GCU Women's Volleyball adds six for 2014-15

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Grand Canyon University women's volleyball has announced the addition of six new players for the upcoming 2014-15 school year.

Coming off the program's initial season at the NCAA Division I level, the Antelopes are adding two junior college players, two Division I transfers and a pair of high school graduates to join a class that included four players signed during the November period.

Junior college outside hitters Natalija Djordjevic and Jordyn Sanchez, Winthrop transfers Michelle Steagall and Annika Rigertink and recent high school grads Emily Vitel and Hannah Olsen will be added to coach Kris Naber's 2014 roster.

"We are excited about our incoming girls and feel that these athletes are the building blocks to the success of our program," said Naber. "They bring with them experience, great work ethic, toughness and passion for the game."

Djordjevic is a 6-1 junior from Belgrade, Serbia. She played the last two seasons at Odessa (Tex.) College. She earned first team All-WJCAC (Western Junior College Athletic Conference) recognition as a sophomore and was a Student of Excellence recipient. She had 271 kills, 106 digs, 41 total blocks and 16 service aces and played in all 30 matches (19-11) last season.

Sanchez is 5-9 and from Huntington Beach, Calif. She played the last two seasons at Golden West College. Sanchez averaged 4.64 kills per set -- leading the Orange Empire Conference -- and hit .271 with six matches of 20 or more kills, including 29 in a four-set win. She had at least one service ace in 20 of 23 matches and averaged .56 aces per set, also an OEC best. She also totaled 20 or more digs three times and averaged 3.26 per set.

Sanchez was a California Community College Athletic Association first-team all-region choice. She was a four-time all-conference selection in high school.

Steagall prepped at one of Arizona's top high school programs, Phoenix Desert Vista, before playing one season at Winthrop. A 5-10 setter, Steagall played in 12 matches at Winthrop and averaged 2.05 digs per set, including a 20-dig performance in a five-set win over UNC-Asheville. At Desert Vista, she set a school single-match record with 60 assists. She had a triple-double match at DV with 10 kills, 13 digs and 15 assists in 2010.

Rigterink is a 6-2 sophomore middle blocker, also transferring from Winthrop. Originally from Hawai'i Kai, HI, in 19 sets at Winthrop, she averaged 1.63 kills and 1.16 blocks.

Vitel, a 5-7 libero/defensive specialist is from St. Charles, Ill., and St. Charles East High School. She had 190 digs last season and 48 service aces. She was an honorable mention all-conference choice and an academic all-conference selection.

Olsen is 5-7 and out of Lincoln Christian High School in Lincoln, Neb. An outside hitter in high school, Olsen will be transitioned to a libero at GCU.

"With the early signees, this group and our returners, we feel we have put together an extremely competitive and skilled group that will take GCU volleyball to the next level in Division I," added Naber.

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