PAINESVILLE, Ohio – The Lake Erie College volleyball program has announced the class of incoming freshman for the 2018-19 academic year. Maria Blatnik (Eastlake, Ohio), Lauren Burnick (Pontiac, MI), Julia Kaylor (Delaware, Ohio) and Sophia Schivone (West Chester, Ohio) will be joining the Storm next season.
Head Coach Kevin Foeman said, "Our coaching staff believes this class will continue to move our program in the right direction, and we are all looking forward to getting them to Lake Erie. Their athleticism and character will be vital as we strive to continually improve, on and off the court. They have all had outstanding prep careers and demonstrated a true passion for excellence. Their presence will be felt immediately."
Maria Blatnik – Outside Hitter
High School: Eastlake North
Major: Special Education
Awards and Records: Maria has been a two time All Conference award recipient. She was awarded the 2016 Offensive MVP. In 2017 she was awarded Second Team All-District Team, the Coaches Award, and won the Attitude Visible in School award.
Blatnik: "I visited Lake Erie College on a number of occasions, and each time I was very impressed with the family like atmosphere around campus. It is a place that I felt comfortable and welcomed by every person that I met. I can't say enough about my soon to be coaches and teammates, who always were happy to see me and made me excited about being part of the volleyball program. Lake Erie College is the place I am looking forward to spending my next 4 years as a student athlete."
Coach Foeman: "Maria is incredibly athletic and has the ability to shut down opposing outside hitters with her block. As a 6'0" lefty who can touch 10 feet, she has the physical tools to really make an impact at this level and be very tough to defend. Off the court, she is the ultimate team player, willing to play any position to help her team succeed. She is an extremely high character, blue collar player who will fit right into to our team first culture, while striving for excellence on a daily basis. She is playing club at nearby power CVC, under the same coach who helped develop two of our current players, Hallie Zumack and Lexi Lombardo."
Lauren Burnick – Setter
High School: Notre Dame Preparatory (Pontiac, Mich)
Major: Biology, with concentration on Pre-Nursing
Awards and Records: Lauren was a 4 year varsity starter at Notre Dame Preparatory, where she amassed a career record of 219-28-13, 64-2-2 in 2017, which are NDP High School records. She won 4 District Titles, 2 Regional Titles, and 1 Michigan State Championship. She was named to the AVCA Phenom list in 2016 and the AVCA Under Armor list for 2017, while being named 3rd Team All State.
Burnick: "The combination of the size of Lake Erie, its academic opportunity in biology/nursing, the coaching staff, and getting to know the girls and where they want to take Lake Erie Volleyball convinced me Lake Erie College was the place I wanted to be."
Coach Foeman: "Lauren is a true competitor, and a winner. She helped guide her team to a State Championship and top ten National ranking in 2017, and was a part of an extremely talented and successful club team at Michigan Elite. As a setter, she has great hands and a true feel for an offense. She has a calming presence on the court, sets an unbelievable ball, and I am excited to see what she can do in our program."
Julia Kaylor – Outside Hitter
High School: Rutherford B. Hayes
Awards and Records: Julia is a 4 year Varsity starter and captain. She was named to the second team All-Conference and was Honorable Mention All-District selection.
Kaylor: "I chose Lake Erie because everyone was so welcoming and made me feel like part of the team as soon as I stepped on campus. The girls and coaches have also been extremely supportive while I have dealt with injuries."
Coach Foeman: "Julia is such a well-rounded player. She blocks well, has a mechanically sound arm swing, beautiful passing platform, sequences and communicates on the court, and has such a high volleyball IQ. She can play outside, right side, and back row defense at the next level, and is the type of player who will do it all if it means the team will benefit. She is tough minded and has an amazing uplifting attitude on the court that draws teammates to her. We are excited for Julia to make an impact in our program right away."
Sophia Schivone – Outside Hitter / Middle Blocker
High School: Lakota West
Awards and Records: Sophia was named 1st Team GMC, 3rd Team All-District, and selected to the District All-Star Game. She was named in the Under Armor All-American Watch list. Finally, she was a recipient of the Best Offensive player, the Glue Award, and the Shayna Smith Beautiful Light Award for 2017.
Schivone: "The players and coaches made me feel at home. The school had everything I wanted and I could not picture myself anywhere else."
Coach Foeman: "Sophia is another versatile athlete, with an ability to play the outside or middle positions. She has a high level arm swing, and an ability to play all the way around if need be. Most importantly, her attitude and work ethic fit right into our program. She loves the gym, loves getting better, and wants to do what is best for the team. Her ceiling is very high, and she has a chance to do great things during her time at Lake Erie."