Nov. 14, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa - University of Iowa Head Volleyball Coach Sharon Dingman announced today that three prep athletes have committed to join the Iowa volleyball program in 2011. Erin Leppek and Alex Lovell have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Iowa next fall. Emily Yanny is expected to opt for early enrollment and join the Hawkeyes in the spring.
"The strength of our 2011 recruiting class is their athleticism," said Dingman. "They are fast and jump well. Their athleticism will allow us to continue to compete at a high level and to play for a Big Ten championship."
Leppek is a 6-0, middle blocker from Rochester Hills, MI, and attends Rochester High School. She earned all-region honors in 2009 and 2010 and is a three-time all-conference honoree. Leppek competed at the varsity level all four years at Rochester Hills and was named team captain in 2009 and 2010. She played club volleyball for the Michigan Elite and led her team to a national title at the 2010 USA Volleyball National Championships and a fifth place finish at the AAU National Championships.
Leppek is also a decorated track and field athlete. She led Rochester to the 2010 track and field state championship and earned all-state honors in 2009. She is a member of the state record setting 3,200 meter relay and a state place-winner in the 800 meter relay, 1,600 meter relay and long jump.
"Erin has had tremendous success as a high school athlete," said Dingman. "Her accomplishments in track and field display her amazing athletic ability. Although she will have a lot to learn about volleyball at this level, her athleticism is unmatched in our gym, which will help her learn at an accelerated pace."
Lovell is a 5-11 outside hitter from Marian High School. A native of Leonard, MI, Lovell is a top ten candidate for Michigan's 2010 Miss Volleyball, having earned all-Catholic and all-region honors her senior season. She was also selected to the USA Junior National Championships 17 All-Tournament Team and was named an AAU all-American in 2010. Lovell earned all-league, all-county, all-region and all-state honors while leading Marian to the 2009 Michigan State Championships. She led Marian to state runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2008, earning all-state and all-region honors along the way. In 2010, Lovell was named Wendy's Player of the Week and Sunkist Player of the Week on two separate occasions.
She was named to the 2008 USA High Performance Regional Team in 2008 and teamed with fellow recruit Erin Leppek to win the USA Junior National Championships while competing for the Michigan Elite in 2010.
"Alex is very goal driven and has won at every level of volleyball in which she has competed," said Dingman. "She has high expectations of herself and trains hard every day. We expect Alex to challenge our outside hitters for playing time immediately.
"Erin and Alex won a National Championship while playing for the Michigan Elite last summer so they understand playing in `big matches,' which is important because every match in the Big Ten is big. We are looking forward to having their experience in the gym."
Yanny, a 6-2 middle blocker from New Berlin, WI, was a three-time all-conference honoree and a three-year varsity starter at Eisenhower High School. As a senior, Yanny was named team MVP, earned third team all-state honors and was named Woodland Conference Player of the Year after leading Eisenhower in both kills and blocks en route to the Woodland Conference Championship. In 2010, Yanny was named to the AVCA Under-Armour all-America Watch List and selected to play in the Tri-State All-Star game. She is a two-time Wisconsin Volleyball Coaches Association All-Academic honoree.
Yanny played for the Milwaukee Sting club team and was named to the 2010 AAU All-America Team after leading the Sting to a fifth place finish at the AAU Junior National Championships.
"Emily is committed to becoming the best player possible and to helping this team win," said Dingman. "She is young to the game of volleyball at a high level, so having her enroll in January will be a huge benefit to her and our program. Emily's size, drive and athletic ability will allow her to achieve success at a high level. "We are very excited for the contributions we anticipate Alex, Emily, and Erin making to our program. They are proud Hawkeyes and we are proud to welcome them to the University of Iowa."