PULLMAN, Wash. - Ashley Vander Tuig, a 6-2 middle blocker from Tulare, Calif., and Arlicia Ortiz, a 5-4 defensive specialist from Spanaway, Wash., will join the Washington State University volleyball team for the Fall 2014 season, Head Coach Jen Greeny announced Thursday.
Vander Tuig and Ortiz join the previously announced recruiting class that includes Haylee Mathis, a 5-11 setter from Strasburg, Ill., and Casey Schoenlein, a 6-5 outside hitter from Issaquah, Wash. Mathis graduated from high school early and began her WSU classes in January, practicing and playing with the Cougar volleyball team this spring.
“This 2014 group is a solid second recruiting class to our No. 14 in the nation 2013 recruiting class, which we felt was our first real class,” Greeny said. “Next year will mark the fourth time in our four years that the majority of our team will be underclassmen. We are excited about what these four quality people will add to our 13 returners next year and the continued ascent of this program.”
Ashley Vander Tuig is a 6-2 outside hitter from Tulare, Calif., who is coming to WSU as a redshirt sophomore after transferring from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif. Her freshman season, Vander Tuig started in all 31 matches for APU and tallied 131 blocks, second-highest in the Pacific West Conference which earned her third-team all-conference honors. Her 2013 season was shortened by injury and she redshirted. A graduate of Central Valley Christian High School in Visalia, Calif., Vander Tuig was a four-sport athlete competing in volleyball, basketball, swimming and track and field. She earned All-Central Sequoia League first team and all-county honors in volleyball three consecutive years. She was tabbed the Visalia Times Delta and Fresno Bee Player of the Year as well as the CSL most valuable player as a senior after leading her team to a 31-6 overall record, 12-0 in league play. Vander Tuig was also recognized as the National Christian Schools Athletic Association as Player of the Year. She plans to major in business at WSU.
Why WSU? “I chose WSU because growing up on a farm, the city of Pullman felt like home. Where the volleyball program is at and is headed is exciting and I have heard great things about the Greenys. After visiting WSU, it felt like the perfect place.”
Head Coach Jen Greeny said, “We are thrilled that Ashley will be a part of our program here at Washington State! We recruited Ashley out of high school and were thankful she came calling on us when she wanted to transfer from her previous institution. We think Ashley can have a big impact on our middle position and has experience coming into this fall. Ashley is a fantastic student-athlete and really fits with our core values. We are so glad she chose WSU!”
Arlicia Ortiz is a 5-4 senior defensive specialist and a three-year letterwinner at Spanaway Lake High School in Spanaway, Wash. Ortiz found success early in her volleyball career. As a ninth-grader, her Puget Sound Volleyball club team won the U14 Open Pacific Northwest Qualifier and she was selected to the Puget Sound High Performance traveling team. The next year her club team won the U15 Club Pacific Northwest Qualifier and again made the Puget Sound High Performance travel team. As a junior, Ortiz competed on the U17 Puget Sound Volleyball club coached by former WSU All-America setter Stephanie Papke. That team won the National Patriot’s Division National Championship. Additionally, in her third year on the Puget Sound High Performance travel team, the squad placed third at the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Ortiz is a two-time South Puget Sound League volleyball honorable mention selection. In addition to volleyball she finished seventh in the 2013 state 4A Track Championships in the 100m dash and was named the team’s MPV. She is a three-year member of the National Honor Society and was accorded the WSU SHAPING Certificate of Excellence. Ortiz is currently the ASB Vice President at Spanaway Lake. The Sentinels volleyball team played in the 2013 state 4A Championship tournament for the first time in 10 years, coincidently, taking on her future Cougar teammate Casey Schoenlein and the Newport High team in the first round.
Why WSU? “First, WSU was in my head as my top choice because it was so close to home, without being too close, and it had my major options of Sports Science and Sport Management. Second, when I went on my tour it just felt so right. I loved the atmosphere. It's such a beautiful campus with such nice people. Everyone in the program is so welcoming and comforting, and friendly people are my favorite people! My first choice had everything I loved, so of course WSU. Go Cougs!”
Head Coach Jen Greeny said, “Arlicia is a winner in every sense of the word. She possesses a can do spirit which is infectious to others. When we saw Arlicia at JO’s this past summer, we immediately said we want this kid on our side. She came highly recommended by Stephanie Papke, my former teammate and All-American setter here at WSU. Arlicia came to our camp and was so coachable and fun to be around. She has excellent agility and a wonderful ability to read the game. Arlicia fits very well into the type of student-athlete we want to recruit. We are excited she wants to be a part of what we are building here at Washington State.”