DURHAM, N.H. – Head Coach Jill Hirschinger of the University of New Hampshire volleyball team announced that six prospective student-athletes have joined the volleyball program for the 2011 season. Desiree Ates (Regina, Saskatchewan), Delaney Dameron (Alpharetta, Ga.), Natalie Decker (Warsaw, Ind.), Taylor Dunklau (Mukwonago, Wis.), Sam Henke (Millersville, MD.) and Katie Sattora (Avon, N.Y.) will all attend UNH in the fall.
Ates, a 5-10 outside hitter, played for Head Coach Kim Whitney at Pasco-Hernando Community College over the past two years. Ates helped lead the Lady Conquistadors to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Championship. She was a 2010 AVCA and NJCAA All-America First Team member and was selected to the 2010 NJCAA National All-Tournament Team. Ates, who is also a softball player at PHCC, posted a team-high 508 kills and added 47 service aces, 605 digs and 27 blocks. Pasco-Hernando finished with a 36-6-0 record, including eight straight wins to close out the 2010 season.
"We are extremely excited to have Desiree become a member of our University of New Hampshire volleyball family," said Hirschinger. "She led her team to the national junior college championships where she was selected as a first team All American. Most impressive is that Dez was the 'go-to' player in clutch situations in winning the national championship. We are really looking forward to having one of the best junior college players in the country in a UNH uniform next year."
Dameron, a 6-0 middle blocker, played for Head Coach Deb Schaefer at Milton High School over the past four years. Dameron's club team, A5 volleyball club, advanced to the regional championship in 2009 and 2010, while finishing second at the national championships in 2009. She was recently named to a 5A First Team All-Star and was tabbed to the Senior All-Star team in 2010.
"Delaney's passion for the game, athleticism and love of competition will immediately raise the level of play in our gym," said Hirschinger. "Delaney comes from a nationally competitive club program that finishes in the top 10 annually. Her work ethic will be a strong addition to our program."
Decker, a 6-0 middle blocker, played for Head Coach Mike Howard at Warsaw Community High School over the past four years. Decker was a three-time All-Conference selection ('08-'10) and excelled her senior year with 384 kills, 84 blocks and 148 digs this past season. She was named to the All-Tournament team in 2008.
"Natalie brings versatility as she has played all three positions across the front row," said Hirschinger. "She is a strong student with great character. Her desire for greatness will help UNH Volleyball achieve our goals."
Dunklau, a 5-9 setter, played for Head Coach Mary Pocius at Mukwonago High School over the past four years. She helped her team capture back-to-back regional titles in 2009 and 2010. Dunklau was an All-Conference selection and an All-State Honorable Mention during her senior season. She was also a member of the AAU/JVA Nationals team in 2009 and 2010.
"Taylor is a fighter. Her work ethic combined with her competitive edge and athletic talents are going to add a strong presence in the setting position next year," said Hirschinger. "She has the intangibles of leadership that we look for in a setter."
Henke, a 5-7 defensive specialist, played for Head Coach David Verostic at Severna Park High School and was a member of the Bay Area Volleyball Academy in Maryland. While she missed her senior season with injury, Henke was an All-County First Team selection her junior and sophomore seasons and was the team leader in digs and kills in each year. Additionally, Henke was named as a Washington Post All-Metro First Team honoree during her junior season and was a two-team Baltimore Sun & Annapolis Capitol All-County recipient.
"Sam is a tremendous athlete with outstanding work ethic," said Hirschinger. "She has all the tools necessary to excel on the volleyball court and in the classroom. Sam is a disciplined and persistent player; we're looking forward to adding to UNH Volleyball."
Sattora, a 5-6 defensive specialist, played for Head Coach Andy Braun at Avon Central School. A five-time LCAA All-Star and four-time Secion V All-Star, she helped her team to the sectional semifinals all four seasons including a trip to the finals in 2007. She finished her career with 1,588 kills, 1,489 digs and 507 service aces. During her senior season, Sattora was named an All Greater Rochester First-Team honoree and left Avon Central with the career and single-season records for kills, aces and digs.
"Katie's a very versatile athlete who excelled in basketball and volleyball," said Hirschinger. "She comes from one of the top volleyball programs in the east VolleyFX New York. She is a strong leader and their 'go to' player on the court. We're excited to add Katie to our volleyball family at UNH."
Ates, Dameron, Decker, Dunklau, Henke and Sattora will join the rest of the 2011 Wildcats in the season opener at West Virginia, Friday Aug. 26 at 1 p.m.