Pirate Volleyball Signs Six To 2006 Class
Dec. 14, 2005
GREENVILLE, N.C.--Six high school seniors have signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period to play volleyball at East Carolina in 2006, head coach Chris Rushing announced today.
Erica Banning, Hannah Fenker, Katie Prast, Peyton Thompson, Stephanie Turner and Melissa Zentner have all committed to the Pirate volleyball program and will join the team next season.
"We have made great strides this past season and all six of these newcomers, mixed with our solid returning core, will help ECU volleyball to continue towards a Conference USA championship," head coach Chris Rushing said.
Banning, a 6-0 middle blocker from D.H. Conley in Greenville, was named conference player-of-the-year in 2005 in leading the Vikings to a second place finish in the state championship. She was named team offensive player-of-the-year as well as being named to the all-state tournament team as a senior. Banning was also the recipient of the Lady Viking Award in 2004.
Fenker, a 5-8 setter from Crysler High School in New Castle, Ind., was named all-conference and all-area first-team in 2004 and 2005 while also being named first-team all-state in 2005. She led her team to the school's first ever No.1 ranking in the state her junior and senior seasons. She also broke the school record at Crysler with 32 kills in a match during her senior year.
Prast, a 5-9 outside hitter from Hinsdale South in Burr Ridge, Ill., is a three-year varsity team member and recipient of the Hustle Award in 2005. She was also acknowledged for her performance with the team's Most Improved Award in 2004 and the Sportsmanship Award in 2003. She attends the same high school as former Pirate libero, Johanna Bertini.
Thompson, a 5-11 outside hitter from Plano High School in Plano, Texas, was named to the all-district team her junior and senior seasons. In 2005, she led her team to a district championship, an area championship while finishing runner-up in the regional finals.
Turner, a 5-9 outside hitter from Clarence High School in East Amherst, N.Y., was named second-team all-state as a senior in 2005. A four-year varsity member, she was named All-WNY and All-ECIC from 2003-05. She was also a scholar athlete from 2002-05 and the team captain from 2003-05.
Zentner, a 6-2 outside hitter from Barron Collier High School in Naples, Fla., was named conference player-of-the-year and second-team all-state in 2005. She was a two-time all-county player during her junior and senior seasons while also leading her team to three district championships from 2003-05.
In addition to the six signees, ECU will return eight letterwinners and one redshirt freshman. The Pirates finished the 2005 season with a record of 20-11, the program's best mark in 23 years.
ECU Head Coach Chris Rushing comments on all six signees:
On Erica Banning
On Hannah Fenker
On Katie Prast
On Peyton Thompson
On Stephanie Turner
On Melissa Zentner