Quartet Signs With Rebels During Fall Period|
Dec. 4, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV volleyball program has received signed national letters of intent from Haley Bilbruck, Ashley Owens, Alexis Patterson and Caitlin Wernentin to enroll at the university and play for the Rebels starting in the fall of 2014, head coach Cindy Fredrick announced.
Bilbruck, a 6-3 outside hitter from Hot Springs, S.D., will graduate from Hot Springs High School in 2014. She lettered three years in volleyball and once in basketball for the Bison. She was a three-year starter for the volleyball team that combined to win a total of 65 games and recorded at least 18 victories in three of those campaigns. She helped the squad to back-to-back conference championships and second-place finishes in regional play in 2010 and '11. She earned Black Hills All-Conference honors twice and was named the team's offensive player of the year as a senior as well as the recipient of the Most Improved Award during her sophomore campaign. She set the school's single-match blocking record with 26 total blocks. During her junior year, she earned the Academic Letter Award and was accepted into the National Honors Society. Most recently, she was chosen to the 2013 Academic All-District Team.
"We love lefties in volleyball, and especially when they are 6-3. Haley is a raw talent with an outstanding work ethic. She is a natural blocker and should develop into an excellent right side hitter."
Owens, a 6-3 middle blocker from Amarillo, Texas, will graduate from Amarillo High School in 2014. She lettered twice in volleyball for the Sandies. As a senior, she helped the team to a 38-9 overall record and its ninth state volleyball title in the 4A state championship game one year after the team reached the 2012 regional semifinals. She was named to the all-district first team and academic first team for both her junior and senior seasons and to the 2013 Texas Golden Spread High School All-Star Team. During her senior year, she hit at a .341 clip and led the team in total blocks with 132. Off the court, she is a member of Ken Club, French Club, FCCLA, Football Ladies and serves as a medical intern at Care Today Urgent Care.
"At 6-3 Ashley is a strong blocker with an aggressive swing. She has a terrific arm span and covers the front court really well. We have watched her continue to develop into an incredibly solid middle hitter, who will contribute quickly to the program."
Patterson, a 6-0 setter and outside hitter from Phoenix, will graduate from Northwest Christian High School in 2014. She lettered four years in volleyball for the Crusaders. She helped the team to three state championships (2010, '11 and '13) and one runner-up finish (2012). The squad amassed a 122-37 four-year record and won an astonishing 35 of 36 conference matches. After being chosen to the Arizona Republic's 2010 All-State Honorable Mention Team, she was placed on the First Team in 2011 and '12. She was named to the Arizona Interscholastic Association's All-Division First Team and All-Section Team at two different positions, while being named its 2012 Section Player of the Year.
"Lexi is one of the top setters in the country. She brings an excellent understanding of the game and a very strong work ethic. She has good hands. She's a good blocker and she can attack at the net."
Wernentin, a 6-0 outside hitter from Bettendorf, Iowa, will graduate from Bettendorf High School in 2014. She lettered four years in volleyball for the Bulldogs. She helped the team to consecutive 5A state championships in 2012 and '13 and earned Iowa All-State Second Team and Iowa State Volleyball All-Tournament Team honors each of those years, including a Team Captain selection as a junior. In addition to those awards, she was the Bulldogs' team captain and chosen to the Under Armour All-American Honorable Mention Team, the Des Moines Register All-State Second Team, Iowa Girls Coaches Association's All-State Second Team as well as a pick to its Senior All-Star Team. She was named to both the All-Mississippi Athletic Conference's First Team and All-Metro Area's First Team for three years (2011-13); the All-Eastern Iowa First Team twice (2011-13); and the All-Southeast Iowa First Team once (2011). She is Betterndorf's career record holder in kills and matches played.
"Caitlin is such a dynamic player. She is a six-rotation outside hitter, who gets off the ground quickly and has an excellent vertical. She committed to us after her sophomore year, so we are delighted to have her officially become a Rebel. Caitlin comes from a highly successful high school program, having won the last two state championships in Iowa, which is a testament to her competitiveness and dedication to success."
"All four of these young women are excellent students and very solid citizens. We are really pleased with this class and excited for what they will bring to the Rebel volleyball program."
The four signees will join a Rebel squad that finished 16-14 overall in 2013 and tied for fourth in the Mountain West with an 11-9 mark.