. The six-foot outside hitter was named to the State Championships All-Tournament Team and led Cypress to a 25-6 overall record, while collecting All-Orange Empire Conference First Team honors.

Samantha Bruno is a freshman hailing from Portland, Ore., where she was a middle blocker at Wilson High School. As a senior in 2010, the six-footer helped Wilson to an Oregon State Championships appearance and a Portland Interscholastic League title.

A junior transfer out of Blue Mountain Community College in Washington state, Rebecca Haight was a 2010 AVCA first-team All-American at outside hitter. Haight was among the top 15 in the NWAACC in hitting percentage and finished third in overall kills with 225, while adding 4.02 digs per game.

Hailing from Fullerton, Morgan Hirzel is a junior transfer from Fullerton College. The 6-2 opposite was a 2010 All-Orange Empire Conference First Team selection, helping guide the Hornets to a CCCAA SoCal Regional quarterfinals appearance alongside fellow signee Kristin Neary.

Nikki Long comes to Cal State East Bay as a junior transfer from Walla Walla Community College in Washington. The Genesee, Idaho, native guided the Warriors to 43 wins in two seasons and was named second-team all-conference in 2010. Long was also named team MVP and collected sophomore All-Star Team honors in her second season with Walla Walla.

Honolulu native Hayley Luke is a freshman libero and defensive specialist from Roosevelt High School. As a senior, Luke helped guide the Rough Riders to a 16-2 overall record and a second-place showing in league. Roosevelt was a 2010 Hawaii State Championships quarterfinalist.

Joining fellow signee Morgan Hirzel, Kristin Neary comes to the Pioneers from Fullerton College. The Cypress native is a 5-7 setter and will be a junior in the fall. Neary was an All-Orange Empire First Team selection after leading the state in assists with an average of 13.89 per game as a sophomore.

An incoming sophomore, Veronica Sanchez joins Cal State East Bay out of Yakima Valley Community College in Washington state. The 5-3 Libero helped lead the Yaks to a third-place showing at the NWAACC Tournament, earning All-Tournament Second Team honors.

Danielle Stewart is a Glendora native and joins the Pioneers as a junior after competing at Pasadena City College last season. Stewart helped lead Pasadena to the 2010 SoCal Regional. The 5-7 setter ranked fourth in the state in assists, dishing out 10.37 assists per game last year and helping the Lancers to a second-place showing in the South Coast Conference, earning a spot on the All-Conference First Team.

A versatile hitter and blocker, Justine Tabor can play at outside hitter, opposite and middle blocker and comes to Cal State East Bay after two seasons at Clark College in Washington. The 5-11 Vancouver, Wash., native helped guide the Penguins to an appearance in the second-round of the NWAACC Tournament and a second-place showing in the NWAACC Western Division.

Lauren Vestal is true freshman hailing from Fall River. The 5-11 setter was part of a Fall River High School squad that went 29-9-2 overall and 10-0 in league play in 2010. As a senior, Vestal guided the Bulldogs to the CIF Northern Section title and the Shasta Cascade League championship.

An incoming junior, Michelle Woodward is a 5-9 outside hitter out of Edmonds Community College. The Olympia, Wash., native helped the Tritons to a third-place finish in the North Region of the NWAACC, clinching a spot in the playoffs. Woodward ranked in the top 15 in the NWAACC in service aces and was second on her team with 2.13 digs per game last season.

Last but not least, Suzy Ni Xu is a native of Dalian, China, and joins the Pioneers from Iowa Western Community College. The 6-2 opposite was an AVCA second-team All-American and will be a junior in the fall. Xu helped guide the Reivers to an impressive 87-13 record in her two seasons there, participating in the national tournament both years - taking sixth in 2009; ninth in 2010.

East Bay is coming off a year that saw it finish in a tie for second in the conference in just its second season competing in the CCAA.

"I look forward to getting this team's motor started in mid-August and helping this group of student-athletes grow as a unified team on a daily basis," Spagle said. "The future is bright for Cal State East Bay volleyball."

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