April 2, 1999
KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University volleyball coach Cathy George announces the signing of four players to national letters of intent.
The Bronco coaching staff has added 5-11 middle blocker Angela Sillmon (Plymouth, Mich./Plymouth-Salem High School/Motor City VBC); 5-6 defensive specialist Cindy Kizer (Muncie, Ind./Muncie Central/Munciana VBC); 5-9 setter Ashley Ritter (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township/Uno VBC); and 6-0 middle blocker Amanda Fry (Saginaw, Mich./Heritage/Kalamazoo Dead Frogs) to its 1999 roster.
"I'm very pleased with the combination of athleticism and experience that this class has," George said. "One of our major concerns was our depth. We were at a disadvantage last season because we were low on numbers. This class makes our depth reliable for next year. Every player will be able to contribute on the floor as freshmen."
As a junior, Sillmon was named to the All-Western Lakes Athletic Association Lakes Division, All-WLAA Conference, All-Region and All-Observer teams. She earned all-conference, all-area, all-division, and MVP honors in basketball as a sophomore. Sillmon helped her 1997 Motor City Volleyball Club team capture the Michigan State AAU 18 and under championship and finish 5th at the Asics Qualifier. Her 1996 club team won the state's 16 and under title and was 5th at the Asics Qualifier.
"Angela is probably the quickest athlete we've had at Western," George said. "She has a tremendous first step. She's explosive but she needs some refinement. Angela can help us at any frontrow position."
Kizer earned MVP honors at the 1998 Mishawaka Tournament and won the "Mental Attitude Award" at the 1998 state finals. Kizer also helped her team win the state championship in 1997 and 1998.
"Cindy has played setter and defensive specialist and brings a lot of experience," the Bronco coach said. "She has a terrific attitude and personality and really helps the players around her. She's very skilled and is probably one of the best backrow players in the country."
The 5-9 Ritter gives the Bronco coaches depth at setter behind junior Jen Nowak (St. Charles, Ill.).
"What I like most about Ashley is that she is aggressive and a great competitor," George explained. "She can hit, set, and play the back row. She is very active at the net and adds another dimension to our team. She will be used in a number of different situations."
Fry was a First Team Saginaw News All-Area team selection and a first team member of the All-MIVCA all-region team as a junior. The middle blocker was named to the all-tournament squad at the Mitten Bay Tournament and was MVP of the Valley Volleyball Elite Club team last year. She has also been named to the Saginaw Valley Conference All-Academic Team every year of her high school career.
"Amanda reminds me of Traci Morin," George said. "She has a very quick arm swing and is very quick on the floor. We'll look to her much like we've looked to Traci."
WMU was 19-13 overall, 11-8 in the Mid-American Conference. The Broncos lost All-MAC first team selection Stefanie Rotunno and 6-2 middle blocker Andrea Cole to graduation.
Media contact: Geoff Brown; 616 387-4138; email@example.com
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