(Ames) Iowa State volleyball added three newcomers for the 2013-14 season, head Cyclones coach Christy Johnson-Lynch announced Thursday. Ciara Capezio, Maria Fruechte and Samara West will join the Cyclones on the court next fall.
“This is an interesting class for us,” Johnson-Lynch said. “They’re all very athletic and very different but are all [the kind of] players we like to recruit, great athletes who we feel are going to become great volleyball players. I feel like this class fits right in with our philosophy and with the current players on our team.”
A 6’3” outside hitter from Williams Bay, Wisc., Capezio is a three-time all-conference player at Burlington High School and was named the conference and Racine County Player of the Year as a senior. Capezio is a three-time first team all-conference selection – she was a second team member as a freshman – and earned first team all-state honors in 2012 after two honorable mention and one second team nod in the preceding three years. Burlington won four-straight conference, regional and sectional titles during Capezio’s tenure, building to back-to-back Wisconsin State Championship runs in 2011 and 2012. Capezio was a member of the 2012 state all-tournament team. While at Burlington, Capezio earned two letters in soccer and another in basketball.
Playing club volleyball for the Fusion in Marengo, Ill in 2012, Capezio helped the team to a third-place finish in the Great Lakes Power League and spent eight days competing in Europe. From 2010-11, Capezio was a member of the Milwaukee Sting, taking second place at the Junior Volleyball Association (JVA) World Challenge in 2011, a year after finishing third in the 15s division. During the 2010 third-place run, Capezio was selected to the JVA Showcase All-Tournament Team as the Sting finished in third place and was chosen as the Most Outstanding Player at the President’s Day Challenge after another third-place team result.
The daughter of Sara Schadewald, Capezio has a sister, Becca, and is planning to major in nursing at Iowa State.
“[Ciara] is an outside who can pass and play defense very well. She ball-handles very well but can terminate. She can hit good sets and bad sets and still terminate [for a kill],” Johnson-Lynch said.
Fruechte, hails from Caledonia, Minn., where was a four-year starter on the Caledonia High School volleyball team, spending time both the outside and middle hitting positions. The Warriors made their first state tournament appearance this fall, finishing second. The 5’11” Fruechte had 24 kills, eight digs and five block assists in the championship match, leading all scorers and was named to the Minnesota State All-Tournament Team after averaging 5.10 kills per set during the tournament run.
As a junior in 2011, the outside hitter averaged 3.5 kills per set, on .325 hitting, and 2.35 digs per set while serving as a team captain, a role she reprised as a senior. The daughter of Carl and Becky Fruechte, Maria has helped lead the Warriors to four conference championships and was a Three Rivers All-Conference selection in 2011 and 2012. Also among her 2011 accolades, selections to the Winona Daily News All-Area first team and La Crosse Tribune All-Area first team. A standout in the classroom as well, Fruechte is a two-time recipient of the Distinguished Academic Achievement Award, given to students with grade-point averages of at least 3.60.
A multi-sport threat, Fruechte, who stands tall at 6’4”, is a six-time Junior National Weightlifting Champion, including three-straight titles from 2007-09. At Caledonia, Fruechte has earned multiple conference honors, both academic and athletic, in basketball and was the women’s basketball MVP in 2011. Last season, the speedy Fruechte also won the conference championship in the 100-meter dash, taking second in the 200. Fruechte has garnered back-to-back Work Ethic Awards from the basketball team.
“Maria is probably one of the most athletic players we’ve recruited,” Johnson-Lynch said. “She could probably play about any position in college she wanted; she’s just that athletic.”
An Omaha, Neb. native, West is a middle blocker who owns Omaha North High Schools career kills record and helped lead the Omaha Starling 181’s club team to back-to-back Starling National Championships in 2011 and 2012 and the 18’s Silver/Bronze Regional Championship. A standout in the classroom, West is a member of the National Honor Society and winner of the Omaha North Leadership and Excellence medal. The daughter of Greg and Phyllis West, Samara plans to major in veterinary medicine at Iowa State. West has a brother, Brandon, and a sister, Nakeisha.
“What I see in Samara is a big, athletic frame and someone who is going to become a tremendous middle blocker in college,” Johnson-Lynch said.
The 2012 19th-ranked Cyclones are in action at home tonight, taking on No. 20 Kansas State at 5 p.m. CST on ESPNU.
November 15, 2012