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Drake Women’s Volleyball Signs Five Preps To National Letters Of Intent

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: May 31, 2007
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DES MOINES, IOWA – Drake head women’s volleyball coach Amy Farber Knowles has announced the signing of Nicole Brown (Appleton Wis./Xavier), Angela Bys (Marion, Iowa/Marion), Alisa DeBerg Roth (Hudson, Iowa/Hudson), Mikayla Sims (Waterloo, Iowa/East) and Alana Wittenburg (Readlyn, Iowa/Wapsie Valley Community) to national letters of intent to join the Bulldog program for the 2007-08 academic year.

“These five young ladies will make a big impact not only our team but in the Missouri Valley Conference,” commented Farber Knowles. “We’re excited about the prospects of the upcoming season with the growth of our seven returners and to add this class, it is going to be a very exciting year for Drake Volleyball.”

Brown, a 5-10 middle blocker, was a member of a state runner-up squad as a senior at Xavier High School en route to earning third team Class 3A all-state accolades. A unanimous selection as the Valley 8 Conference Player of the Year this past season, she led the Hawks to three conference title during her prep career.

“Nicole will be one of the fastest players to step on the court,” Farber Knowles explained. “She is extremely quick off her feet, that if we can pass the ball well enough she will be hard for opponents to defend.”

Bys, a 6-1 outside hitter, helped guide Marion High School to a 39-12 mark, including a berth in the state semifinals as a senior. Her 2,135 career kills place her seventh in the National Federation of State High School Associations career record book for kills. A two-time first team all-state selection, she was a Wendy’s High School Heisman Award Finalist in Iowa and holds school records for career aces (334), blocks (412) and digs (700).

“Angela will add strength and power to our team,” Farber Knowles commented. “She has a load of experience under her belt and possibly is one of the smartest volleyball prayers in regards to court awareness and strategy that I will have had the pleasure to coach.”

DeBerg Roth, a 6-3 outside hitter and a three-year letterwinner at Hudson High School, led the Pirates in kills (188), blocks (82) and aces (37) as a senior en route to earning second team all-conference laurels. She helped her squad capture a Class 2A district title as a junior.

“We believe Alisa is going to surprise a lot of people once we get an opportunity to work with her,” Farber Knowles said. “She has tremendous potential and it is going to be exciting to see the kind of player she will develop into.”

Sims, a 5-11 outside hitter, was tabbed a first team Class 4A All-State honoree as a senior at Waterloo East High School. A left-handed outside hitter, she is a three-time All-Mississippi Valley Conference selection.

“Mikayla brings pure athleticism to our team,” Farber Knowles said. “She may be one of the best athletes to wear the Blue and White since Stacy Boerema was on the court. With her speed, agility, quickness and power, not to mention her fast left arm, she will dominate at the net.”

Wittenburg, a 5-2 defensive specialist/libero, led her Wapsie Valley High School squad to a state championship in Class 1A en route to earning third team all-state laurels. A first team all-district selection as a senior, she was a four-year letterwinner for the Warriors and holds the school record for digs in a season.

“The first thing that comes to mind with Alana is the “Energizer Bunny”,” commented Farber Knowles. She is quick on the floor and is fearless when it comes to going after the ball. She is a strong competitor and is going to be really fun to watch as she helps lead this team with ball control and defense.”

Drake will open its 2007 campaign on Aug. 28, hosting UMKC at 7:00 p.m. in the Knapp Center.

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