TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 2009
Volleyball adds four student-athletes during 2009 signing period
The JU volleyball team announced the signing of outside hitter Megan Gorey (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.), middle blocker Alison Loeppky (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and setter Nicole Teplitz (Stuart, Fla.) to National Letters of Intent and the transfer of Florida State outside hitter Alliya Drzewiecki (Toledo, Ohio).
The foursome will join a Dolphin squad which returns seven upper classmen, including 2008 “Libero of the Year” Shelley Walroth, and two sophomores.
“I’m very excited to have so much talent coming into the gym this fall,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “Combining these four athletes with the nine we have returning should give us great talent and depth in our line-up. All of these women could be starting in week one so it will be a fun and competitive preseason. Some of our best games may be against each other this year in practice.”
Gorey, a 5-foot-11 senior from Choctawhatchee High School, was a four-year starter and helped lead the Indians to the district tournament all four years. In club play, she was a member of the Northwest Florida Emerald Coast Unity and placed first in the region in consecutive years.
“Megan signed with us in November and has some natural gifts on the court,” Kupferberg said. “She is still raw, but has great potential and I look forward to working with her in the gym. If she works hard, she could be a special player.”
Loeppky, a 6-foot-1 senior from Dakota Collegiate, was a two-year starter with the Lancers and led the squad to a combined 28-0 record and two divisional titles after transferring from College Jeanne Suave. In club play, she was a member of Team Manitoba and Cobras Volleyball Club.
“Alison is an athletic middle blocker that will do very well in our conference,” Kupferberg said. “I’m very excited to have someone of Alison’s talent coming into our gym this fall. She should fit in very well and provide us with another dynamic hitter.”
Teplitz, a 5-foot-5 senior from Jensen Beach High School, helped lead the Falcons to a combined 76-15 overall record and a FHSAA 4A State Championship as a junior. As a junior, she finished with 502 assists, 59 aces and 53 digs while garnering second team all-conference and third team all-state honors. In club play, she was a member of Treasure Coast Volleyball and Palm Beach Juniors.
“Nicole is a small, but agile setter,” said Kupferberg. “She has very good hands and can make some special plays on the court. Her experience in competitive weightlifting is something that can’t be overlooked. It will give her a jump start in attaining the durability needed to get through a college season.”
Drzewiecki, a 6-foot freshman, will join the Dolphins after sitting out the 2008 season as a redshirt with the Seminoles. As a prep player at St. Usula Academy, she as a member of the USA Junior National Team from 2004-07 and was named Division I “Player of the Year” in 2006. As a senior, she earned All-America honors after setting a state record with 997 kills. A three-time first team all-city and all-district honoree, she also earned first team all-state honors as a junior and senior. In 2005, Drzewieck became the only sophomore in Division I to receive all-state honorable mention accolades.
“Alliya is a powerful hitter that will give our team some consistency on the outside,” said Kupferberg. “She has very high level experience at the juniors level and that should help her compete for a position immediately.”
JU ended the 2008 season with the program’s first 20-win season since 1988 and its lowest loss total in the Division I era (10). Kupferberg has also seen his win total increase in his three seasons at the helm of the program (17, 19, 20).