PISCATAWAY, N.J. (July 17, 2012) – Rutgers volleyball and head coach CJ Werneke announced the finishing touches to the 2012 roster, with eight newcomers added. Rachel Andreassian (Fredericksburg, Texas), Nicole Bayer (Concord, Ohio), Ronnie Komisarek (San Mateo, Calif.), Mikaela Matthews (San Diego, Calif.), Kelli Mullane (Fullerton, Calif.), Ali Schroeter (Bakersfield, Calif.), Megan Stephenson (Burbank, Calif.) and Tracy Wright (Fair Lawn, N.J.) add to the four signees that were announced in January for a total of 12 newcomers. Andreassian, Bayer and Wright are transfers. Wright joined the squad in the spring.
Komisarek’s club volleyball team, City Beach, recently won the Gold Medal in the 18-American division of the USA Volleyball Junior National Championships. She joins Sarah Schmid and Alex Lassa, who signed with Rutgers in January. Both played on Front Range volleyball club, which finished third nationally in the 18-Open division of the USA Volleyball Junior National Championships, held in Columbus, Ohio. Schmid played at the championships, while Lassa had already joined the team at Rutgers over the summer.
Rachel Andreassian, Middle Blocker/Right Side, 6-2
Fredericksburg, Texas, Fredericksburg HS (North Alabama)
Prior to Rutgers: Sophomore, transferred after one season at North Alabama…played in four matches for the Lions…tallied eight kills on 18 attempts for a .389 hitting percentage… finished year at UNA as a 4.0 Presidential Scholar Athlete…played three years of varsity volleyball at Fredericksburg High School…named First Team All-State as a senior…earned First Team All-District honors in junior and senior seasons…District Offensive Player of the Year as a senior…holds Fredericksburg record for highest hitting percentage…second in school history in kills and blocks…among Texas Girls Coaches Association Offensive players of the year in final high school season…senior leader, team captain…Second Team All-District as a sophomore… played for Austin Performance Volleyball APEX club team...plans to major in Business Finance at RU…daughter of Greg and Laurie Andreassian…has one sister, Erika (22)…born on March 17, 1993.
Werneke on Andreassian: “We’re very excited to have Rachel join our program coming in having a year of college experience under her belt. She adds some size. She’s just going to add some depth in the middle. Another versatile player we recruited, she’s quick in transition. She’s got some length on her blocks, so we’re excited about adding her.”
Nicole Bayer, Setter, 5-10
Concord, Ohio, Riverside HS (Niagara)
Prior to Rutgers: Sophomore, transferred after one season at Niagara…played in 108 sets as a freshman…led the team with 1,228 assists and assists per set with 11.37…helped the squad to a MAAC championship in 2011 and an NCAA Division I Tournament appearance…was the top player in the MAAC and No. 18 in Division I in assists per set…four-year varsity letterwinner at and senior captain at Riverside High School…Two-time Division I District First Team member and Division I All-Conference First Team… earned Division I All-Ohio Third Team honors as a senior in 2010…named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Under Armour Girls’ High School All-American Watch List as a senior at Riverside …participated on the Cleveland Volleyball Company club team…parents are John and Patricia Bayer…has sister Kathryn (22)…born on May 12, 1993.
Werneke on Bayer: “Nicole had a great freshman year at Niagara, leading her team to a conference title and an NCAA appearance. So, coming in as an experienced setter to challenge Stephanie (Zielinski), our current setter, is invaluable. She has already led a team and knows how to lead a team to winning, so we’re excited about her challenging and adding competition to the setter position.”
Ronnie Komisarek, Defensive Specialist/Libero, 5-6
San Mateo, Calif., St. Francis HS
Prior to Rutgers: Put up big numbers as a senior at St. Francis High School, leading them to a Central Coast Championship…played two seasons of varsity volleyball…team ranked No. 1 in the nation her junior season, winning the state, NorCal, Central Coast and WCAL Championships…selected to the 2011 All-Daily New Prep Girls Volleyball First Team with 267 kills, 375 digs and 31 aces…named WCAL Second Team as a senior…played for City Beach volleyball club...daughter of Greg and Gina Komisarek…two siblings, Aaron (22) and Garrett (19)…full names is Veronica…born on May 22, 1994.
Werneke on Komisarek: “Adding some ball control, some defense. That’s one of our main philosophies is serving, ball control and defense. She’s quick, she has a calming demeanor. She’s one of those kids that you feel their presence and she just makes plays.”
Mikaela Matthews, Middle Blocker/Outside Hitter, 6-1
San Diego, Calif., Mt. Carmel HS
Prior to Rutgers: Played two years of varsity volleyball at Mt. Carmel High School…Division II Second-Team All-San Diego selection in 2010…awarded most improved player in 2010…was a scholar-athlete in 2011 and 2012, while also earning selections on San Diego’s Union-Tribune All-Academic Team…played with Epic volleyball club…intends to major in Biology or Exercise Science…one sibling, Brea (21), who plays basketball for San Jose State…daughter of Robyn and Karlwin Matthews…born on Sept. 9, 1994.
Werneke on Matthews: “She’s a unique athlete. She has a big, physical presence, not only height wise but she’s strong coming in at 6’1”. She’s really strong. She’s going to be a little bit of a mystery playing on the outside and middle both in high school and club. We’re really excited to see where she can go and where she’s going to end up for our team. Obviously, playing multiple positions, we like that. Really, the sky is the limit with that kid.”
Kelli Mullane, Right Side, 6-1
Fullerton, Calif., Fullerton Union HS
Prior to Rutgers: Member of the Fullerton Union varsity team for three years…named First Team All-League…selected as team’s most valuable player…recognized as varsity captain for one season…class of 2012 salutatorian…OC Varsity Scholar Athlete of the Week…participated on the Golden West volleyball club team…anticipates majoring in Environmental Sciences…parents are George and Cindi Mullane…Jessi (21) and Madi (15) are her two siblings...born Feb. 26, 1994.
Werneke on Mullane: “Another kid who can play multiple positions and another California kid. She’s really good off of one foot. We saw some really good things. She’s going to add some depth and competition to the right side off the bat, just another volleyball player. She’s well-experienced, has a high volleyball IQ and knows the game.”
Ali Schroeter, Defensive Specialist/Libero, 5-5
Bakersfield, Calif., Bakersfield HS
Prior to Rutgers: Standout on the Bakersfield varsity squad for three seasons…selected as a team captain in senior season…three-time First Team All-Conference honoree…selected team’s defensive player of the year for three-straight seasons…recognized as a First Team All-County player as a senior…won the team scholar-athlete award all four years…received the Athletic Director’s Athlete Award as a senior in 2012…member of the National Honor Society her junior and senior years and earned the Academic Excellence Award in her final year…member of Club Jamba volleyball team for seven years…intends to major in Journalism with an emphasis in Digital Media…parents are Thomas and Randi Schroeter…has a brother, Stephen (19) and a sister Samantha (19)…cousin, Cody Martin, pitched for Gonzaga and is now a member of the Lynchburg Hillcats, a Class A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves...full name is Alexandra…born on Feb. 16, 1994.
Werneke on Schroeter: “She’s a sparkplug. She’s just one of those kids who plays with a pure joy for the game. You can tell she’s going to be a great teammate. She has a lot of tenacity as a defensive specialist, libero. Again, just a kid that’s going to get it done in the areas of ball control and defense.”
Megan Stephenson, Outside Hitter, 5-11
Burbank, Calif., John Burroughs HS
Prior to Rutgers: Member of the John Burroughs High School varsity team for three years…selected as the All-League Player of the Year and All-League MVP as a senior in 2011…named First Team All-League as a junior and Second Team All-League as a sophomore…compiled a GPA over 3.5 during her senior year…played for Club LAVA (Los Angeles Volleyball Academy) in 2012…plans to be a Pre-Vet major…daughter of Tommy and Lisa Stephenson…has one brother, Christian (20)…born on Aug. 24, 1994.
Werneke on Stephenson: “She’s got an arm. Our notes on her after we saw her was a bit of a baller with an arm. She’s an overall volleyball player, has a pretty good arm on her, has the ability to get kills and do some good things when we’re at a system. It’s going to be interesting to see how that translates to the college level. She has good offensive ability.”
Tracy Wright, Defensive Specialist, 5-6
Fair Lawn, N.J., Fair Lawn HS (Quinnipiac)
Prior to Rutgers: Entering her junior season at Rutgers after spending two seasons at Quinnipiac…transferred to Rutgers in the spring…played in every match and every set for the Bobcats for two seasons…led the team as a sophomore with 426 digs and 4.30 digs per set…added 35 assists, good for second on the team...as a freshman, finished third on the team in digs (304) and digs per set (2.71)…named the most improved player on the Bobcats for her performance in her rookie season…a four-year letterwinner in volleyball at Fair Lawn…named Third Team All-State as a senior…earned First Team All-State Group 3 and First Team All-County twice…three-time First Team All-League selection…played club volleyball for CutShot18-Elite...daughter of Claire and Bill Wright...has two brothers, Bill and Tom.
Werneke on Wright: “She joined us in the spring and was a transfer in the spring. She came in with two years of college experience in the defensive specialist, libero area. She really came in and held her own and made that transition over the spring into this coming fall seamless. She had a great spring, so we’re expecting great things out of her this fall.”