Nov. 19, 2002
Manhattan, Kan. -
Head women's volleyball coach Suzie Fritz announced Tuesday the signing of Sandy Werner to a national letter of intent to play volleyball at Kansas State, beginning the 2003 season.
"We are incredibly excited about the addition of Sandy to our program, " said Fritz. "We believe that she is certainly one of the best players in the state of Kansas, if not one of the best in the Midwest Region. She is also from nearby Topeka, and to have a volleyball player of that ability just down the road, is great for our program. She can make an immediate impact with this team and that's very exciting. She has an extremely explosive arm. She is very terminal (on the attack) and can really bang it."
A 5-foot-11 middle blocker at Washburn Rural High School in Topeka, Kan., Werner was a two-time Kansas Volleyball Coaches (KVC) Class 6A first team all-state selection. As a senior, she guided the Junior Blues to a school-record 38 wins en route to a runner-up finish at the Class 6A State Championships where she was selected to the all-state tournament team for the second year in a row. She led the team with 370 kills on a .353 hitting percentage with 52 service aces and 95 total blocks. A multiple all-league selection, she was named the Centennial League most valuable player as both a junior and senior. A four-year letterwinner and three-year starter for coach Kevin Bordewick, she owns school records for career kills (966) and blocks and was a two-time team most valuable player. Werner was also a three-time selection to the Topeka Capital-Journal's All-City team, including earning first team accolades as a junior and senior. She is the only player in Washburn Rural history to play in the state tournament all four years.
As a junior, Werner guided the Junior Blues to a fourth place finish at the state tournament, as she posted 409 kills on a .321 hitting percentage with 194 digs, 99 blocks and 41 service aces. A solid all-around athlete, she has also lettered three years in softball. She guided the team to a sub-state title and a fifth-place finish at the 2002 state championships en route to earning second team all-league and all-city honors.
"I maybe a little biased, but I think she's best player in the state," said Bordewick. "She is just a phenomenal all-around volleyball player. I think what makes her special is that she has tremendous growth potential in the sport. She is only going to get better. Aside from her volleyball ability, she is a great student and person in general. She has a great personality and a strong character. She was a joy to coach for four years."
Werner is the second Division I volleyball recruit to come out of Washburn Rural in the last three years, following current Georgia Tech sophomore middle blocker Jayme Gergen. She picked the Wildcats over a number of schools including Saint Louis.
She will join a Kansas State squad in 2003 that will return all but one starter and nine letterwinners. The Wildcats are currently ranked 19th in the nation and riding an 12-match winning streak heading into Wednesday's match with Oklahoma. K-State, which posts an 18-6 overall record and 14-2 mark in Big 12 Conference play, appear headed to its seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament.
Kansas State has one remaining scholarship for the 2003 season, but will not fill it until the late signing period in April.