The addition of three new freshmen this month has completed the 2010 roster for the Sam Houston volleyball team.
Joining the Bearkats this fall will be Lauren Bohlen from San Antonio O'Connor, Elyse Burkert from Richardson Pearce and Amber Bain from Louise.
"All three have all been accepted for admission to Sam Houston State University and will join the SHSU Volleyball team as freshman for the fall 2010 season," head coach Brenda Gray said. "All three are outstanding additions to the program
Bain, a 5'11" left-handed opposite/right side Hitter, will graduate from Louise High School in Louise, Texas this month, ranked 4th in her graduating class. She is a three time All-District performer, and 1A state finalist in Basketball, three time All-State performer in track, competing in numerous relays, hurdles, long jump and triple jump.
Bain totaled 1446 Kills, 604 Blocks, 314 Digs, and 111 aces in her final three years of her volleyball career at Louise High School. The Hornets were 2009 1A UIL state volleyball champions, with Bain leading the way as MVP of the state tournament, voted to All State, All County, All District MVP awards as well. She played club volleyball for Texstar.
"Amber epitomizes what we are looking for in a student athlete - hard working and dedicated in the classroom and on the court, her athleticism will take her far in her career," Gray said. "As she develops, she will be a tremendous asset to us on the right side, being left-handed. We got a chance to see her at our summer volleyball camp last summer, and running in the UIL regional track meet her on campus, and she definitely 'wowed' us with her athleticism. It just goes to show you, that with all the events we have on campus here, opportunities are abound her at SHSU and in Huntsville. Amber will get to receive a great Agriculture/Animal Science Degree and be a member of our wonderful Volleyball program."
Bohlen is a 6'0" outside hitter/right side hitter from San Antonio and will graduate from Sandra Day O'Connor High School on June 10th. Bohlen plans on studying agriculture/pre-veterinary studies, and will enroll in school for the Summer II session in July.
Her 2010 O'Connor Panthers were regional finalists, losing to the UIL 5A runner-ups, Austin Westlake. Bohlen has received numerous accolades in her career, including; 2008 All-Texas special recognition from LoneStarVolleyball.com, 2009 All-District, and 2009 Academic All State. She plays for the same club volleyball program as current Bearkat, Camille Alfaro, Alamo Volleyball Association. Her 2010 team has qualified for the Junior Olympic Championships in Reno, Nevada in the 18 open division.
"Lauren is coachable and has an excellent work ethic," Gray said. "With her heavy arm swing and powerful jump serve, she can score points right away for us. Her serve will should be able to get her on the court right away. We are glad that she decided to join our Bearkat family, and will be a great addition for us, adding to our depth on the Outside and Right side, she has definitely received excellent training from her well known and respected high school and club programs.'
Burkert is a 5'10" outside hitter from Richardson and will graduate from J. J. Pearce High School. She is a National Honor Society member, and an All-District member of the swim team. Burkert's 2010 Pearce Mustangs won the Pearland Nike Classic Volleyball Tournament (the second largest high school tournament in the nation), were District and Region Champions and placed 3rd in the UIL 4A state tournament.
Burkert was team captain, in addition to being named MVP of the 2010 Pearland Tournament, as well as being named ESPN Rise National Volleyball athlete of the week, first team All-District, first team All Dallas/Fort Worth, and will compete in the TGCA All Star Volleyball Game this July. She has played club volleyball for Dallas Premier. Her Texas Advantage (TAV) 18 Blue team qualified for JO's in Reno by placing 2nd in 18 Club at the Lone Star Classic, along with her current and future teammate, Haley Neisler, who will also join the Bearkats in the fall.
"Elyse is another late addition, but what an outstanding student athlete," Gray said. "I got the chance to initially see her at the IAD collegiate coaches camp I worked in summer 2008, and thought she could develop into a special player. My assistant, Joe Lind attended the Pearland Tournament in August and he was impressed by her shot selection, and impressive defense and ball control. She keeps improving from her coaches at Pearce, and from her club training as well, and will be another great addition to us either on the outside or playing defense right away. Her calm but competitive demeanor on the court will make competition in the gym better, and help our team immediately.'
"All three of these student athletes are tremendous leaders on their high school and club teams, and have lead their teams to farthest level they can achieve, either Regional finals, State final fours, or even State Championships. This experience will add greatly to our current team, as we look to defend our home court this season and host the 2010 Southland Conference Championships, as our ultimate goal is to make it to the NCAA Tournament. Our incoming class is now complete, and will fill positions due to graduation, and add depth to our roster. We are extremely excited to have Elyse, Lauren and Amber join our other incoming Bearkats, Haley Neisler, Lakeshia Craft and Tarona Williams."