May 1, 2014
BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland head volleyball coach Jake Lawrence announced the addition of six players that will make up the Class of 2018.
Molly Cichosz (Auburn, Wash./Mountainview), Anna Eckstein (Durham, N.C./Trinity School), Danielle Hillman (Trooper, Pa./Villa Maria), Anastasia Kazalas (Pittsburgh, Pa./Bethel Park), Elena Scarano (Westfield, N.J./Westfield) and Corri Waters (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) will join the volleyball team in the fall.
Cichosz comes to Baltimore from Washington where she helped Auburn Mountainview High School to four-straight state championship appearances. She was a three-time SPSL First Team All-League honoree and the league's MVP, as well as a first team all-area selection as a senior. She also helped the Puget Sound Volleyball Academy to a ninth-place finish at American nationals and a first-place finish at Patriot nationals.
"Molly is really going to increase our physicality on the left side," Lawrence said. "She brings size and a big arm into our gym and is different than what we've had at that position in the past. What really stands out about Molly, though, is her commitment to being great. Her desire to succeed was a big factor during the recruiting process and we're excited to have her here."
Eckstein was the TAC Conference MVP her freshman year, leading the Trinity Durham School to a NCISAA
"Anna Eckstein is a player who's prepared to run down any ball at any time," Lawrence said. "Her enthusiasm for Loyola is easy to see and she's going to be an outstanding person to have in our gym. Developing great back row talent is paramount to success at our level and I believe Anna can be instrumental in helping us in that area."
Hillman comes to the Greyhounds from Trooper, Pa. A two-time AACA All-League and One AA First Team All-District honoree, she was named to the Pennsylvania All-State team in 2013. In club volleyball, she played for East Coast Power, guiding the team to gold-medal finishes at the 2012 Penn State Tournament, KRVA Bid Tournament and PVA Invitational. That same year, Hillman qualified for junior nationals.
"Danielle has a tremendous personality and will be a phenomenal ambassador for our program," Lawrence said. "Within five minutes of meeting her, I was sold on her enthusiasm and desire to be a Greyhound. She has great size and has developed some real versatility in the past year. I can see her contributing at all three front row positions, and could really lead the way for us as a blocker."
Kazalas will enter her freshman season at Loyola after completing her high school career at Bethel Park in Pittsburgh, Pa. She helped the Hawks to a runner-up finish at the 2013 WPIAL Class AAA Championships. That same year, Kazalas led her team in kills, averaging 4.7 per game marking a .340 hitting efficiency. She was named to the All-WPIAL first team and All-State team as a senior, and garnered first team all-section honors 2011-13.
"Stacey is full of fire and really burns for our sport," Lawrence said. "We need outgoing, passionate people at Loyola and she fits the bill. Like Corri (Waters), she's a Pittsburgh kid and will bring that work ethic to our program. Her athleticism is a big bonus and I believe she can develop into an excellent six-rotation player for us."
Scarano, a four-year varsity starter at Westfield High School, captained the Blue Devils to back-to-back runner-up finishes at the 2012 and '13 Union County Volleyball Tournaments. She was named defensive player of the year, earing a spot on the third team all-state roster, as well as the first team All-Union County and All-Area team. Scarano was captain of her club team, the Atlantic Valley Volleyball Club, from 2012-14.
"Elena has very good ball skills and will be a very solid defender and receiver for us from day one," Lawrence said. "She moves her feet well and possesses a great platform. She's going to provide a ton of depth and will help build our culture of great floor defense.
Waters hails from Elizabeth, Pa., and was a member of the Elizabeth Forward High School team that won two section titles and one co-section title. A team captain in 2013, Waters was named a four-time All-Section first team honoree and three-time WPIAL second team honoree. Her senior year, Waters played club volleyball for the Pittsburgh Renaissance Volleyball Club.
"Corri has a high motor and is a great slide attacker," Lawrence said. "She's going to fit in well with our system as both an attacker and a blocker and I think she's going to contribute speed across the net. She's just scratching the surface as a player and I'm looking forward to seeing her grow at Loyola."