MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University volleyball program announces four more student-athletes will be joining the Wildcats for the 2009 season according to head coach Dominic Yoder. They will join the four who signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period in the fall. Signing in the fall were Sarah Hamilton, Abigail Lovell, Andree Ring and Samantha Vierk.
Mari Gadelha Araujo, Daniela Rezende Fiuza Branco, Julie Francek and Danielle Kowalski have signed to attend NMU and play volleyball for the ‘Cats.
Araujo (5-10) an outside hitter from Belim Paria, Brazil. She played at Central Oklahoma during the 2007 season and at Redlands Community College for two seasons (2005-06) prior to UCO. She was named to the 2007 All-Lone Star Conference Team as a first team selection as an outside hitter. Araujo also picked up Newcomer of the Year honors for the Lone Star Conference. She led the Bronchos with 629 kills (4.56 k/g) which ranked her second in the conference and 21st nationally. In UCO history, Araujo ranks second in kills for a season and first for attacks for a season (1,752). At Redlands she led the team in kills with 438 in 2006 and 326 in 2005.
Branco (5-11) a right side player from Nova Lima, Brazil played club volleyball for Minas Tenis Clube. Her club team won the Campeonato Estadual and placed second at the Campeonato Metropolitano tournaments in 2008. During the 2007 season her team won the Campeonato Metropolitano and were third at the Betim Open de Volei tournaments. Seven athletes from her club team were selected for the Brazilian Championship.
Francek (5-6) a defensive specialist from Avoca, Mich. and Yale High School lettered four times in volleyball during her high school career. She was a three-time all-league and all-region selection. Francek picked up the Miss Dig Award three times during her high school career. During her last two years of high school, Francek was a co-captain of the team.
Kowalski (6-0) a middle hitter from Rochester, Mich. and Stoney Creek High School was a three-time letter winner in high school. She was a two-time all-league honorable mention selection. Kowalski was awarded the Most Improved Player Award twice and the MVP Award twice at Stoney Creek. She broke the school’s career blocking record.
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