2006 volleyball recruiting class announced

By Doug Fitzgerald published May 11, 2006

In 2005, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball coach Jessica Wood raised eyebrows with her first recruiting class by signing two NCAA Division I transfers and three highly regarded freshmen. Because of that initial success, perhaps rival Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference coaches will be a bit less surprised when they learn that Woodâ€TMs 2006 class includes â€" you guessed it â€" two Division I transfers and three highly regarded freshmen.

The Mountain Lions announced their 2006 volleyball recruiting class Tuesday. To an already strong team, UCCS has added Division I transfers Brooke Akers (Air Force) and Monique Blando (Alcorn State), plus freshmen Heidi Fehringer, Cortney Weedman and Lauren Orth.

“This class is quite comparable to last year, if not a more athletic class,” said Wood. “Overall, this group is fast, explosive and strong. These girls are gamers; theyâ€TMll help raise the level of the entire team.”

That athleticism begins with Akers, who led the Division I Air Force Falcons in kills (330), hitting percentage (.228) and blocks (92) this past season. Although standing 6-foot-2, the junior possesses outstanding lateral speed and is an explosive jumper.

“Brooke is a huge offensive force,” said Wood. “Sheâ€TMs very, very fast. I expect her to be putting up some major block. Sheâ€TMs strong, sheâ€TMs steady and she reads very, very well.”

Also coming for a Division I program is Blando, a 5-foot-7 outside hitter/defensive specialist from Alcorn State. Blando was a force for the Lady Braves as a freshman in 2005, finishing second on the team in kills (148), hitting percentage (.200) and blocks (40) and third in digs (138).

When Wood touts the newcomersâ€TM athleticism, she can point to incoming freshman Heidi Fehringer. The 6-foot middle blocker from American Falls, Idaho, was recruited to play collegiately in three sports after averaging 10.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks as a basketball player and posting conference-best marks as a track athlete in the 200-meter dash, high jump, long jump and triple jump. That quickness and leaping ability translates well to volleyball, where she could develop into a dominant force at the net.

To replace departed setter Jocelyn Evans, Wood brought in a player with Mountain Lion bloodlines in Cortney Weedman, the sister of UCCS outside hitter Andrea Weedman. The younger Weedman led Cactus Shadows High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., to its first Class 4A Division II championship in 2005 and earned second-team All-Arizona honors in the process.

Rounding out the recruiting class is a Pikes Peak Area player, Lauren Orth from Falcon High School. Orth, a 5-foot-11 outside hitter, posted 102 kills, 87 digs, 24 blocks and 30 aces last year.

While Wood is excited about her 2006 recruiting class as athletes, sheâ€TMs also happy to have them representing the team as students and as citizens â€" key elements for succeeding in UCCSâ€TM challenging academic environment.

“Theyâ€TMre also quality people. Theyâ€TMve got their lives in order,” said Wood. “Theyâ€TMre disciplined and organized. The rest of the team is already that way, so this provides additional support.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Andrea WeedmanAndrea Weedman9OHFr.
Andrea WeedmanAndrea Weedman9OH/DSSr.
Andrea WeedmanAndrea Weedman9OH/DSSr.
Andrea WeedmanAndrea Weedman9OH/DSSr.
Jocelyn EvansJocelyn Evans2S
Monique BlandoMonique Blando2OH/DS
Heidi FehringerHeidi Fehringer7MB
Heidi FehringerHeidi Fehringer7MB
Lauren OrthLauren Orth5OHFr.
Lauren OrthLauren Orth5OHFr.
Lauren OrthLauren Orth5OHFr.
Cortney WeedmanCortney Weedman14S
Cortney WeedmanCortney Weedman14S
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