Axewomen volleyball announces four recruits

John Decoste
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Italian player arrives at Acadia via Yarmouth

Acadia women’s volleyball coach Michelle Wood last week announced the addition of four committed Axewomen recruits for 2014-2015.

Joining the Axewomen roster are Katarina Kalajdzic from Calgary, Alta.; Kailey Evans from St. Andrew’s, Man.; Kaitlyn Franklin of Nanaimo, BC; and Carlotta Frasca, originally from Rome, Italy.

Frasca comes to Acadia via Yarmouth where she spent the 2013-14 school year as an exchange student and her high school’s volleyball MVP.

“Acadia is strong academically, and I’ve heard good things about the nutrition program. I’m looking forward to having new coaches, teammates and classmates,” the six-foot-three outside hitter said.

At home in Italy, Frasca competed at the B and C level in U-14, U-16, U-18 and U-20, and also played with the Grottaferrata club team. In her adopted province, she received a direct invitation to Nova Scotia’s Elite Development Camp.

“(I’m) excited and nervous for the new experience I’m facing,” Frasca said, but said she is sure she “made the right decision. I love Acadia for its sense of community. I feel I belong to a place I can call home. I can’t wait to start my new life here.”

Kalajdzic, a five-foot-10 outside hitter, transfers from the University of Calgary where she completed one year toward a degree in business.

She brings with her a wealth of competitive experience, beginning at the U-13 level where she won a silver medal at nationals. She won provincial gold in both U-15 and U-16, and gold with Alberta in the 2011 Western Elite championship.A graduate of Sir Winston Churchill High and the 403 Selects club team in Calgary, she is looking forward to attending smaller classes and working hard on the court to continue to develop as a player.

Kalajdzic  said she chose Acadia because of its “small school feel, and its solid academic foundation I believe will help me best succeed when I graduate.”

She feels it is “the best combination of academics and volleyball,” and the best place for her to develop as an athlete.

Evans, a libero, played for the Lord Selkirk Royals as well as the Shock Volleyball Club in Winnipeg. The provincial Athlete of the Year in 2009, 2010 and 2014, she was named one of the top-10 female volleyball players in Manitoba in 2013-2014.

Evans said she was also impressed on her recruiting trip to Acadia.

“I’m looking forward to the countless learning opportunities Acadia has to offer, and excited to see how far I can push myself academically.”

Franklin, a five-foot-11 outside hitter, will study nutrition and dietetics at Acadia. While attending Wellington Secondary School, she won back-to-back team MVP awards in 2013 and 2014, and was her school’s female athlete of the year in 2012.

A multi-sport athlete, she also excelled at basketball in high school, and was her basketball team’s MVP in 2012. She played beach volleyball the past two years, finishing second at Tier 2 nationals in 2012 and second at Tier 2 provincials in 2013.

 “Acadia stood out to me because it was a smaller school that offered CIS sports,” Franklin said of her choice.

Coach Wood is thrilled with all four committed recruits. She describes Evans as “an aggressive player who has the ability to take control of serve receive, play defense and out of system high ball management. She is a well rounded athlete who excels both on the court and in the classroom.”

Wood feels that as both an indoor and beach volleyball player, Franklin brings “versatility and an ability to read and react on defense.” Her vertical strength and fluid arm swing “allows her to have a great deal of success on offense.”

Frasca, Wood says, “has a very high level of tactical awareness and technical skill. Having competed in some of the top categories in Italy, her competitive experience will be an immediate asset.” Standing at six-foot-three , “we are looking for (Frasca) to lead our team in blocking and use her physical strength to end rallies.”

Last but not least, Kalajdzic, as a transfer student with Canadian Interuniversity Sport experience, “will bring a mature and dedicated outlook to our program. She takes initiative and is committed to all training aspects that will enable her to be successful at the next level.”

Organizations: University of Calgary, Tier 2, Shock Volleyball Club Wellington Secondary School

Geographic location: Acadia, Italy, Yarmouth Calgary Nanaimo Rome Nova Scotia Alberta Winnipeg Manitoba

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