PRESCOTT, Ariz.- The defending California Pacific Conference regular season and tournament champion, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Ariz.) women's volleyball team is not only bringing back a majority of their impact student-athletes but have also brought in four heavy hitters to increase their tremendous depth.
"We have a talented group, and by adding some depth and some physicality with both of our six-footers coming in that is always a good thing," head coach Jill Blasczyk said. "I think we are going to play well as a group especially with our group returning from the national tournament and our new fresh faces will add to that."
Elisa Pauzer (JR/Campinas, Brazil) will be an impact transfer just as All-Cal Pac OH Erin Clark (JR/Phoenix, Ariz.) was in the 2018 campaign. The Brazilian southpaw comes to Prescott from Eastern Florida State College after spending two years as a Titan. In just over 40 matches Pauzer totaled 194 kills and 142 blocks, which will help to bolster the stout Eagles' defense. Pauzer will be studying aviation business upon her arrival on campus in August.
"Elisa as a lefty will give us an advantage on the right side this year," Blasczyk commented. I expect her to come in and make an impact right away and at 6-1 she will also add another blocking presence which should help balance play for us."
Next, Amanda Smith (FR/Boise, Idaho), the first of three true freshman coming to ERAU this fall. She is a native of Boise, Idaho and graduated from The Ambrose School as the Valedictorian. During her junior and senior seasons, the middle blocker was named to the 1A Division I Volleyball All-State Tournament first team. She will come in and study aerospace engineering.
"Amanda at 6-0 will add some more depth to our middle position as well as some physicality at the net," Blasczyk continued.
Third, is Erika Herr (FR/Buckley, Wash.) from Buckley, Washington. The defensive specialist/outside hitter graduated from Raisbeck Aviation High School and lettered twice in volleyball. The pacific north westerner was voted as the team's most valuable player her junior season then became the captain of the squad in her final season. She will major in aeronautical science once on campus.
"At 5-7, Erika is capable of playing from both the front and back row. She is a very versatile and a hard-working athlete," praised Blasczyk.
The third and final incoming Freshman is Katie Rolle (FR/Missoula, Mont.) from Missoula, Montana. Big Sky High School's three-sport athlete and valedictorian will add more firepower to the already deep team. She was an All-Conference second team selection and played a vital role all four years as the setter for the Eagles. Once on campus in August, Rolle will join the mechanical engineering program.
"Katie who is 5-8 will add depth in the setter position. We have some really talented athletes in this position and we are going to train her up to take a larger role for us in the years to come," said Blasczyk.
ERAU gets under way against Yavapai College in their first scrimmage of the year on August 12, at 5:00 pm PT in Eagle Gym.