May 16, 2005
IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa volleyball team’s 2005 recruiting class has been ranked 30th in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com. Head Coach Cindy Fredrick’s inaugural class includes Emily Hiza of Swink, CO, Laura Gustin of Hesperia, CA, Felicia Booth of Lovelock, NV, and Kiley Fister and Catherine Smale of St. Charles, IL.
“We are obviously very pleased to hear our class is highly thought of, especially after getting a late start on recruiting in our first year here,” Fredrick said. “This is a very talented group at each position, and I am glad to see them get the recognition that we feel they have earned.”
It is the fifth-ranked class in the Big Ten behind Penn State (No. 2 nationally), Minnesota (No. 4), Purdue (No. 6) and Wisconsin (No. 17). Stanford has the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class.
PrepVolleyball.com said of the class, “From adversity comes opportunity. There’s a new coach in Iowa City and Cindy Fredrick is starting to build a team that can compete in the rugged Big Ten. This class has the potential to yield 4-5 starters, some right away. Smale, who can play left or right side, figures to show off her big arm early for the Hawkeyes, while Hiza, a back row dervish, should give Iowa a presence along the back line this team has lacked of late. Fister is a strong setter from the Sports Performance factory (now playing with Club Fusion) who could contend for playing time her first year. Kremer, a late signing, gives Iowa a hometown talent to groom. She’s a good one, as is Gustin, a good leaper with a knack for getting the job done offensively and defensively. Booth puts up a good block and her athleticism gives her potential to one day make an impact collegiate.”
Fister, Smale and Hiza were also named to the PrepVolleyball.com Prep All-America team earlier this year.
Hiza 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.
Gustin 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. Booth 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.
Fister 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.
Smale 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.