FULLERTON, Calif. - Head coach Carolyn Zimmerman announced the signing of three high school seniors to National Letters of Intent. The three-member class will join the Titans for competition beginning in the 2013 season.
In addition, the Titans welcome two transfers, Alyse Hensley and Kristen Brandsma to the 2013 roster.
"It is typical for our program to add four or five scholarship players in every recruiting class, but this group adds a blend of veteran upper classmen and freshmen," Zimmerman said. "The three freshmen we signed are very competitive high school and club players that I expect to contribute immediately. I am also thrilled with the addition of our two transfers. Alyse and Kristen are training with us right now, and bring the size and physicality we need to remain competitive."
Cal State Fullerton finished the 2012 season with a record of 15-16, and the Titans tied for fifth in the Big West Conference standings with a mark of 9-9.
Shannon Bell, 5-11, OH/S (Chino Hills, Calif./Ruben S. Ayala HS)
Currently a senior at Ruben S. Ayala High School in Chino Hills, Calif., Shannon Bell played three years on the varsity squad for head coach Bernie Wendling. In 2012, the Bulldogs finished second in the Sierra League (16-9, 8-2) and advanced to the first round of the California Interscholastic Federation Division IA Southern Section playoffs. She averaged 2.2 kills per set during her senior season, earning Sierra League honorable mention accolades.
"Shannon is the tallest setter we have recruited," Zimmerman said. "The learning curve is huge for a setter coming into any collegiate program. We know she is coachable and eager to compete with our talent. Shannon has been committed to our program since her sophomore year displaying early her loyalty.
From 2009-12, Bell was a Renaissance Gold Card holder for maintaining a 3.8-plus GPA, and in addition was a two-time Sierra League all-academic selection (2011-12). She was also named a Scholar Athlete for three straight seasons (2010-12), and since 2010 has played for the Top Gun Volleyball Academy under head coach Shin Jung. Bell was also a setter and right-side hitter for the SCVA High Performance youth team.
McKenna Painton, 5-8, OH (Bakersfield, Calif./Centennial HS)
A four-year member of the varsity squad at Centennial High School in Bakersfield, Calif., for head coach Brooke Roberts, McKenna Painton played outside hitter, earning Southwest Yosemite League first team honors for three consecutive years (2010-12). She earned back-to-back first team all-area honors in 2011 and 2012, and was named team MVP her junior and senior seasons, respectively. In 2012 as a senior, Painton was named co-MVP of the SYL after averaging 4.6 kills and 4.3 digs per set as the Golden Hawks finished the year with a record of 21-11 and advanced to the California Interscholastic Federation Central Section Division I playoff semifinals.
"McKenna is a powerful and versatile athlete," Zimmerman said. "While prepping at Centennial High School, and with Club Jamba, she played the role of outside hitter at 5-foot-8, and that should say plenty about her fighting spirit, athleticism and ability to play high-level volleyball. We are excited for her arrival and the mark she will make as our libero."
Additional accolades for Painton include earning MVP honors at the Redondo Power Classic in back-to-back appearances (2011-12), and also playing club volleyball for Club Jamba under head coach Tom Clarke.
Faith Rockmore, 6-1, MB/OH (Fullerton, Calif./Fullerton HS)
Currently a senior at Fullerton High School in Fullerton, Calif., Faith Rockmore played on the varsity squad for four seasons (2009-12) under head coach Wendy Gobar. She earned first team all-Freeway League honors for three consecutive years (2010-12), and the Indians finished second in the Freeway League standings in 2012 with a record of 9-4, before losing in the second round of the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division II playoffs.
"Faith is a powerful and heavy hitting pin player," Zimmerman said. "She is from our backyard, and is our first recruit from Fullerton Union High School. We are excited to see how much more she can develop before she arrives in August. We think she can compete for playing time right away. We are looking forward to having her in our gym and seeing her compete at the next level."
Rockmore was a scholar-athlete award winner in 2009 and 2010, and played club volleyball for Impact (2009), Golden West VBC (2010 & 2011) and Top Gun (2012).
Alyse Hensley, 6-3, OH, San Diego, Calif./Arizona
Alyse Hensley played the 2011 and 2012 seasons at Arizona, and as a junior (2012), appeared in 21 sets and averaged 1.10 kills per set while attacking at a clip of .314. During her sophomore season in 2011, she finished second on the squad in kills per set at 2.37, while totaling 244 kills on the season. She hit at a solid .213 clip for the year to rank second on the team among regular participants, and was also third on the squad with 54 blocks.
"Alyse is a player that we have wanted in our program for some time, and we feel fortunate to have her finally representing the Titans," Zimmerman said. "She has a great volleyball IQ and we look forward to overseeing her development and contribution to our success. We are very excited to have another dynamic lefty hitter with height in our program and we believe she will be an effective scorer on our team and in the Big West Conference."
Hensley spent her freshman year (2010) at Loyola Marymount, and earned honorable mention All-WCC honors and a spot on the WCC All-Freshman team. She posted 258 kills at a rate of 2.50 per set, and appeared in 103 sets and all 30 matches for the Lions. She hit .290 and was active on the block, posting three block solos and 54 block assists to total 57 total blocks. Hensley has one season of eligibility remaining and will join the Titans for the 2013 season as a senior.
Kristen Brandsma, 6-2, MB, Wendell, Idaho/College of Southern Idaho
In 2012, Kristen Brandsma helped lead the College of Southern Idaho to its 10th National Junior College Athletic Association national championship with a 3-0 sweep of Western Nebraska. She averaged 1.23 kills per set while totaling 38 blocks and attacking at a rate of .329.
"Kristen is a multi-sport athlete that brings us the size and quickness we need in the middle," Zimmerman said. "During her one year of play for College of Southern Idaho, she was a starter and a NJCAA National Champion. We are enjoying her high level of expectations and competitive spirit. She is hard working, team oriented and has leadership skills we look to explore more in the future."
Prior to playing for the Golden Eagles at the College of Southern Idaho, Brandsma spent the 2011 season at Carroll College on the women's basketball squad. A 2011 graduate of Wendell High School, she excelled on the basketball and volleyball courts. Brandsma still holds the school records in basketball for most blocked shots in a season and career at Wendell High School. She earned second team all-state honors and first team all-conference honors, and on the volleyball court was the Wendell HS MVP as a senior as well as the WHS Female Athlete of the Year. She has two years of eligibility remaining and will list as a junior on the 2013 roster.