| Jill Kramer
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University volleyball coach Jill Kramer announced today the addition of six players to the 2014 recruiting class.
“We are really happy to welcome such an exciting and dynamic 2014 class to Morgantown,” Kramer says. “Each one of the new members of our team has an opportunity to add something special immediately to our 2014 campaign.”
The six-member recruiting class includes two international players, one transfer and three recruits from the United States.
Lamprini Konstantinidou | 6-1 | Setter | Thessaloniki, Greece
Konstantinidou has recorded 12 appearances with the Greece Senior National Team and 50 appearances with the Greece Youth National Team. The Thessaloniki, Greece, native helped lead the Greece Senior National Team to a fourth-place finish at the 2012 Balkan Championship in Bar, Montenegro, and a fifth-place finish at the 2013 European Championship. At the European Championship, she recorded five aces in a 3-2 win over Slovenia.
She is a member of the Iraklis Thessalonikis club team, registering first-place results in the young women’s championship in Thessaloniki and the overall young women’s championship in Greece in 2012.
“Lamprini was recruited heavily by many teams in the U.S., including many top-25 teams. She is a very skilled setter who has set for Greece’s National Team for many years and has played at a very high level, including the World Championships last year,” says Kramer. “She has great size for a setter and likes to be an offensive threat. Lamprini also commands the net as a blocker and has a very solid serve. We are excited to get her here to learn our system.”
Melvina Brown | 5-7 | Defensive Specialist | Warrenton, Va.
Brown was a two-sport athlete at Kettle Run High, participating in both volleyball and track. She was a three-year captain and four-year letterwinner for the volleyball team, while being named the team MVP her senior year. Brown was The Fauquier Democrat Female Athlete of the Year, as well as the District 27 Volleyball Player of the Year in both 2012 and 2013, playing for coach Bri West. She also was a track & field all-region and all-state honoree in 2011, 2012 and 2013 while serving as team captain.
“Melvina is an exceptional athlete and an outside hitter at the club and high school level who we will train to play a back row specialist role at WVU,” Kramer says. “She has a great platform, but most importantly has amazing range as a passer and defender. She is very quick and explosive – a Virginia state champion in both the triple and long jumps. It will be nice to have her as a back-row attacking option, as well.”
Paoulina Jeliazkova | 6-5 | Opposite Hitter | Sofia, Bulgaria
Jeliazkova joins Konstantinidou as the second international player in the 2014 class. Standing at 6-foot-5, Jeliazkova will provide depth at the opposite hitter position. She was a member of the Bulgarian Youth National Team at the 2014 CEV U19/20 Volleyball European Championship. Her father played in Bulgaria, Italy, Brazil and Greece throughout his playing career and was voted the Best Blocker at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
“Poly comes from a very strong volleyball background and has a true love for the game,” says Kramer. “At 6-foot-5, she stands tall with broad shoulders and has a great court presence. She can be a great blocking threat and moves very efficiently. She adds depth for us at the pin and will be an exciting player to watch develop in our program.
“Her father Niki was named the Best Blocker in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and had a solid professional playing career. He currently coaches the Bulgarian Junior Men’s Team and is an assistant coach for the men’s national team and has coached in the Men’s Russian Premier League for the past couple years. Poly’s mother also played professionally in Greece for Olympiakos for a number of years. Her brother, Jani, currently plays in the A-League in Italy.”
Gianna Gotterba | 5-6 | Defensive Specialist/Libero | Stockton, Calif.
Gotterba was a first team all-area selection in her hometown of Stockton, Calif. She was a member of the 2010 Junior Olympic Champions, the California Challenge All-Tournament Team and was named the MVP of the Tcal League. Her father played baseball at San Jose State, and her twin sister has signed to play volleyball at Pacific.
“Gianna is a strong athlete and has played outside hitter at a high level for quite some time. She will train to play as a back row specialist for us and will likely develop quickly into a primary passer for us. We like the idea of having her ready to attack from the back row as well,” Kramer says. “Gianna comes from a very strong club, Delta Valley, and has been trained by some of volleyball’s bests.”
Alexa Oblak | 6-1 | Middle Blocker | Sunrise, Fla.
Oblak joins the Mountaineers after transferring from Farleigh Dickinson. The Sunrise, Fla., native appeared in 18 matches for the Knights in 2013 and started nine. She finished fourth on the team with 0.55 blocks per set while also posting 58 kills, 16 digs and seven serving aces. Oblak’s father, Dave Oblak, played college football at WVU from 1979-1983.
“Alexa and her family were some of the first Mountaineer faithful I met when I arrived on campus in 2010, and their love for this University could be felt immediately,” Kramer says. “Alexa was born a Mountaineer, and we are so happy that she will become a part of this program. She will give us the necessary depth we need in the middle blocker position. Anyone who knows the Oblak name will know immediately that Alexa has a very strong work ethic and is a hard-nosed kid, which will fit into our program very well.”
Morgan Montgomery | 6-1 | Outside Hitter | Centennial, Colo.
Montgomery signed last fall and will enroll this fall. She was a two-time captain at Grandview High School in Aurora, Colo., and a 2013 All-State selection. Grandview totaled 100 wins compared to just 18 defeats while Montgomery, a four-year letter winner, attended.
She compiled 833 kills, 307 blocks, 107 service aces and a .205 career hitting percentage while at Grandview. Montgomery earned two first-team academic distinctions and was a first team all-conference member, playing for coach Patty Childress.
“Morgan is very gifted athletically and has received great training from Michelle Buckner at CVA in the Denver area,” Kramer says. “She is very versatile and can attack a variety of tempos of sets. She will be a really dynamic player to get in the gym. Her character and work ethic fit very well with what we are doing here at WVU.”