Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
Head coach Ricci Luyties led the Tritons to their sixth straight NCAA postseason appearance in 2011.
UCSD Women's Volleyball Inks Four Standouts
Release: Thursday 12/08/2011 

LA JOLLA, Calif. - The nationally-ranked UC San Diego women's volleyball team has signed four standout student-athletes that will compete for the Tritons in the fall of 2012. The announcement was made Thursday by head coach Ricci Luyties.

Danielle Dahle, Sophie Rowe, Heidi Sierks and Katy Woodward will don the blue and gold as freshmen following stellar prep and club careers. Two are outside hitters, one is a setter and the fourth is a libero/outside hitter. Three of the four hail from Southern California.

"I'm extremely happy with the recruits that we've signed for next season," said Luyties, who just completed his second season as head coach of the Tritons. "This class is replacing players that had a lot of success here, so they have some big shoes to fill."

Dahle is a six-foot outside hitter, a local product from La Mesa and Grossmont High School. As a junior, she was named First Team All-CIF as well as First Team All-Grossmont Hills League while also being tabbed the team's Best Offensive Player. Dahle was named the Foothillers' MVP as a sophomore. Club-wise, she most recently competed with Coast (2010-11), helping the 17-1s to a win at the MLK SpeakEasy Tournament and a 17th-place finish at Junior Nationals. She's also competed with Velocity (2008-10). Dahle was selected to the San Diego Union-Tribune's All-Academic First Team while at Grossmont, placing eighth among a class of 633. She is interested in pursuing a major in the medical field.

Another six-foot outside hitter, Rowe was a four-year varsity starter for Mission Viejo High School in Orange County. A team captain, she was named First Team All-Sea View League three times and was honored as the Diablos' MVP her senior year. Rowe led the team in kills and digs in 2009, 2010 and 2011. She also played with Saddleback Valley Volleyball Club since 13s. An accomplished student, Rowe held a 4.5 GPA and earned Scholar-Athlete accolades all four years. Outside of school, Rowe has been involved with Assisteens, a group that performs philanthropic work within the community, since seventh grade. The Trabuco Canyon native has a brother named Spencer, a sophomore opposite on the UCLA men's volleyball team.

No stranger to the UCSD volleyball family, Sierks hails from Lake Bluff, Ill., about 35 miles north of Chicago on Lake Michigan. The five foot 10 setter started all four years for Lake Forest High School, leading the Scouts to the sectional finals in 2011 and picking up team MVP honors. Sierks was named All-Area and All-North Suburban Conference three times. In 2008, she was a Frosh 59 Honorable Mention and in 2009 she garnered Soph 79 Honorable Mention. She also earned All-Academic honors while at LFHS. Sierks also competed for Rolling Thunder VBC. She earned Junior Olympic All-Tournament Team honors twice, leading Rolling Thunder to a silver medal finish in the National Division in 2010 and a top-eight finish in the American Division in 2011. Both of her older brothers, Erik and Mike, played on the men's volleyball team at UCSD.

A libero and outside hitter, Woodward earned First Team All-Century League honors twice and was Foothill High School's MVP in 2011. From Santa Ana, she helped lead the Knights to consecutive second place finishes in the Century League as a junior and senior. Foothill advanced to the second round of the CIF playoffs in those two seasons as Woodward led the team in kills. Along with Rowe, Woodward plays for Saddleback Valley Volleyball Club as an outside hitter and defensive specialist. She earned Scholar-Athlete honors all four years and holds a 4.5 GPA at Foothill. Woodward is involved with Kids Global Outreach, a non-profit which raises awareness and money to improve the health and lives of children in need worldwide.

"I have high expectations and I think they are all capable of becoming great players during their Triton careers," said Luyties. "I look for each of them to contribute right away."

UCSD, ranked 16th in the country, recently finished its 2011 campaign with a 22-6 record and its sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA postseason.

Name Position Height Hometown High School Club
Danielle Dahle Outside Hitter 6-0 La Mesa Grossmont Coast
Sophie Rowe Outside Hitter 6-0 Trabuco Canyon Mission Viejo Saddleback Valley
Heidi Sierks Setter 5-10 Lake Bluff, Ill. Lake Forest Rolling Thunder
Katy Woodward Libero/Outside Hitter 5-8 Santa Ana Foothill Saddleback Valley

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