Nov. 14, 2008
LOS ANGELES - UCLA women's volleyball head coach Andy Banachowski has announced the signings of three players to National Letters of Intent. Joining the Bruins for the 2009 season will be 5-foot-7 setter Lauren Cook (Lincoln, Neb./Pius X HS), 6-foot-2 outside hitter Rachael Kidder (Moorpark, Calif./Moorpark HS) and 5-foot-11 utility player Bojana Todorovic (Irvine, Calif./University HS).
"This class will round out our needs for next year," Banachowski said. "We will be getting some depth at the setting, outside hitter and libero positions with this class."
Cook was named the National Junior of the Year by PrepVolleyball.com and Gatorade Nebraska Volleyball Player of the Year after leading Pius X High School to a second-straight Nebraska state title. Cook, a first-team All-Nebraska honoree in 2006 and 2007, broke the state assists record as a junior with 1,341, adding 165 kills, 292 digs and 51 aces. Cook plays club for the Nebraska Volleyball Academy. She led the NVA's 17-U squad to the USA Volleyball Junior Olympics National club division title in 2007, earning MVP honors.
"Lauren has tremendous experience and has done well in her home state based on her state championships," Banachowski said. "She is an outstanding leader and asserts herself well in her setting."
Kidder is a two-time, first-team All-Marmonte League selection and was named Best Offensive Player for Moorpark High School in each of the last two seasons, helping her team to the CIF playoffs both years. Kidder has played club with Sports Shack and Point West Mizuno, helping Point West to an 18-U National club division title at the USA Volleyball Junior Olympics in 2007. Kidder will continue a family tradition of attending UCLA, as her father John was an offensive lineman on the football team from 1983-87.
"Rachael will give us more height and length at the outside hitter position," Banachowski said. "She can play on either pin and will give us versatility whether it is on the left or right."
On Nov. 19, both Cook and Kidder were named to the AVCA Under Armour All-American High School Volleyball First Team. As one of 24 players honored on the first team, Cook and Kidder have been invited to play in the inaugural Under Armour All-America High School Volleyball Match and Skills Competition. The event will be held at Qwest Center Omaha, Dec. 21 in Omaha, Neb., in conjunction with the 2008 AVCA Annual Convention and Final Four.
Todorovic has been named first-team All-Pacific Coast League for each of the last two seasons. As a junior, Todorovic had 278 kills, 21 aces, 99 digs and a .391 hitting percentage, helping University High School to the CIF playoffs. She played club with Laguna Beach Volleyball Club and helped her team to a third-place finish at the 18-U National tournament at the 2007 USA Volleyball Junior Olympics, earning All-Tournament honors.
"Bojana is the complete all-around player," Banachowski said. "We will give her time at setter, on defense and also give her work at outside hitter. She will be able to help us wherever we have the most need."