HAMDEN, Conn. – After having already signed a pair back in December, the Quinnipiac women's volleyball team recently added four more to their incoming Class of 2017 as all four incoming freshmen signed their National Letters of Intent. Joining the Bobcats next season will be middle hitter Samantha Alechko (Old Tappen, N.J.), middle hitter Allison Leigh (Palmer, Alaska), setter Emma Ogden (Crown Point, Ind.) and outside hitter Katie Urycki (Chesterton, Ind.). With these added signings, the Bobcats will now have at least one incoming freshmen at every position, adding some much-needed depth to an already young and talented roster.
"The class of 2017 will bring much needed athleticism and depth that we did not see in years past here at Quinnipiac," said Quinnipiac women's volleyball head coach Kris Czaplinski. "With an injury ridden season last year it was essential to bring in strong athletes at every position to make sure that we will have the depth needed to have a great bounce back season. The sky is the limit with these six girls coming in, they all come from great established clubs throughout the country and have excelled in their positions at the club level. We are looking forward to bringing these girls in and to add to our already great foundation!"
Samantha Alechko will be joining the Bobcats at the middle hitter position after she led Old Tappan in New Jersey to a 21-3 season in 2012 on the way to a league title, conference championship and the state sectional championship. She led her team all the way to the Group 3 NJSIAA State Volleyball Championship during her final year with Old Tappan. She led her team in kills throughout her senior year with a kill percentage of .405 to go along with 3.5 kills per-set and 36 blocks on the season. Selected to the First Team All-Group 3 after her senior campaign, she also earned BN National First Team and BCWCA All-Bergen Second Team honors. Alechko will be joining a group of middle hitters than includes fellow freshman teammate Allision Leigh, senior Bonnie Conklin (Plano, Texas) and sophomore Melissa Dal Pozzo (Reading, Mass.).
Allison Leigh has the honor and distinction of becoming the first Alaskan to ever lace it up for the Bobcats. She stands an imposing 6'3 and is tied with Conklin for the tallest player on the Quinnipiac roster. A native of Palmer, Alaska, Leigh played for Colony High School and finished her career with 1079 kills in 298 games played. She was a force on the inside for her team as she finished with a career hitting percentage of .312 including a mark of .410 during her senior season. Leigh used her height to her advantage as she tallied 291 total career blocks with 210 of which being solo blocks. Her senior season was a stellar campaign as she finished 2012 with 484 kills in 93 games played, 38 service aces, 72 digs, 84 solo blocks, 23 block assists and single-match career highs in kills (24), digs (six) and solo blocks (11). Leigh led her team in kills throughout the 2011 and 2012 seasons and also helped guide her team to the Arctic Winter Games Championship in 2012. Among her career accolades include two West Spiketacular All Tournament Team distinctions in 2011 and 2012, Academic Award in 2010, All-Region First Team her junior and senior years, and the Most Kills Award at the Arctic Winter Games in 2012.
The addition of Emma Ogden will give the Bobcats their first natural setter since the departure of the program's all-time assist leader in Kayla Lawler. Ogden signs with Quinnipiac after having established herself amongst some of the toughest competition out in the Midwest. Originally a tumbler at an early age, Ogden finished sixth in the nation in tumbling as a 10-year-old. She later transitioned into volleyball at the middle school years and just finished her high school career as a four-year varsity player. She started playing for Valparaiso High School where she was the captain of the junior varsity squad before moving to varsity halfway through her freshman year. Ogden then led Valparaiso to a 27-10 record and second place in the Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC), one of the toughest in Indiana. She then transferred over to Crown Point High School in her junior season where she was honored with the Mental Attitude Award and led her team in assists on the way to another second place finish in the DAC. She also started playing for the 1st Alliance/Lyons Jrs. Volleyball Club in Chicago where she was named team captain. Ogden's senior season was filled with many awards at Crown Point where she was named team captain and led her team in assists for the second straight year. The senior accolades for Ogden continued as she was named an ICGSA Indiana Senior All-Star Nominee, The Times DAC All-Conference Honorable Mention and Gary Post Tribune All Area Team Honorable Mention. Ogden posted impressive all-around numbers her senior season with 51 aces, 27 blocks, 253 digs, 120 kills and 540 assists.
Katie Urycki founds out the signees coming to Quinnipiac from Chesterton, Indiana. A natural outside hitter, Urycki sings with the Bobcats after having served as the team captain for her team at Chesterton Senior High School. She was named All Conference and Team MVP after her stellar senior season that saw her tally 317 kills and a .266 hitting percentage in 103 games played. She also totaled 41 service aces, 300 digs, 23 solo blocks, 24 block assists and 121 deflections while manning the front defensive line for Chesterton Senior. Among her other career accolades, Urycki was named Offensive MVP for her sophomore season and also helped guide Chesterton Senior to consecutive Chesterton Invite titles in 2011 and 2012. Urycki was named MVP of the 2012 Chesterton Invite and was also honored with the Best Attacker Award at the Western Michigan Tournament during her senior year.
The Quinnipiac women's volleyball team will feature six freshmen next season in Ogden, Alechko, Leigh, Urycki, right side Jamie Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) and libero Cody Michaels (Lexington, Ky.) to go along with seven returning lettterwinners from the 2012 squad.
Contact: Maxx McNall; firstname.lastname@example.org