Fairfield, Conn.—Sacred Heart Women's Volleyball Head Coach Rob Machan announces five players who will join the Pioneers for the 2013 season. Sarah Krufka, Jene D. Lee, Kiki Robinson, Ana Beatriz Gonzalez and Maddie Losure form the women's volleyball Class of 2017. Coach Machan is very pleased with this class and has high expectations for his team going into the 2013 season.
"I am very excited to add these outstanding players to our team," coach Machan said. "We are adding excellent players in both the libero and setting positions and both should come in ready to compete and contribute at a very high level. The other three bring size and physicality to our team that we have been sorely lacking in the past."
With the addition of this class, coach Machan is looking forward to a strong season in 2013. "2012 was a struggle for us," coach Machan added. "We battled a storm of injuries all season long and just could not put it together in time to finish as we hoped. Adding these players should help us bounce back and continue our program's climb in national prominence."
Krufka of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. helped lead Tesoro High School to their first league title in school history in 2011. That year the team made it to the semi-finals in CIF and the 6' 1" Opposite was named Honorable Mention All-Orange County Team. Her senior year, the team made it back to the semi-finals and Krufka was named the Orange County Volleyball Player of the Week by Orange County Register. She started her volleyball career as a freshman at Tesoro High School. Within one year, she was given the Most Improved Player Award and was named to the All-League Second Team. In 2011, her T Street Volleyball Club team finished seventh in the Open Division of the Junior National Championships in Atlanta, GA, and took home a bronze medal the following club season.
"Sarah is an outstanding and very versatile player," said coach Machan. "She brings a level of velocity and physicality that will immediately impact our team. She can swing from the middle and from both pins and should be able to score points from the service line. She has competed and had success at the highest levels in our sport in both high school and club and will bring those same expectations of success with her to our team."
Lee, a 5' 11'' Middle Blocker from San Dimas, Calif., helped lead San Dimas High School to four consecutive Valle Vista League Championships. She was twice named to the Valley Vista All-League First Team, and was honored as a member of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune All-Area First Team in 2011. In addition to playing at San Dimas, Lee has played for Club West Volleyball out of Ontario, Calif. For the last three years.
"Jene is a wonderful player and an amazing athlete," Coach Machan said. "She is the type of player that, while she will have an immediate impact on the team this year, will continue to improve each and every year. Jene is the type of athlete who should develop into a player who can compete against anyone in the country at her position. She also plays for one of the best clubs in the nation and is used to success at the highest levels of our sport."
Robinson, a four-year varsity player for Liberty High School in Bakersfield, Calif., has led the Patriots to three Clovis Tournament Championships and earned herself a spot on the All-Tournament Team each time. In 2010 and 2011, the 5' 10" setter was named to the All-League First Team, and in 2011 the All-Area Second Team. Robinson gained national recognition in 2010 when she was named to the All-Tournament team after helping Club Jamba to a Junior National Championship.
"We are so excited to add Kiki to our team," said coach Machan. "She is such a fluid setter and makes the game look so easy. She has wonderful location on her sets and has a great feel for the game. She is also an outstanding all-around player and a natural leader on the floor. She is another player who has had success her entire career at the highest levels of our sport and will have an immediate impact on our program."
Gonzalez's love for volleyball started at an early age following in her father's footsteps. Her freshman year at Academia Maria Reina, the 5' 5" Libero was named MVP of the Academia Del Perpetuo Invitational. She received All Star Honors at the Notre Dame Invitational her freshman and sophomore years, and played in the PR High School Athletic Alliance Conference All Star Game all four years. In her senior season, she helped her team take two first place finishes at the Academia Maria Reina Invitational and the Colegio San Jose Invitational, while securing tournament MVP.
"I first met Ana when she came to our camp two years ago, "said coach Machan. "To be honest, I was amazed. Ana has all the tools to be a world class libero. Her foot speed, movement, and instincts are perfect for the position. She has a wonderful touch on the ball and is also a natural leader on the floor. She will fit in perfectly with her classmates and our team. The sky is the limit for Ana and we are very excited to bring her on board."
Losure, a local addition from Bethlehem, Conn. received First Team All-State honors her junior and senior years, and was picked to the First Team All-Berkshire League in 2010, 2011 and 2012. This past season the 6' 1" Middle Blocker was named captain of her team at Nonnewaug High School, and chosen for the All-Star Senior Bowl.
"Maddie is one of the best athletes I have seen in Connecticut since I have been out here, "coach Machan added. "She has the length and physicality to be a dominant player for us. What makes Maddie so unique is while she is a wonderful athlete and has great size and length, she also has a very powerful swing. She is also a very versatile player and will have an immediate impact on our program especially with blocking. She has the tools to be an outstanding player for us and we are very excited to add her to our program."