Benson signs pair of standouts to NLIs
GREELEY -- Northern Colorado coach Lyndsey Benson keeps adding to the foundation of what's becoming one of the nation's brightest up-and-coming programs.
On Thursday, during the second day of the 2010 early-signing period, she officially announced the addition of two potential cornerstones in that project in 2011 signees Andrea Spaustat (Omaha, Neb./Marian HS) and Tambre Haddock (Longmont, Colo./Longmont HS).
Both players bring impressive resumes to the Bears, and Benson says both have a chance to contribute right away next season. That's no small statement, considering Northern Colorado is chasing its first Big Sky regular-season championship this week and has won 42 matches over the last two seasons.
“We are thrilled about our 2011 recruiting class," Benson said. "Tambre (rhymes with Amber) and Andrea (ON-dray-uh) are both a great combination of size and athleticism. Both will compete for starting positions immediately. These two elite players are the type of athletes we need to recruit to continue to be successful in the Big Sky, but they will also help us climb the ranks nationally.”
Haddock (6-0, OH) earned seven letters at Longmont, with four coming in volleyball and three mor e in basketball. As a junior in 2009 for volleyball head coach Holli Stetson, she was an all-state honorable mention selection, a member of the All-Northern League team and the Longmont Times-Call Player of the Year.
Haddock's Trojan squad finished seventh in Colorado Class 4A last season and will play this weekend in the Colorado Class 4A state volleyball tournament at the Denver Coliseum.
Benson said Haddock's star was dimmed a bit during her recruiting process because she didn't compete with her club teams (5-Star and this year NORCO) on Sundays.
Regardless, she's a big get for the Bears.
"She is definitely a 'next level' athlete who is a tough competitor and has the athleticism and head game to back it up," Benson said. "We are going to see big things from Tambre for four years.”
Spaustat (6-2, MB) has been a varsity starter for coach Rochelle Rholfs at Marian since her freshman season. She was an all-state honorable mention selection in 2008, and in 2009 was the second most-efficient hitter in the state o f Nebraska.
She has also made quite a name for herself on the national club scene with the River City Juniors, who finished in the national top 10 at the USA Girls Junior National Championships three times (2008, 2009, 2010) during Spaustat's career.
Spaustat was two times named to the club National All-Tournament Team in 2009 and 2010, and she was also selected for the US Junior Olympic Team's D1 camp in 2007 and then the A2 camp in 2008.
“Andrea has had great experience and coaching coming into our program, so she will be ready much quicker than most freshmen," Benson said. "She plays very big and reminds me a lot of Ashley (Lichtenberg), with a heavy arm. She’s a player that uses her size very well. She will be able to score and defend against the biggest opponents at the highest level.”