Air Force Adds 11 to Volleyball Team

June 28, 2012

USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force volleyball team welcomed 11 members of the Class of the 2016 to the Academy during in-processing on Thursday, June 28. This talented group of freshmen became the program's first recruiting class to receive High Honorable Mention honors from, the only website that does a yearly ranking of the 329 NCAA Division I volleyball recruiting classes, ranks the Top 30 programs, while 17 additional schools earn Highest Honorable Mention and another 30 receive High Honorable Mention. Air Force was one of just two Mountain West programs to earn distinction by, as New Mexico also earned High Honorable Mention.

The newest members of the volleyball program represent eight states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico and Pennsylvania.

Katie Bartlett - Flagstaff, Ariz.
Rebecca Bates - West Chester, Pa.
Rachael Bradley - Albuquerque, N.M.
Megan Bright - Atlanta, Ga.
Felicia Clement - Long Beach, Calif.
Frannie Cormier - San Diego, Calif.
Danielle Kaufman - Littleton, Colo.
Taylor Parker - Bozeman, Mont.
Raquel Rosas - Westminster, Calif.
Maggie Sherrill - Littleton, Colo.
Allison Vakerics - Livonia, Mich.

Following today's in-processing, Basic Cadet Training is divided into two phases. The first session takes place in the Cadet Area and focuses on military orientation, including basic military skills and responsibilities, improving physical conditioning and understanding teamwork through competitive sports. During the second phase, the Basics will march out to Jack's Valley, where they will focus on field training activities, while developing their mental and physical confidence training.

The volleyball team opens its season on Aug. 24-25, when it travels to Houston, Texas, for the Rice Invitational. While there, the Falcons will face tournament host Rice on Friday, Aug. 24, before taking on Arkansas State and former conference opponent BYU on Saturday, Aug. 25.

Katie Bartlett
HIGH SCHOOL/CLUB: Flagstaff High School...coached by Beth Haglin during senior year...member of the 2010-11 Grand Canyon Region championship was first-round state qualifiers...won two tournament titles...named to all-city second-team...spent the first three years of high school at Sinagua High School...coached by Adriana Lopez...member of the 2008-09 All-City Championship team...named MVP of the junior varsity team as a freshman...earned Grand Canyon Region and Flagstaff All-City honorable mention honors as a sophomore...named to the Grand Canyon Region second-team as a junior...also named to the Flagstaff All-City first-team that year...graduated from Flagstaff HS with a 3.84 GPA...three-year member of the Honor Roll...finished first at the "school level" for Poetry Outloud contest as a sophomore...placed third at the Arizona Poetry Outloud contest that year...also finished first at the "classroom level" of that contest as a junior...received the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Air Force as a senior...also earned the Scholar Athlete/Activity Award from Arizona Interscholastic Association...competed at the club level for Yavapai Juniors Volleyball Club - 18 National Team...coached by Matt Cohen...served as team captain...member of the 2010-11 squad that finish first at the Fiesta Classic (Club Division) finished fourth in the club division at Colorado Crossroads...also played club volleyball at Spiral Volleyball Club - 17 Black Team...coached by Patrick Mooney...member of the 2009-10 team that finished 12th overall at the USA Volleyball Junior Nationals (Open Division).

PERSONAL: Full name is Katie May Bartlett...daughter of Rod and Fran Bartlett...has two older siblings, Tatum Perkins and Lance Wigley...Lance is a police officer...currently undecided on a major, but considering mathematics and behavioral science...future plans include attending pilot training...spent the 2011-12 academic year (while on a medical turn-back at the Academy) working out with the Northern Arizona volleyball team and coach Craig Choate..."I gained some awesome experience" ...hobbies include snowboarding, swimming, scrapbooking, watching scary movies and lounging with dogs, Lucy and Dixie...was a preemie (born five weeks early)...collects snow globes...favorite place to visit is Disneyland...both grandfathers and one cousin served in the Army...two other cousins are currently serving in the Army and another is currently in the Air Force...greatest personal moment in sports was being recruited to play volleyball at USAFA.

HIGH SCHOOL/CLUB: Villa Maria Academy...coached by Joe Boland...four-year letterwinner for volleyball...two-time team MVP...served as team captain during junior and senior seasons...four-time member of the all-league team...named to the all-Main Line team during final three seasons...all-state, all-district and all-area selection as a senior...set school record for digs per match against Mountain Saint Joseph Academy (66)...also set school record for career digs with 1,750...broke previous record by 500 digs...member of the Spanish Honor Society and the Math Honor Society...graduated with distinguished honors...also graduated with First Honors...competed at the club level for Synergy Volleyball Club...coached by Rich Johnson...finished second at the USA Junior Nationals at both the 17 Open and 18 Open levels...named to the second-team of the Defensive Dandies in 2012...also earned the website's Senior Ace award in 2012.

PERSONAL: Daughter of Bill and Diana Bates...nickname is Bex...has one older sister, Devon Riley, who is currently a captain in the U.S. Army...majoring in Arabic...future plans include working in the intelligence field...grandfather, Bill Bates, was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army...grandfather, Bill Sykes, was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force...greatest personal moments in sports includes verbally committing to the Academy in April of junior year and getting to the national championships two years in a row.

HIGH SCHOOL/CLUB: Sandia High School...coached by Megan Holland...four-year letterwinner...member of the squad that won the district title in 2008...also a member of the team that won the Moriarty Tournament in back-to-back years...earned first-team all-district honors all four years...named second-team all-state as a junior...earned first-team all-metro honors as a junior and senior...also named to the all-metro team as a sophomore (fourth-team) and freshman (honorable mention)...all-academic team selection...named the MVP of the Moriarty Tournament as a senior...three-year member of the National Honor Society...received two academic letters for a GPA of 3.5 or higher...ranked among the Top 20 of senior class...competed at the club level for New Mexico Juniors...coached by Ben Wallis and Ki Choi...member of the regional championship team for five years in a row...also participated on teams that attended Nationals for three straight years.

PERSONAL: Full name is Rachael Margaret Bradley Powers...nickname is Bradley...daughter of Mike Powers and Sharon an only child...majoring in biology...future plans include becoming a physical therapist...hobbies include snowboarding and hiking...greatest personal moment in sports was beating rival high school in four games, while supporting breast cancer awareness, and hitting the ball at the 10-foot line and between the legs of the opponent...grandfather, Leroy Bradley, served in the Air Force for 28 years.

HIGH SCHOOL/CLUB: Harrison High School...coached by Clay Taylor...four-year letterwinner in volleyball...named to the AVCA All-America watch list...served as team captain during senior season...first-team all-state and all-area selection as a senior... Senior All-Star...member of the squad that finished second at the state championships as a senior...member of the state Final Four as a junior...named the Marietta Daily Journal Player of the Week...three-time recipient of the Scholar-Athlete award...named the 2011 Latin Student of the Year...competed at the club level for A5 18 Marc...coached by Marc Jacobs...member of the team that won the SRVA Region 18 championships in 2012...that team also won Mid-East Qualifier 18 American Championships and the Big South Qualifier 18 National Championships...named Academic All-Star by in 2012.

PERSONAL: Full name is Megan Elizabeth Bright...goes by Meg...daughter of Peter and Elizabeth Bright...has three younger siblings, including Madison, and twins Mitchell and Mason...majoring in political science and foreign area studies...future career plans include working in the intelligence field...hobbies include reading, scuba diving and hiking...loves Gummy Bears...greatest personal moment in sports was playing in the finals of the state championship and winning Big South 2012.

HIGH SCHOOL/CLUB: Polytechnic High School...coached by Leland McGrath...three-year letterwinner in volleyball...member of the 2010 CIF championship team that finished second at the state meet...also a member of the 2009 squad that advanced to the semifinals of the conference playoffs...made the varsity team as a sophomore and became a starter as a junior...maintained a 3.6 overall GPA during all four years...competed at the club level for TCA...coached by Mike Hinton...competed on the 16s Open team that finished second at the 2009 Junior Olympics in Miami...also played on teams that won a qualifier in 16 Open (2009) and 17 Open (2010).

PERSONAL: Full name is Akokwe Felicia Clement...goes by Felicia...daughter of Francis and Bamidele Clement...has three older siblings, Foli, Knayi and Niki...majoring in management...future career plans include owning a chain of restaurants/bars...attended the Academy's Prep School...hobbies include drawing, skateboarding, going to the movies, listening to music, going for walks, playing tennis and eating...greatest personal moments in sports are recording the last kill in the Junior Olympics during the semifinal match against Mizuno Long Beach and being a part of the high school team that advanced to the state championships...member of Cadet Squadron.

BEFORE ACADEMY: Attended Saint Mary's College of California in Moraga, Calif., during the 2011-12 academic year...competed in 16 sets over nine matches...made Saint Mary's debut at the BYU/Nike Invitational...named to the Dean's List.

HIGH SCHOOL/CLUB: Torrey Pines High School...coached by Jim Harrah...attended The Webb School as a freshman and sophomore...four-year letterwinner in volleyball...member of the Torrey Pines squad that advanced to the CIF finals...two-time all-CIF Division I second-team selection...earned CIF first-team all-league honors in 2008...named Athlete of the Week as a senior at TPHS...selected as Athlete of the Month (2008) at The Webb School...also lettered in softball at The Webb School...two-time Scholar-Athlete for Torrey Pines...also earned two Scholar-Athlete awards from the San Diego Union Tribune...member of the California Scholarship Federation (2009)...competed at the club level for 951 Elite Volleyball...coached by Dennis Palpallatoc...member of the team that won the Junior Olympic Invitations in 2007...competed on teams at the Junior Olympics (Open Division) from 13-17.

PERSONAL: Full first name is Frances, but goes by Frannie...daughter of Art and Linda Cormier...father was in the an only child...majoring in aeronautical engineering...future plans include attending pilot training...hobbies include anything outdoors, hiking, skiing, wakeboarding, paddle boarding and mountain biking...has climbed nine of Colorado's 14,000-foot mountains...backpacked in Alaska for two weeks during the summer before her first year at Saint Mary's...loves Sushi and good Mexican food...both grandfathers served in the Air Force.

HIGH SCHOOL/CLUB: Columbine High School...coached by Mel Watkins...four-year letterwinner in volleyball...served as team captain for two years...earned first-team all-conference honors as a senior...also received all-conference honors as a junior (honorable mention) and sophomore (second-team)...two-time first-team academic all-state selection...four-year Honor Roll recipient...member of the National Honor Society...served as a peer counselor...CHS Links member...member of the Top-10 percent...recipient of the Columbine High School Hall of Fame...competed at the club level for Colorado Juniors Volleyball Club (four years)...served as team captain for three years...member of teams that qualified to nationals every year...also played two years with the Colorado Performance Volleyball Club...served as co-captain during both years.

PERSONAL: Full name is Danielle Nicole Kaufman...nickname is Dani...daughter of Randy and Janice Kaufman...has one older brother, Jacob...also has one younger sister, Samantha...currently undecided on a major...hobbies include watching sports and movies, listening to music and reading...greatest personal moment in sports was beating the Mavs (one of the top club teams in Texas) for the first time to qualify for nationals in 17 Open.

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HIGH SCHOOL/CLUB: Marina High School...coached by Kilisi Vailuu...lettered four years in volleyball...selected to the all-tournament team at the Las Vegas Invitational...named to the Larry Doyle Athletic Hall of Fame for volleyball...selected as the MHS Athlete of the Month (October)...received the team's MVP award in 2010...also claimed first-team all-league honors as a junior...earned the team's Freshman of the Year award in 2008...also lettered three years in track...named Freshman of the Year...member of the 4x100-meter relay team that set the school record...lettered one year in soccer...earned Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in 2009...received Scholar-Athlete distinction for six semesters...graduated as a scholar with distinction...competed at the club level for TCA...coached by Steve Aird...competed in a friendly match against the Spanish Junior National Team..."even though we lost, it was an incredible experience"...member of teams that competed at the Junior Olympics for four years.

PERSONAL: Full name is Raquel Renee Rosas...nickname is Rockie...daughter of Rocky and Sandra Rosas...has three younger siblings: Regina, Rocky and Reese...majoring in biology...future career plans include becoming a physical therapist, because "as an athlete, I have dealt with my fair share of injuries and understand how frustrating recovery can be. However, instead of working on recuperation from injuries, I would like to focus on injury prevention and encouraging proper body mechanics"...hobbies include drawing, ultimate Frisbee and playing card games...also enjoys listening to Spanish music, especially by Enrique Iglesias and Shakira.

HIGH SCHOOL/CLUB: Colorado Academy...coached by Guy Garcia...four-year letterwinner...four-year starter on the varsity team...served as captain during final two seasons...received the team's Most Outstanding Player award twice...named the Metro League Senior of the Year...set school records for career kills and career aces...three-time all-conference first-team selection...earned all 50 possible votes as a junior...named all-conference second-team as a freshman...earned first-team all-state honors as a senior...named to the all-state 3A team as a junior...earned all-Colorado honors as a sophomore from the Denver Post and Max Preps...led the team in aces as a freshman...led the team in kills as a junior...member of the squad that won the Metro League title during junior and senior seasons...led team during season year to district and regional titles...that team went 25-0 through regionals and finished the season with a 27-2 record...earned Player of the Week honors from Max Prep and the Denver Post...recipient of the Simms Athletic Award...named to the honor roll during 10 of 12 trimesters...took 12 honor classes...had a poem published in the national high school poem book...member of the National Young Leaders State Conference (NYLSC)...competed at the club level for Colorado Volleyball Association (2011-12, coached by Michelle Buckner), Colorado Performance Volleyball Club (2008-11, coached by Kirk Rowland and Gavin Markovits) and Front Range Volleyball Club (2006-08, coached by Jen Pokraka and Erin Glass)...served as a team captain during four years (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011)...member of the Colorado Performance team that won the Colorado Crossroads National Qualifier in 2010...member of three teams that qualified to the Junior Olympics.

PERSONAL: Full name is Mary Margaret Sherrill...goes by Maggie...daughter of Bob and Taf an only child...currently undecided on a major...future plans include attending pilot training...hobbies include writing ("non-fiction works, mostly about family, and journaling about daily life") and volunteering with the SaddleUp! Foundation in Parker, Colo., which provides horse therapy for mentally, emotionally and physically challenged patients of all ages ("I walk alongside the horse, securing the rider with my arm, while the therapist conducts the lesson. My job is to physically secure the rider, as well as to emotionally encourage them")...also enjoys being in the mountains and skiing ("I have been on skis since I was three years old")...greatest personal moment in sports was leading high school team to the state finals as a senior...grandfather, Col Kenneth T. McFall, served in the Army during World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam...would like to add that "It is an honor and a privilege to be attending the U.S. Air Force Academy, and I am very excited that I have the opportunity to play volleyball for USAFA. Go Falcons!".

HIGH SCHOOL/CLUB: Marian High School...coached by Irick Gardner...four-year letterwinner in volleyball...member of the state championship team as a senior...three-year MIVCA all-region selection...earned all-state honors twice...also received all-city and all-Catholic League honors twice...qualified for the state record for aces in a season twice...also qualified for state records for assists in a season, aces in a career and assists in a career...competed at the club level for A2...coached by Michael Vakerics...earned Top Freshman Honorable Mention from honored with the website's Top Sophomore 79 distinction.

PERSONAL: Full name is Allison Huguette Vakerics...nickname is Al...daughter of Michael and Michelle Vakerics...has one older sister, Amanda, and one older brother, Zach...also has one younger brother, Zane...Zach is currently a Presidential Marine in Washington D.C...majoring in English...attended the Academy's Prep School...hobbies include playing volleyball, hiking, kayaking, reading, swimming, cooking, baking, listening to music (rap, hip-hop, country), camping and any other activities that involve the outdoors...grew up raising and showing chickens in 4-H...greatest personal moment in sports came from winning the state championship in volleyball as a senior..."I am extremely excited to be a part of the Air Force Academy Volleyball Team and I look forward to my next four years as a cadet".