July 14, 2008
CINCINNATI -- The University of Cincinnati volleyball team's 2008 recruiting class is ranked No. 15 in the nation according to PrepVolleyball.com. The Bearcats have added four freshmen, highlighted by Missy Harpeneau (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mother of Mercy), the PrepVolleyball.com National Player of the Year in 2007.
"This recognition is a testament to the hard work my staff has done on the recruiting trail," head coach Reed Sunahara said. "Adding such quality players that will have an immediate impact is exciting and we are looking forward to competing for BIG EAST Championships for years to come."
UC's class is ranked No. 1 in the BIG EAST and is one of just two BIG EAST programs ranked in the Top 30.
Along with Harpeneau, Kelsey Brandl (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North), Ashley Nevelle (Caledonia, Mich./Caledonia) and Natalie Pierce (Oxford, Ohio/Talawanda) round out the freshman class for the 2008 Bearcats.
UC opens its 2008 season by hosting the sixth annual State Farm/Vernon Manor Bearcats Invitational on Aug. 29-31 in Fifth Third Arena. UC will take on Wright State, Tennessee Tech and Marshall during the three-day tournament. Season tickets are available now by calling 1-877-CATS-TIX or logging on to www.CATSTIX.com.
PrepVolleyball.com's report on the Bearcats:
"The Bearcats scored big when they kept Harpenau, PrepVolleyball.com's National High School Player of the Year, home and lured Brandl, nicknamed "Beast," away from her Big Ten suitors. Harp, a string bean outside, should start immediately for Cincinnati and will contribute as much with her ball control and serving as with her arsenal of shots on the pins. Brandl also should start, giving the `Cats a strong blocking presence in the middle as well as someone who can terminate behind the setter. Nevelle is a fine setter who could spell incumbent Annie Fesl from time to time. Together, this trio could help lead Cincinnati to several BIG EAST championships, the first as early as this fall."