December 1, 2008
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville volleyball coach Todd Gober continues to build for the team's NCAA Division I future with the signing of four student-athletes to be incoming freshman for the 2009 season.
Gober said he had a few holes to fill with the list of seniors who completed eligibility.
"I'm excited about this group because these athletes are going to push us to another level," said Gober.
Minton, 5-foot-7-inch setter, was a first team All-State selection at Milwaukee Pius High School and was named the Classic Eight Conference Player of the Year. Gober said her experience with top club team Milwaukee Sting makes her a good fit for the Cougars.
"Sammi is a very competitive player who makes the people around her better," said Gober. "We're looking at Sammi to come in and make an impact. She has a lot of leadership qualities."
Smith, who attends Metro East Lutheran High School in Edwardsville, is a 5-10 middle hitter and an outside hitter. A Special Mention 50 All-State pick by the Champaign New-Gazette, Smith has been an All-Area student-athlete by the Alton Telegraph in volleyball, basketball, softball and track and field. She plays club volleyball for the Southern Heat.
"Brooke is a very special, pure athlete who can play all sports," said Gober. "Brooke is still developing as a volleyball player. Once she focuses on one sport, who knows how good she can be."
Mosher, a 6-0 middle hitter, also was named to the Special Mention 50 All-State by the Champaign News-Gazette. Gober said Mosher, who plays club volleyball for Topspin 18's, fits the mold of the type of player he was looking for out of this recruiting class.
"She played middle hitter in high school but is athletic enough to play in the back row," said Gober. "Kelsey plays a physical type of game. She touches at 9-10 and has a great instinct at the net."
Cushley, the all-time kills and service aces leader at Lodi High School, was the Capital Conference Player of the Year as a junior. Gober said Cushley's experience with Capital Volleyball Academy, a high-level club team has made the outside hitter a better player.
"Danielle is a very polished player," Gober said. "She brings a very confident attitude on the court. She's a very vocal player." Gober added that Cushley can play both outside hitter as well as defense.
SIUE is coming off its first season of NCAA Division I play. The Cougars completed the 2008 season with a 13-14 record. SIUE defeated four of the five schools on its 2008 schedule that it will play in the Ohio Valley Conference.