Press Box

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).  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.â€ÂœWe are very excited to sign a class of this caliber,â€Â said Moore.  This class has the potential to be the best class since 1990 (which included numerous All-Americans and one National Player of the Year).  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.

Erika Bartruff
Bartruff, a 5-10 setter/hitter out of Beaver Dam, Wis., was a honorable mention all-state selection as a senior.  Bartruff achieved all-conference as a junior and senior on Beaver Dam High Schoolâ€Â™s varsity squad.  She plays club volleyball for Wisconsin Power, based out of Madison, Wis., her 17â€Â™s team finished 10th in the American Division at JOâ€Â™s.â€ÂœErika is in my opinion one of the best setters coming out of the 2005 class,â€Â Moore said.  â€ÂœShe 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.  Erika should be able to step in rightaway and be a big contributor.â€Â



Nikki Hintze
Hintze, a 5-11 outside hitter from Menomonee Falls, Wis., is a three-time all conference selection for Menomonee Falls High School.  As a junior she was named Player of the Year in the Metro Conference and earned an all-state honorable mention selection.  Hintze plays club volleyball for Milwaukee Sting out of Milwaukee, Wis.â€ÂœNikki will be looked at to take over the position vacated by current Wildcat Aimee Dewitte,â€Â said Moore. â€ÂœShe has outstanding volleyball sense and is a strong all around player.â€Â


Julie Kohl
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.  Kohl is a three-year varsity starter for Kimberly High School and was named all-conference all three years.  She plays club volleyball for Fox Cities Elite based out of DePere, Wis.â€ÂœJulie has such a huge ceiling,â€Â said Moore.  â€ÂœWith her height (6-3) and her skills there should be nothing that she cannot obtain in her career as a Wildcat.â€Â




Samantha Schulte
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.  Schulte has received numerous awards for her academics as well, twice receiving the schoolâ€Â™s Scholar-Athlete award.  She plays club volleyball for Milwaukee Sting out of Milwaukee, Wis.â€ÂœSam could probably be our biggest surprise,â€Â said Moore.  â€ÂœHer athletic ability and size will allow her to be a threat.  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.â€Â



Prepared By
Dave Faiella
Sports Information Director