Nov. 16, 2000
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA women's volleyball team has signed four of the nation's top high school players to National Letters of Intent, Bruin head coach Andy Banachowski announced today. Brittany Ringel, Heather Cullen, Brynn Murphy and Chrissie Zartman will join the Bruins for the 2001 season.
Ringel, a 6-1 outside hitter from Arlington, TX, plays for Trinity Valley High School and Texas Advantage club team. Ringel's Trinity Valley team has already won its Divisional Championship this season, at which Ringel was named the Most Valuable Player. "Brittany is a slugger," said Banachowski. "She has good ball control and will strengthen our outside hitters corps. She will compete for playing time right away."
Heather Cullen hails from Costa Mesa, CA, and Newport Harbor High School, where she missed the high school regular season while rehabbing a torn anterior cruciate ligament. She sufferred the injury in club play last spring. A very quick 6-1 middle blocker, Banachowski expects Cullen to fit right in with UCLA's returning group of middles, including Angela Eckmier, who is also sitting out this fall season because of a torn ACL. "Heather will come into this program with a great foundation in the game, having played at Newport Harbor and with the Orange County Club team," said Banachowski.
Brynn Murphy, a 6-3 middle blocker from Coronado, CA., has played her club volleyball with Coast Volleyball Club and is a senior at Francis Parker High School, where she has earned All-CIF honors. "Brynn is a good all-around player, and could fill a role either at outside hitter or middle blocker for us next year," said Banachowski. "She is yet another player that will add depth to our team next season." Murphy, who chose UCLA despite strong family ties to USC, spent part of her high school career in the Chicago area before moving back to San Diego last year.
Banachowski's fourth signee, Chrissie Zartman, is a 5-5 defensive specialist from Hermosa Beach, CA. Zartman currently plays outside hitter and is the primary passer for Bishop Montgomery High School and Spoilers Club Team. Zartman is another solid all-around player who has a jump serve and is already highly ranked in beach volleyball competition. She has won numerous age group beach tournaments over the last four years. "Chrissie will be able to step in right away," said Banachowski. "Should the libero rule be approved, I could see Chrissie as our libero, because her defensive skills are excellent." Her mother, Sharkie (Boehnert) Zartman, was a member of UCLA's first National Championship team in 1972, Banachowski's first National Champioship as a head coach. Sharkie (Boehnert) Zartman was named one of UCLA's 25 Greatest Players in a 1997 ceremony.
"This group will add tremendous depth to our team," said Banachowski. "With two players graduating and four coming in, competition for playing time will be fierce, which will make us stronger as a team. These four players will be the core of future Bruin teams."