WEDNESDAY, MAY 04, 2005
Volleyball Signs Three Players to National Letters of Intent

May 4, 2005

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - JU volleyball has signed 6-foot-3 setter Una Dzalba (Saldus, Latvia), 5-foot-8 libero Alyssa Fowles (Hollister, Calif.) and 6-foot-3 middle hitter Laura Goettsch (Woodstock, Ontario) to National Letters of Intent, head coach Kevin Paul announced today. The trio will join 6-foot-1 middle hitter Stevenique Richardson (Red Springs, N.C.), who inked with the Dolphins during the early signing period. Last season, the Dolphins captured their first Atlantic Sun Conference Championship and made their first NCAA Tournament appearance in the Division I era.

Dzalba, a member of the Latvian Junior National Team for the past three years, earned her second consecutive Most Valuable Player accolade in the National Championship of Latvia last season. She was also an eight-year member of the Riga Volleyball School and was named MVP of the National Championship of Latvia in 2001.

"Una's size and her ability to consistently locate the ball will give us a different dimension on offense and defense," said Paul. "She'll benefit from the leadership of senior setter Erin Donivan (Sarasota, Fla.), and hopefully be ready to take over the reigns in 2006."

Fowles, an outside hitter from San Benito High School, earned First-Team All-Tri-County Athletic League honors as a senior after leading the Haybalers to the first round of the NorCal State Tournament with a team-high 308 kills and 266 digs. As a junior, she earned honorable mention all-conference accolades after leading the squad to the second round of the regional playoffs. In her first varsity season as a sophomore, Fowles earned second-team all-conference honors as a defensive specialist after leading the Haybalers to a conference title, a No. 9 ranking in the state and a spot in the national top 50. In club action, she was a two-year team captain for Main Beach, a three-year member of Vision Volleyball Club and a two-year member of City Beach. Fowles also competed four times in the Junior Olympics, earning a bronze medal in 2000.

"Alyssa will instantly be one of the most well rounded players on our team," Paul said. "She has great court sense, phenomenal ball control and I'm expecting her to see a lot of court time as our libero. We feel good about the position for the next four years."

Goettsch, a middle blocker and outside hitter from St. Mary's Catholic High School, earned team MVP honors as a junior and senior after leading the Warriors to consecutive Thames Valley Regional AA titles and a spot in the Western Ontario Championship finals. As a sophomore, she led the squad to a Thames Valley title, a Western Ontario crown and a spot in the Ontario Finals. As a freshman, she earned team MVP honors after directing the Warriors to a Thames Valley championship and the Western Ontario finals. In club play, she earned team MVP accolades after leading the Waterloo Tigers to a pair of provincial titles and a national championship in 2004.

"Laura can help us in a lot of areas and we'll look to use her in the middle and on the outside to give us another tall body to add to our block," said Paul. "Laura has a lot of desire and such a great attitude and work ethic for someone so young."

"I'm really anxious to start the season because we've added four players with size and skill, who can contribute right away," Paul said. "There's no question they'll help us continue building on the foundation we established last year."

Along with the A-Sun Championship title and the NCAA Tournament bid, the 2004 Dolphins (15-14, 8-2) ended the year with program records for average digs per game (17.98), digs in a game (121) and most conference all-tournament selections in the Division I era (3).