Volleyball Inks Bowens to NLI
Feb. 15, 2012
By Stephen Trembley
By Stephen Trembley
FRESNO, Calif. --- As the 'Dogs get ready for their first volleyball season in the Mountain West Conference, Fresno State will add the power and versatility of Zana Bowens to its roster for the upcoming 2012 season after she signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Bulldog family.
"Zana comes from a family of competitors and was raised to handle challenge with poise," Fresno State head volleyball coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell said of Bowens. "She has a mature understanding of the game and voiced great determination to impact us where we need it the most, right away. She's a tremendous athlete and we look forward to her arrival as a Bulldog."
Bowens, a 5-8 right side/outside hitter, starred as four-year varsity letterwinner and helped lead the Long Beach Poly Jackrabbits on and off the floor.
She recently served as the Jackrabbits' team captain during her senior season and made second-team all-league as a junior.
In the classroom, she finished in the top ten percent of her class and earned academic honors throughout her high school career. Bowens also has her own school club, completed over 100 hours of community service and took an active role in a mentoring program.
"With 12 players returning in 2012 and one scholarship to give, we wanted to find someone special that can hold her own in a small class," Netherby-Sewell said. "I happened upon Zana at a club practice in Southern California. She stood out from her teammates because she demonstrated terrific ball-control and had the ability to terminate on the pins. She isn't error-prone, in fact, she places the ball very well to the zones we consistently train. She did all of this with a huge smile on her face that was hard to ignore!"
Bowens adds depth to the Bulldogs' arsenal and could factor as a key contributor as Fresno State turns its focus on contending for the 2012 Mountain West Conference title.
The 'Dogs are fresh off a near-epic effort at the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Tournament, where they advanced to the semifinals and pushed then-No. 6 Hawai'i to the brink, before falling in a five-set thriller.
For 2012, Fresno State returns a team that will draw on their experience to compete with five MW schools (Colorado State, Wyoming, San Diego State, New Mexico and UNLV) that finished in the Top 150 in the final 2011 Ratings Performance Index, as well as Air Force, Boise State and Nevada to round out a strong top-to-bottom conference that has received multiple NCAA Tournament bids in 12 of the past 13 seasons.
The Bulldogs will feature three All-WAC honorees - redshirt junior Marissa Brand, who missed most of last season due to a knee injury, and soon-to-be junior Korrin Wild and sophomore Maci Murdock - and the program's first Academic All-American and Smittcamp Family Honors scholar in senior Cecilia Agraz.
The volleyball team had seven Bulldogs each Academic All-WAC honors last season and earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association's academic award for receiving a team grade point average of 3.30 or higher in each of the past two seasons.
Fresno State was also one of three NCAA Division I schools in the state of California, along with Stanford and California, and one of 92 in the nation honored with the 2010-11 award.
"We believe that teaching our young student-athletes to become the best they can be in every facet of their life - will make them a champion at Fresno State, and beyond," Netherby-Sewell added.
"We Are Your Team!" --- The Bulldogs will host a volleyball skills camp this summer that will feature the importance of hard work in a fun environment while teaching the proper techniques for all the fundamentals to take your game to the next level. Make sure to check www.gobulldogs.com/camps throughout this spring for specific dates and details.