NEW YORK - Columbia volleyball head coach Jon Wilson and associate head coach Brie Katz have announced the incoming Columbia volleyball class of 2016, and the group of seven athletes will add depth and strength to an already deep Lion squad.
Six first-years and one transfer will join a Columbia volleyball team that is on the cusp of unprecedented success. For the second straight year, the Lions had the best season in program history, as they finished third in the Ivy League. The group hails from three states and Canada, and includes a transfer student from Northwestern, a Canadian national champion, a Junior Olympic silver medalist, and four athletes from some of the top club teams in the nation.
"The class of 2016 is physical, skilled, athletic, and smart," Wilson said. "Their work ethic is exceptional and they love to compete. They are experienced but want to continue to improve. Individually and as a group we expect them to have a big and immediate impact."
Sarah Collins – 5-7, Defensive Specialist/Libero, Atherton, Calif. (Menlo Atherton)
Previous Experience: Earned four varsity letters in volleyball, playing for Menlo Athlerton … team captain her senior year … helped the team go undefeated in the PAL league and advance to the NorCal semi finals her senior year … All-San Mateo County first-team … named Mercury News Athlete of the Week … also played for City Beach NCVA and Vision Volleyball NCVA.
Katarina Jovicic – 6-3, Middle Hitter, Toronto, Ontario (Martingrove Collegiate Institute)
Previous Experience: Played for Defensa Volleyball Club … member of the 2010-11 team that won a Canadian national championship title … also a member of the Ontario Provincial beach volleyball team … named to the All-Star team at the Power League Tournament in 2011 … also played basketball.
Previous Experience: Four-year member of the volleyball team at Marymount High School … also played for the Sunshine Volleyball Club … four-time first-team All-Sunshine League honoree … has qualified for open Junior Olympics ever year since 12s … two-time first-team All-CIF honoree … also named to the Durango (Las Vegas) All-Tournament Team her senior year … helped lead her team to back-to-back CIF SS 1A Championships in 2010 and 2011, including a regional championship and state finals in her senior season.
Alex Reale – 5-10, Setter, Los Angeles, Calif. (Notre Dame Academy)
Previous Experience: Earned five varsity letters at Notre Dame in volleyball (3) and basketball (2) … captained the volleyball team her senior year … named team MVP her senior year … named Offensive Player of the Year her junior year … earned Sunshine League second team honors twice (2010, 2011) … also played beach volleyball for the California Beach Volleyball Association … earned a CBVA AA rating … has won two 18 & under tournaments in the past year, and had two top-three finishes …
Bailey Springer – 6-0, Outside Hitter, Ft. Worth, Texas (All Saints’ Episcopal)
Previous Experience: Earned four varsity letters in volleyball at All Saints’ Episcopal … three-time team captain … also played for Texas Advantage club team … helped lead All Saints’ to the finals of the State Championships … helped lead Texas Advantage to first place finishes at the Las Vegas Invitational and the JVA World Challenge … earned a silver medal at the 2009 Junior Olympic National Championships … named to the All-Tournament team at the 2009 JOs … named AVCA/Max Preps National Player of the Week in 2011 … four-time first-team All-Conference honoree … three-time Prep-Volleyball All-Texas Team special recognition … named the Star-Telegram DFW Private School Player of the Year in 2009 … named to the Star-Telegram DFW Super Team in 2011 … in the All Saints’ Hall of Fame, as the school’s all-time kills leader.
Lucy Tilton – 6-1, Outside Hitter, Santa Monica, Calif. (Harvard-Westlake)
Previous Experience: Earned two varsity letters in volleyball at Harvard-Westlake … served as team captain her senior year … earned second-team All Mission League her junior year … also played for the Sport Shack Volleyball Club.
Previous Experience: Played at Northwestern University for one season, seeing time in six matches … five year letterwinner at Olympia High School … team captain … helped lead the Titans to the 2008 state championship and the district championship in 2007 and 2010 ... All-Central Florida selection ... All-Metro team selection ... Under Armour All-American watch list … named Prep Volleyball Top-50 Recruit in 2010 … also played for the Orlando Volleyball Academy Asics club team, serving as team captain in her 15s and 16s years … named two-time MVP at Olympia (2009 and 2010) … took part in the Junior Olympics Open from 2007-2011 … also ran track.