The University of Redlands volleyball team looks forward to the start of the 2017 campaign while welcoming an impressive class of new players to Head Coach Lisa Lindberg's squad. As Lindberg embarks upon her third season with the Maroon and Gray, she anticipates a significant contribution from this talented class that joins the returning contributors with Friday's arrival and Saturday's first training session.
"We are very excited to welcome these 10 new Bulldogs to our program. We are confident that their successes as students, athletes, and leaders will continue here at the University of Redlands," stated Lindberg. "The coaching staff believes that these athletes will be immediate contributors, as we work toward our post-season goals."
The sole transfer of the 10-woman incoming class, Melanie Fyda arrives from the University of Massachusetts at Boston as a sophomore. The six-foot outside hitter and Team MVP hails from Park Ridge, Illinois, where she played for the Northwestern Wildcat Juniors. She also received recognition from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) as a "Phenom" and collected a Chicago Tribune Athlete of the Month nod.
Eight of the nine first-year Bulldogs hail from the state of California, with the exception being Anna "AJ" Jones of Bainbridge Island, Washington. This Metro-League All-Conference Team honoree brings leadership skills as a former captain. She competed for Space Needle Volleyball Club as a five-foot, 10-inch middle hitter/right-side player.
After a solid career at Redlands High School as a five-foot, 10-inch outside hitter/right-side player, local talent Paige McLeod made the move from Citrus Avenue to Colton Avenue prior to her freshman year in 2016-17. She now joins the Bulldog volleyball team with a re-energized outlook that is reflected in her high school accolades of Most Inspirational, Most Improved, and Offensive Player of the Year. Her quality experiences at Rancho Valley Volleyball Club should bode well for her newest team.
The Maroon and Gray also welcomes a talented duo from the Epic Volleyball Club with the arrival of Hannah Lanyon (San Diego, CA) and Samara Herrick (San Diego, CA). Lanyon fits right into Lindberg's student-athlete profile due to her All-Academic Team status but also offers height and versatility as a six-foot middle hitter. Herrick joins Redlands as a four-year, starting setter for the four-time, reigning league champions from High Tech Media Arts High School, where she also earned First-Team All-Conference accolades.
A five-foot, 10-inch right-side player, Savannah Casey joins the squad from just north of San Diego in Encinitas, where she competed for Genuine Volleyball Club and San Dieguito Academy. She balanced her school work as an All-Academic Team member while also garnering LVHS Invitational All-Tournament honors.
Hailing from Wildomar, Angelina Hughes arrives at Redlands as the Female Athlete of the Year from Cornerstone Christian High School. She also collected First-Team All- League honors and was named the Team MVP. She played for Viper Temecula Volleyball Club.
Allison Busch mixes into the group as a defensive specialist from Goldenwest Volleyball Club out of Long Beach. She collected All-League First-Team honors en route to becoming the Lakewood High School Defensive Player of the Year and the LHS Athlete of the Season. The Press-Telegram deemed her a member of the local Dream Team while SoCal Prep Legends named her an athlete of the week.
Marlena Ramanis (Walnut Creek, CA) and Emily Vankoll (Moraga, CA) represent Northern California as new Bulldogs for Life. Ramanis enters the upcoming campaign as a five-foot-eleven-inch right-side hitter who shined as a Scholar-Athlete at Northgate High School. Vankoll adds to the defensive prowess of the squad as a decorated defensive specialist. The Most Improved Player of the Year also landed on the All-League First Team. Ramanis and Vankoll competed for NorCal Volleyball Club, where Vankoll was honored as the Best Defensive Player.
With 10 new student-athletes, including nine freshmen, the Bulldogs more than double their roster for the 2017 campaign. Amidst fresh talent and determined enthusiasm, the season holds promise for the University of Redlands.
The team officially starts competition on Friday, September 1, by taking on unfamiliar opponents at the Pacific Coast Classic. First up, Redlands squares off against Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts at 11:15 a.m., followed by Union College (NY) at 3:45 p.m.