April 30, 2013
STORRS, Conn. – University of Connecticut volleyball head coach Holly Strauss-O’Brien has announced the signing of five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to join the team for the fall 2013 season. UConn welcomes Hayley Cmajdalka (College Station, Texas), Courtney Crosby (Los Alamitos, Calif.), Camille Evans (Chicago, Ill.), Sophia Mar (Oakland, Calif.) and Jade Strawberry (Tallahassee, Fla.).
“The 2013 class all come from solid volleyball backgrounds and join our Husky roster with the drive and commitment to win,” stated Strauss-O’Brien. “The depth, athleticism, physicality and the ability levels of all the players will instantly elevate the competitiveness and overall level of ball in our gym. We are so excited to officially welcome Cami, Jade, Hayley, Sophia and Courtney into the UConn volleyball family.”
Cmajdalka (pronounced Shma-dalka) is a 6’2 middle blocker that played at A&M Consolidated. She was named the All-District Offensive Player of the Year as a senior and was selected to the 5A Texas All-State Team. Cmajdalka was also honored as a First Team All-Brazos Valley member. At the club level, she played for Woodlands Wave. Cmajdalka was also an Academic All-District honoree, 5A Academic All-State and Academic Varsity MVP.
“Hayley is a fierce competitor and will add a physical presence to our middle position. She is a natural blocker and has potential to be a real offensive weapon for us. Hayley is a work horse and is willing to do whatever it takes to win.”
Crosby, a 5’8 libero, played at Los Alamitos High School and for T-Street Volleyball Club. As a member of T-Street, she helped her team to a bronze medal at the 17 Junior National Open. On the high school court, Crosby was named an All-Sunset League First Team selection as a senior and helped her team to back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012. The team also won the 2011 CIF Championship. In the classroom, Crosby earned her way into the National Honor Society, California Scholarship Federation and received the National Merit Award.
“Courtney comes from a winning and strong volleyball background. Her all-around ball control skills make her a great asset to our team. She has literally grown up around the game of volleyball and knows what it takes to win.”
Evans, a 6’0 outside hitter, spent her high school career at St. Ignatius College Prep and played club for Michio Chicago VBA and Blue Smoke. She was named a two-time All-Girls Catholic Athletic Conference member and was featured as one of the Top 50 Players in Illinois and Prep Volleyball Top 250 Players in the United States in 2012. Evans was a two-time AAU All-American and was a part of the AVCA All-America Watch List. She led St. Ignatius to the 2012 GCAC Championship and regional championship. At the club level, helped her teams to third and fifth place finishes at the AAU Junior Nationals.
“Cami is a terminator. She brings power to our pin positions and hates to lose. We are excited to add her explosiveness and competitive edge to the program. With a commitment to hard work, Cami has potential to make an immediate impact.”
Mar is a 5’7 setter from Bishop O’Dowd. Recently, she was named to the 2013 First Team California State Volleyball Team. As a senior, Mar was honored with selection to the All-East Bay Volleyball Tea and was named the All-West Alameda County Conference Player of the Year, for the second straight season, after posting 1,026 assists. She helped guide her team to a second place finish in the North Coast Section Division III in 2012. In all four seasons, Mar was a recipient of the school’s scholar athlete award.
“Sophia brings a calm and steady demeanor to the floor. We are excited of the options we will have with Soph on the team. She delivers a consistent ball and has a great mind for the game.”
Strawberry, a 5’11 outside hitter, played at Maclay School and for ProStyle Tallahassee Premier. She was named an All-Big Bend performer for three years in a row and was a co-captain of the team as a junior and senior. Strawberry was nominated to play in the Under Armour All-America Volleyball Match. She was named the MVP of both her high school and club teams for three consecutive years.
“Jade’s athleticism combined with her overall game adds tremendous depth and versatility to our pin positions. She is full of fire and will be an offensive and defensive threat to our opponents. Having a six-rotation game, Jade’s presence and determination will immediately be noticed in our gym.”