Barnett Announces First Recruiting Class

By Doug Fitzgerald published April 9, 2009

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball coach Keith Barnett announced his first recruiting class Monday. Joining the Mountain Lions for the 2009 season will be transfers Nicole Pederson, Jenica Shippy and Kendall Utz along with freshmen Darby Jones, Lindsey Stich and Laura Brodie.

"I am extremely excited about my first year's recruiting class and feel that the potential for this group is high,"said Barnett. "Our returning players continue to impress me and my expectations grow daily. We have a solid foundation of talent and skill for this coming season and our goals are high.

Brodie's signing was previously announced Nov. 19 during the early signing period.

"I have seen Laura Brodie play for her club team this spring and I expect good things from her come this fall with all aspects of the game," said Barnett, who was hired as head coach on Jan. 19. "Her ability to read the game at the middle blocking position will be a nice asset come the '09 season."
Pederson comes to UCCS from Division I Cal Poly after a tremendous high school career at Pine Creek in Colorado Springs. As a high school senior, she led the Colorado Springs Metro League with 1.27 blocks per game and averaged eight kills per match. In her final two seasons, the Eagles posted a combined record of 47-7, winning consecutive district titles and reaching the state Elite Eight each time.

"I fully anticipate Nicole being a solid piece of our team in the 2009 year and beyond," said Barnett. "She is a D-I caliber athlete who should find UCCS to be very welcoming. We are happy to have her on board. I am excited to see what she can do and our middles for this 2009 season will be excellent contributors to our team's success."

Shippy is a 5-foot-10 outside hitter who played in 13 games for Central Missouri State in 2008. Prior to that, she starred for Pueblo West High School. With the Cyclones, she averaged 3.8 kills per game as a sophomore, 3.3 as a junior and 3.3 as a senior. She also had 403 digs in her final two seasons. She is already enrolled at UCCS and has been participating with the team in spring workouts.

"I am already impressed by Jenica through our spring workouts," said Barnett. "She has a great work ethic and good all-around skill." 

Utz was the starting libero for Division I Florida Atlantic, recording a team-best 281 digs as a freshman in 2007. She was leading the Owls again this past season with 131 digs (2.47 per game) when her season was cut short.

"Anytime you can get Division I players to transfer to your school and program the quality increases and the expectations for the group go up,"said Barnett. "Plus, she is my sister-in-law and our relationship should only grow stronger now that she is back in Colorado and a part of our program."

Jones is a 6-foot-2 middle blocker from Montrose High School. With the Indians, she had 142 kills as a senior, including a career-high 18 against Durango on Sept. 26. Barnett expects her to redshirt in 2009 before replacing then-graduated Kim Boogaard the following season.

Jones' awareness and physical capabilities are already apparent," said Barnett. "With the year to redshirt, I expect her to get stronger and wiser and be a potent part of our offense in the coming years."

Stich is a 6-foot setter who led Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio to a 28-11 record this past season. As a senior with the Mules, she was named first-team all-district as well as all-area by the San Antonio Express News.

"Lindsey Stich is a nice complement to our current setter, Alex Nuttall,"said Barnett. "At 6-foot, I have high expectations for her to continue making this program better. She has a quality skill set and a nice serve. Her personality and athletic ability are perfect additions to our team and she will make an immediate impact

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Nicole PedersonNicole Pederson15MB
Nicole PedersonNicole Pederson15MB
Jenica ShippyJenica Shippy9OH
Jenica ShippyJenica Shippy9OH
Jenica ShippyJenica Shippy9OH
Lindsey StichLindsey Stich1SSr
Lindsey StichLindsey Stich1SFr
Lindsey StichLindsey Stich1SSo
Lindsey StichLindsey Stich1SJr
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSFr
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSSo
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSJr
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSSr
Kendall UtzKendall Utz8L
Kendall UtzKendall Utz8L
Laura BrodieLaura Brodie10MBFr.
Darby JonesDarby Jones10MBJr.
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