Nov. 17, 2004
Iowa volleyball Coach Cindy Fredrick announced today that five athletes have signed 2004 National Letters of Intent to play volleyball and continue their education at the University of Iowa. They are Emily Hiza of Swink, CO, Laura Gustin of Hesperia, CA, Felicia Booth of Lovelock, NV, Kiley Fister and Catherine Smale of St. Charles, IL.
Emily Hiza (Swink, CO) is 5-7, and despite playing middle blocker for her high school squad, she will be a libero at Iowa. The chemical engineering major was a four-year co-captain as well as a four-year all-conference, all-region, and all-state member. Hiza was also a four-year captain on her Colorado Juniors club team and a member of the 2003 Junior Olympic all-tournament team.
“Emily has good ball control and is very confident. At the libero position, it will help that she has been a front row player,” said Fredrick. “Emily displays good leadership and confidence, and is not afraid to speak up on the court.”
Laura Gustin (Hesperia, CA) is a 5-10 player who will play outside hitter for the Hawkeyes. Gustin was captain at Hesperia Christian in 2003 and 2004. Gustin earned many conference and regional accolades.
“We have known about Laura since she was a freshman. Laura is small and slender in stature, but has excellent jumping ability. She has a good jump serve, and is an all-around player who can pass and dig well; she will have an impact on both offense and defense.”
Felicia Booth (Lovelock, NV) has been the captain of her high school squad the last three years, and was league co-MVP in 2003 and 2004. The 6-0 middle hitter also was a member of the 2001 state runner-up team.
“Felicia is a very good blocker. She has a variety of shots in the middle and is a smart player who finds open areas on the court. She is naturally talented with a lot of potential,” said Fredrick.
Kiley Fister (St. Charles, IL) is a 5-10 setter who played high school volleyball at St. Francis High School, where current Hawkeye Stacy Vitali also played. A captain of her 2004 team, Fister was named to the 2004 Chicago Sun Times all-area second team and was a Chicago Tribune Athlete of the Week in 2003. Fister’s team was the 2002, 2003, and 2004 Illinois Class A state champions.
“Kiley is the kind of player that can light up a court. She is assertive and displays good leadership, which is what we need in a setter. She is not only a good setter, but a good hitter and blocker. Kiley also has a very good jump-serve.”
Catherine Smale (St. Charles, IL) is a 6-1 outside hitter. Smale was a team captain and a member of the all-conference team. She was named MVP at the 2003 All-American Amateur Athletic Union Championships. Smale and Fister both played club volleyball in the Chicago-area for Sports Performance.
“Catherine packs a lot of heat on her hits, and passes well. We really like the way she hits and expect her to make an impact on the outside.”
“The girls are all very similar in many ways – they have excellent court savvy and are fierce competitors. Also, through their school and club teams they have extensive experience on the court and have the potential to play as freshmen,” said Fredrick.
“We don’t have any Iowa players on scholarship for the 2005 season because of how late we as a staff arrived at Iowa,” noted Fredrick. “However, our focus for 2006 is very much on players from Iowa.”