UCCS volleyball signs three

By Doug Fitzgerald published December 5, 2009

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball coach Keith Barnett announced Saturday that he had signed three recruits to national letters of intent. Joining the Mountain Lions for the 2010 season will be Skylar Lewandowski from Rampart High School, Danica Lawrence from Columbine High School and Erika Cushnie from the Waiakea High School in Hilo, Hawaii.

"Academically and athletically our recruits bring a lot to the table," said Barnett.

A libero, Lewandowski set a new Colorado High School Athletics Association record with 507 digs this past season for the Rams and also holds the CHSAA record for career digs with 1,241. She collected awards as a senior, earning honors as first-team All-Metro League, Max Preps Colorado Volleyball-Class 5A Player honorable mention, Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports (CCGS)-Class 5A All-State Athlete.

Academically, she should acclimate well to UCCS' tough curriculum since she's a three-time CHSAA first-team all-state recipient as well as garnering recognition from the National Honor Society, Rampart HS Honor Roll and DECA.

The Rampart school record holder in aces (157), Lewandowski played for Barnett at Rampart HS for two seasons before he accepted the position at UCCS prior to the 2009 season. She chose UCCS despite receiving offers from several NCAA Division I schools.

"Skylar is a stud," said Barnett. "I have enjoyed coaching her for two years prior and I look forward to having her for four more. She and I understand one another and I look forward to continuing to see her grow."

Lawrence is a 6-foot outside hitter that played on a Columbine HS team that qualified for state in 2007 and a club team that took 13th at the 2009 Junior Olympics National Championship. She was a CHSAA all-conference honorable mention pick as a senior.

She will also be a great addition for UCCS' nationally-acclaimed Engineering program after having earned multiple awards for physics projects in high school including Kinematics, solar, aeronautical and kinetics designs.

"Danica has been on our radar since her junior year," said Barnett. "We wanted to make sure we got her and we did. She will bring size and experience in multiple positions. I look forward to seeing her play in a UCCS jersey."

Both Lewandowski and Lawrence played for the prestigious Colorado Juniors club team.

Cushnie was a three-time all-state honorable mention selection, twice while playing for a Hawaii Prep team that was the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division I champions in 2009 and once with Waiakea High School as a senior. She was named MVP at two tournaments this past season, the St. Joseph's Volleyball Invitational and the Haili Volleyball Tournament.

An outstanding all-around athlete, Cushnie is regarded as the Big Island's best high jumper in track. Her sister, Vanessa, will be a sophomore at Adams State in 2010.

"Erika is a pleasant surprise; we do not go to Hawaii to recruit and luckily she came to us," said Barnett. "She hits a heavy ball and is very athletic, both are things you cannot teach and we're happy to add to the team."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Danica LawrenceDanica Lawrence3OH
Danica LawrenceDanica Lawrence3OH
Erika CushnieErika Cushnie7OH
Erika CushnieErika Cushnie7OH
Skylar LewandowskiSkylar Lewandowski11DS/L
Skylar LewandowskiSkylar Lewandowski11DS/L
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