Women's Basketball Brings in Well-Rounded Recruiting Class

May 17, 2013

By Jason Clay

FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State women's basketball head coach Raegan Pebley announced Friday that Natascha Hartvich, Emilie Volk, Jessy Saint-Felix and Maria Bego Faz Davalos have all signed National Letters of Intent to attend school and play for the Bulldogs beginning in the 2013-14 season.

"This class has all the character, passion for the game and potential that we want to represent Fresno State women's basketball," Pebley said.

Emilie Volk

Volk, a 5-11 guard from Bonneville High School in Ogden, Utah, was named the Class 4A Most Valuable Player in the state by the Salt Lake Deseret News her senior season and the All-Area 4A MVP by the Standard Examiner. She was also nominated as a Gatorade Player of the Year and McDonalds All-American candidate. Volk, who signed with the Bulldogs during the November signing period, averaged 15 points, six rebounds, 3.1 assists and over two steals per game while leading the Lakers to the semifinals of the state playoffs and a 23-1 record.

"Emilie is the complete package, both on and off the court," said Bonneville head coach Mike Russell. "She's a coach's dream and she makes everyone around her better, whether it be in relation to basketball or in life. She is the epitome of a good teammate. I love her and will sorely miss her at Bonneville."

As a junior at Bonneville, she scored 13 points per game and helped the Lakers reach the quarterfinals of the Class 4A tournament after winning the Region 5 title.

"I am thrilled to be a future Bulldog," said Volk, who scored over 1,000 points in her high school career. "Being a part of a winning program, competitive conference and Christ-centered coaching staff are elements that excite me. I can't wait to be challenged and learn more about myself and grow not only as a player, but a person. I know that this journey in my life will strengthen me and force me go beyond my comfort zone."

Natascha Hartvich

Hartvich is a 5-9 guard originally from Denmark, but spent the past two seasons at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. where she was coached by former WNBA and ABL standout Shell Dailey. Hartvich helped guide her team to a 42-8 overall record and an impressive 7-2 mark against junior colleges.

"I really see her helping Fresno State from a leadership standpoint, because she is so vocal, she's not afraid and is going to do everything she can to figure out how she can make the team better," Dailey said of Hartvich, who earned the nickname "Taz" for her aggressiveness out on the court. "She can shoot, she can pass, but most importantly, she is just a well-rounded player and I can't say enough about her heart."

Hartvich averaged 12.5 points, made 72 3-pointers and had 48 assists last season at IMG. She came to IMG Academy from Rungsted Kyst, Denmark and is a member her nation's national team.

"One of our staff's priorities was to bring in a few young leaders that could add some depth in our point guard spot. Taz and Emilie have a great opportunity to be mentored by Taylor [Thompson] for a year before the baton is officially handed off," Pebley said of Emilie and Natascha, who will both be freshman for the Bulldogs next season.

Jessy Saiint-Felix

Saint-Felix, a 6-2 forward, is originally from Le Robert, Martinique, but spent the past two seasons at the College of Southern Idaho. Last year as a sophomore she was a Region 19 honorable mention selection after averaging 5.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. She started 28 of Southern Idaho's 33 games and helped the Golden Eagles to a 21-12 overall record along with a Scenic West Athletic Conference and Region 18 Championship.

"I am excited about Fresno State because it is a good program," said Saint-Felix, who will have two seasons of eligibility at Fresno State. "The Bulldogs won their conference tournament championship this past season and I think they have everything needed to make me a better player."

Saint-Felix had five games with 10 or more rebounds and helped lead her team to the NJCAA National Tournament in Salina, Kan.

"Jessy is a rebounder, an active defender and is ready for a breakout year," Pebley said. "We were so impressed with how she battled back after an ACL in just six months so that she could help her CSI team reach their goals of making it to the NJCAA National Championship tournament."

Maria Bego Faz Davalos

Bego Faz Davalos, a 6-3 post player coming in as a freshman, was a starter for the Mexican National team and competed in the FIBA Americas Tournament, which fielded a team with Connecticut standouts Brianna Stewart and Baylor-bound Alexis Prince. In the tournament, she averaged 10 points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes per game.

"I think that Fresno State was the best University, with the best coaches and team for me," Said Bego Faz Davalos. "I want to give them the best of me. I know the coaches will help me to reach my dreams and improve my skills and I will have a lot of experiences with the girls and enjoy every moment with my team."

"Another priority was to add depth, athleticism and rebounding to our post position," Pebley said. "Bego's performance in the FIBA Americas U-18 Championships this past year proved that she is a talent that belongs playing D1. We believed that Fresno State and Fresno would welcome Bego and her Mexican heritage with open arms just as they have our Australians."

The Fresno State women's basketball team is coming off a 24-9 season in which it made its sixth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and won the 2013 Reese's Mountain West women's basketball championship in its first season in the league.

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