Signees show promise for U

By By Bubba Brown

By Bubba Brown

When the 2009 campaign officially ends, the Utah volleyball team will bid adieu to seniors middle blocker Chelsey Sandberg and outside hitter Cinthia Silva. However, the Utes will also be welcoming new additions to the program, as they have signed four players for the 2010 season.

Opposite hitter Yiting Cao, outside hitter Morgan Odale, middle blocker and outside hitter Erin Redd and libero Charlee Dyroff are poised to become Utes.

“This class is filled with great athletes as well as highly skilled players,” said head coach Beth Launiere. “We feel like as a group they can have an immediate impact on our team, and we’re excited to have all four join our program, as they are quality people as well as athletes.”

Cao, a member of the Chinese Junior National team, comes to the Utes after being named a NJCAA First-Team All-American at Illinois Central College. This season, Cao has averaged 3.7 kills and 2.7 digs per set while hitting at a .370 mark for ICC this season.

“Yiting joins us from one of the top junior college programs in the country and plays for highly respected coach Sue Sinclair,” Launiere said. “(Yiting) is a polished player, and her experience with the Chinese Junior National team and ICC will allow her to be ready to play at the Division-I level immediately.”

Morgan Odale is the sister of Ute McKenzie Odale. The two will be the third set of sisters to play for Launiere at Utah. Morgan Odale led Eagle High School in Eagle, Idaho, to a long streak of success and was named the Idaho State Gatorade Player of the Year twice.
“Morgan comes to Utah after a decorated high school career, which included winning four Idaho state championships,” Launiere said. “She is a tremendous athlete and highly skilled and as a daughter of a volleyball coach, she grew up in the gym. Her experience with the USA Junior A2 team prepared her well for the Division-I level.”

Redd is the lone recruit from a Utah school this year, coming to the Utes after an outstanding career at Spanish Fork High School. She hit .388 during her career at Spanish Fork and was named an all-state honorable mention twice.

“Erin is one of the best athletes coming out of high school we have had join our program,” Launiere said. “She is a physical player, and that will allow her to play at the Division-I level and have success high above the net. She joins a long list of great players from the state of Utah who have helped our program become a perennial top-25 team.”

Dyroff joins the Utes as the Colorado single-season digs record holder with 401, which she accumulated at Boulder High School in Boulder, Colo. She served as the team captain in high school.

“Charlee is a tremendous athlete who comes from a club program that trains well,” Launiere said. “She will bring tremendous defensive skills into the gym and will add to our team’s ability to stop opponents.”

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