MARQUETTE, Mich. - Knowing that the Wildcat squad will be losing four seniors, Northern Michigan volleyball head coach Jim Moore has announced the signing of four top high school volleyball players during the early signing period (Nov. 10-17).ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Erika Bartruff (Beaver Dam, Wis./Beaver Dam), Nikki Hintze (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls), Julie Kohl (Menasha, Wis./Kimberly) and Samantha Schulte (Pleasant Prairie, Wis./Tremper) signed with NMU and will begin their Wildcat volleyball careers in the 2005 season.ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚œWe are very excited to sign a class of this caliber,ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚ said Moore.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ This class has the potential to be the best class since 1990 (which included numerous All-Americans and one National Player of the Year).ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ You can never replace what the four seniors on this current team bring to our program but these will be players that should allow us to continue in the right direction with this program.Northern Michigan, currently 21-6 on the season, continues its 2004 season by facing Hillsdale College at theNCAA II Great Lakes Regional Tournament.
Bartruff, a 5-10 setter/hitter out of Beaver Dam, Wis., was a honorable mention all-state selection as a senior.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Bartruff achieved all-conference as a junior and senior on Beaver Dam High SchoolÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚™s varsity squad.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ She plays club volleyball for Wisconsin Power, based out of Madison, Wis., her 17ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚™s team finished 10th in the American Division at JOÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚™s.ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚œErika is in my opinion one of the best setters coming out of the 2005 class,ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Moore said.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚œShe will continue to develop in her last year with a strong club. Since she is left handed she will bring a lot to the setting position for us.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Erika should be able to step in rightaway and be a big contributor.ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚
Hintze, a 5-11 outside hitter from Menomonee Falls, Wis., is a three-time all conference selection for Menomonee Falls High School.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ As a junior she was named Player of the Year in the Metro Conference and earned an all-state honorable mention selection.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Hintze plays club volleyball for Milwaukee Sting out of Milwaukee, Wis.ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚œNikki will be looked at to take over the position vacated by current Wildcat Aimee Dewitte,ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚ said Moore. ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚œShe has outstanding volleyball sense and is a strong all around player.ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚
Kohl, a 6-3 outside hitter from Menasha, Wis., helped lead her team to one of the most successful seasons in school history when they reached the Wisconsin state tournament semi finals.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Kohl is a three-year varsity starter for Kimberly High School and was named all-conference all three years.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ She plays club volleyball for Fox Cities Elite based out of DePere, Wis.ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚œJulie has such a huge ceiling,ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚ said Moore.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚œWith her height (6-3) and her skills there should be nothing that she cannot obtain in her career as a Wildcat.ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚
Schulte, a 6-0 outside hitter from Kenosha, Wis., is an honorable mention all-state selection as well as a two-time all-conference selection while playing three years on her varsity team at Tremper High School.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Schulte has received numerous awards for her academics as well, twice receiving the schoolÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚™s Scholar-Athlete award.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ She plays club volleyball for Milwaukee Sting out of Milwaukee, Wis.ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚œSam could probably be our biggest surprise,ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚ said Moore.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚œHer athletic ability and size will allow her to be a threat.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ She has all the qualities you look for in an athlete on and off the floor and I believe Sam will be the driving force as we continue building Wildcat volleyball.ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚