Immediate Release: July 21, 2010
VESTAL, N.Y. -- The Binghamton University volleyball program has signed three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the upcoming 2010 season. Grace Vickers (Pleasanton, Ca./Amadore Valley) and Xiomara "Z" Ortiz (South Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) will join the team as freshmen while Iva Partaleva (Kyustendil, Bulgaria/Seminole State College (Ok.) comes in as a sophomore.
Vickers is a four-year starting middle blocker and two-time captain at Amadore Valley. She is a four-time All-East Bay Athletic League honoree and earned her team's MVP award for the 2009 season. Her team was a two-time East Bay Athletic League Champion as well as North Coast Section Champion and California State semi-finalist. Vickers was also a two-time captain for her Northern California club volleyball team, where she was named Best Offensive Player during the 2009 season. Vickers is a four-time North Coast Section Scholar Athlete graduating with a 3.52 GPA.
"Grace is a strong hitter with physical qualities that we like," said 12th-year head coach Glenn Kiriyama. "We expect her to be fighting for playing time in the middle where she'll be a force for us in the future."
Ortiz, will be a defensive specialist for the Bearcats. Her Ward Melville team was the 2009 Suffolk County and Long Island Class AA Champions. Ortiz also helped her team to a semi-final appearance in the 2009 New York State tournament. Ortiz earned All-County honors and was named to the All-County Tournament team. Her Long Island 18-1 National club team won the Northeast Tournament Series and Long Island Big Apple tournaments. Academically, Oritz received an athletic scholar award three consecutive years from 2008-2010.
"Z has good club experience and will be playing in the Empire State Games this week," Kiriyama said. "She is a very quick defender and is extremely aggressive in the back row. We look for her to fight for a spot in the back row and possibly compete for the libero position."
Iva Partaleva played her freshmen year at Seminole State College in Oklahoma where her team went 22-17 and advanced to the NJCAA National Tournament. Partaleva helped the Trojans to a Bi-State Conference title with a 7-1 record, en route to winning the NJCAA Region II Tournament. Partaleva, an outside hitter, tallied 382 kills, 285 digs and 44 blocks during the 2009 season, including 19 games where she recorded double-digit kills.
"Iva has a lot of playing experience coming from Seminole State College," Kiriyama said. "She is a good hitter from both the right and left side. She could have an immediate impact so we need to find a place for her on the court."
The Bearcats returns five starters, including three all-conference selections from a team that won its second America East championship in five years. Binghamton opens its 2010 season against Loyola (Md.) at the Rocket Valley Classic, hosted by the Toledo on Friday, August 27.
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