November 13, 2008

Volleyball and Women's Basketball Sign Four To NLI

GREELEY, Colo. - The University of Northern Colorado today announced the signing of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period. Volleyball head coach Lyndsey Benson adds three to the roster, while women's basketball head coach Jaime White adds one. All four will enroll at Northern Colorado in the fall of 2009.


Kelley Arnold, 6-1, OH, Berthoud, Colo. (Berthoud)

Arnold is the Northern League Player of the Year, a two-time All-State Team selection, finalist for Gatorade Player of the Year and a nominee for AVCA/UnderArmour All-Star Game (top 24 players in the nation). She is a four year varsity player in volleyball, as well as earning one letter in track & field. She helped lead the Spartans to the district and regional titles a season ago and a seventh place finish at state. She has played the last three seasons for NORCO Volleyball Club.

"We are blessed to keep Kelley close to home," said Benson.  "UNC is a great fit for her both academically and athletically.  She is a fierce competitor with the talent to take over matches very early in her career.  Being a lefty, we will look to use her on the left of right side.  She is a very versatile hitter and a huge block."

Brittany Crenshaw, 6-2, RS/MB, Yorba Linda, Calif. (El Dorado)

Crenshaw is a two-time All-Century League selection, as well as a scholar athlete and honor roll selection. She has helped lead the Golden Hawks to three straight conference titles and has played club volleyball for Impact Volleyball Club for the past seven years.

"Brittany has the size, athleticism and work ethic to be a dominant middle blocker during her college career," stated Benson.  "She can play right side or middle and will push for play time immediately in either position."



Marissa Hughes, 5-9, S, Huntington Beach, Calif. (Mater Dei)

Hughes is a two-year team captain for the Monarchs and was named the MVP of the junior varsity squad as a freshman. She is a National Honor Society member and has been an honor roll selection numerous times. The team is just beginning post-season play in the Trinity League and awards have not yet been announced.

"Marissa is going to fill an important role for us next year," said Benson.  "She is a very talented setter with great court awareness, training and athleticism.  She has great leadership skills which is important at the setter position.  Marissa is going to have a great career at UNC."



Jayne Strand, 6-0, F, Ames, Iowa (Ames HS/Kirkwood Community College)

As a freshman at Kirkwood, Strand averaged five points and 4.2 rebounds per game in helping the team to the Junior College National Championship. She was a three-sport athlete for the Cyclones of Ames HS, earning four letters in cross country and three each in soccer and basketball. She was a three-time all-conference selection in cross country and an honorable mention all-conference pick in basketball as a senior. She was also a multiple time honor roll selection and a two-time academic all-conference pick.

"Jayne will bring a wealth of knowledge on what it takes to win," said White. "She is an aggressive player who should contribute immediately to the success of our program and blend nicely with the freshman we have this year."

The signing period is for men's and women's basketball, baseball, men's and women's golf, softball, volleyball and wrestling and runs through next Wednesday.