Volleyball Welcomes Talented Group of First-Years
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars
NEW YORK – Columbia volleyball head coach Jon Wilson has announced the incoming class of 2014, and for the second year in a row, it’s one of the best in the Ivy League.

The six incoming first-years hail from three different states, and bring valuable experience to multiple positions on the floor. The group includes a Junior Olympic All-American, All-State, All-Area and All-League honorees, and multiple high school and club team champions.

Colleen Brennan – 5-9, Setter, Glenview, Ill. (Glenbrook South High School)

“Colleen brings good athleticism, high level skill in setting, serving and defense, and strong on the court leadership,” Wilson said. “Her tenacity and work ethic will be great additions to our culture and overall team energy.  Colleen was MVP of her high school team, leading Glenbrook South to the final four in the Illinois 4A State Championships.  Colleen has Division 1 Volleyball in her DNA as her mom, Kathy Brennan, was an outstanding player for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.”
Savannah Fletcher – 6-2, Middle Blocker, Everett, Wash. (Arch Bishop Murphy)

“A powerful athlete with great lateral quickness and a big jump, Savannah helped her Island Thunder 17-1 Team earn a bid to the 2010 USAV 17 Open National Championship in Reno,” Wilson said. “Savannah has all the tools to be a great blocker at the Division 1 level, and will help put more teeth in the Columbia block this fall.  Savannah had a great high school career in both volleyball and basketball (her team was the runner-up in the Washington 3A State Championships), and ran the 400m and threw the shot put in track.”
Alexandra Freschet – 5-11, Middle Blocker/Opposite, Redwood City, Calif. (St. Francis High School) 

“Alex brings a wealth of experience and skill to Columbia Volleyball,” Wilson said. “She has many seasons with City Beach, one of the top clubs in both Northern California and the nation. She helped City Beach earn a bid to the 2010 USAV 18 Open Championships in Reno by winning the Pacific Northwest Qualifier. Blessed with a very fast arm, Alex will add another dimension to our quick attack, hitting exceptionally well of both feet and off one foot on the slide.  She has a dynamic personality that will help keep us energized.”
Katherine Keller - Libero/DS, Santa Barbara, Calif., (Santa Barbara High School)

“Katherine has been a super libero for both her high school and club teams,” Wilson said. “She anchors the defense and serve receive for Santa Barbara Volleyball Club, helping them win the prestigious SoCal Qualifier and earn a top seed at the 2010 USAV 18 Open Nationals in Reno. Katherine combines defensive tenacity with great court savvy and the ability to be one step ahead of the opponent’s offense. She has a great eye for what is going on and tremendous reflexes and skill. Considered one of the best liberos in the country in the 2010 recruiting class, Katherine will contribute greatly to every aspect of first contact.  During her senior high school season, Katherine stepped into the role of setter.  She led the team to the CIF Playoffs and was named to the All Conference Team in her new position.”
Madeline Rumer – 6-1, Middle Blocker/Right Side, Santa Rosa Valley, Calif. (La Reina High School)

“Madeline is an extremely smart player with highly polished net skills,” Wilson said. “She is a savvy blocker who makes other teams pay when they fail to execute their offense perfectly. Madeline is also a very good hitter with a quick arm and eye for where the defense is not. She helped lead her Sports Shack team to third place at the SoCal Qualifier and first at the Far Western Qualifier in Reno, not only earning a bid to the 2010 USAV 18 Open Championships, but garnering one of the top seeds. Madeline was co-MVP of both her high school team and league in 2009. Gifted with a great pair of hands, Madeline was one of the national leaders in assists for non-setters.”
Kira Whitehouse – 5-11, Right Side/Middle, Portola Valley, Calif., (Sacred Heart)

“A standout player in high school and versatile athlete who can play any front row position, Kira has spent this past club season playing mostly on the right side,” Wilson said. “She helped her club team, ALCiS perform well in the highly competitive NorCal Region, coming very close to earning a bid to the National Championship Tournament in Reno. Combining a strong work ethic and a great volleyball IQ with solid skills and athleticism, Kira also has a dynamic personality, bringing great energy to the court in both practice and in games.”