Tabor College volleyball signs eight student-athletes

The Tabor College volleyball program has signed eight newcomers for the 2006 season, according to coach Amy Ratzlaff.

“We are thrilled to be adding eight freshmen to the squad for the 2006 season,” she said. “We need to add as much strength as we can to help balance having six seniors next year. “

Audra Atwell, Delphos, was voted the most inspirational and most valuable player at Minneapolis High School where she received all-area and all-state honors.

The 5-foot 4-inch defensive specialist helped her team to third place in the Class 3A state tournament in 2003 and a Class 2A state appearance in 2005.

“Audra will bring a lot of positive energy to the Tabor volleyball team and campus,” said Ratzlaff.

Andrea Batista, Hagerman, N.M., is a four-year varsity letter-winner from Dexter High School. The 5-1 setter/defensive specialist earned all-district honors for three years and was a member of a state all-star team.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to have her on the squad,” Ratzlaff said. “She is extremely fast and strong. She knows how to work hard and will be an irreplaceable part of our setter team.”

Chameria Davis, Houston, Texas, is a 5-5 hitter from MacArthur Senior High School. She was voted most improved player on her team.

“Every coach would love to have a player as versatile as Chameria,” Ratzlaff said. “She simply loves the game and wants to be on the court.”

Erin Dick, Corn, Okla., was named to four all-tournament teams and earned MVP honors at the 2003 Delta Conference tournament. She was first team all-conference and first alternate all-state.

“We are looking forward to the athletic and intelligent impact Erin will make defensively,” Ratzlaff she. “She has incredible foot speed and an awareness of the court that will be an asset to our program.”

The 5-3 defensive specialist helped her Corn Bible Academy team earn a 40-6-1 record during the 2005 season. They were conference champions, took home championship titles at two tournaments and earned fourth place at the 4A state tournament.

Carly Kroeker, a graduate of Heartland Community School in Henderson, Neb., is a 5-10 right-side hitter. Last season, Heartland Community had a 20-5 record and claimed its conference championship.

“Carly comes to Tabor with a confidence as a right-side hitter that is rare,” Ratzlaff said. “She has great court awareness and a willingness to be a team player.”

n Beth Romero, a 5-6 setter, comes to Tabor from Cimarron, N.M., where she started as a varsity setter in the eighth grade.

Romero’s individual volleyball honors include: all-state setter, three years; all-district setter, four years; team captain, three years. Her team was district runners-up twice and district champions three times. It appeared three times in the state tournament and advanced to the final four in 2005.

“Beth brings unbelievable experience to our team of setters,” Ratzlaff said. “She has a desire for precision and team play. Beth has the ability to make an immediate impact here.”

Amy Schmidt, Corn, is the second player this season to come to Tabor from Corn Bible Academy. The 6-0 middle hitter was named offensive player of the year, team captain, all-state, all-tourney MVP twice and state all-tournament. She was a unanimously pick as the Oklahoma Delta Conference MVP.

“A 6-0 left-handed hitter is any coach’s dream, but Amy brings so much more than her hitting,” Ratzlaff said.

“Amy’s blocking ability will make an immediate impact and her commitment to learning more about her position could result in an incredible career at Tabor.”

Brianna Unrau, a 5-5 defensive specialist from Goessel, helped the Bluebirds to a 23-14 record , a fourth-place finish in the Heart of America League, as well as a sub-state tournament championship in 2005.

Unrau was an honorable mention all-league pick, as well as a first-team pick for the Kansas Volleyball Association All-Academic team.

“Brianna has been around us enough to know what we are looking for, and she is willing to do whatever it takes to make a positive impact on the team,” Ratzlaff said.

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