UK Volleyball Adds Pair of Signees
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky volleyball team has added a pair of signees in Nebraska transfer Brooke Bartek and Illinois native Laura Stokowski. The duo joins outside hitters Ann Armes, Blaire Hiler and Sarah Mendoza and middle blocker Lauren Rapp who all signed national letters of intent with the Wildcats earlier this year. Outside hitter and defensive specialist Annmarie Behr rounds out the 2007 recruiting class.
Bartek is a native of Lincoln, Neb., and spent the 2006 season as a member of the national champion team at Nebraska. The 6-2 outside hitter will transfer to UK after serving as NU’s top backup at all three outside hitter positions last season.
“Brooke is an outstanding athlete who will make an immediate impact on this program,” said head coach Craig Skinner. “She has trained at the highest level and knows what it takes for a team to win championships.”
Bartek was one of the nation’s top high school players at Lincoln Northeast. She was rated the No. 13 player nationally by Prepvolleyball.com and was a Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 Recruit. She started all four years at Lincoln Northeast, setting a school record with 337 blocks and ranking second all-time with 1,190 kills for Coach Michelle Leising. Bartek was named the 2005 Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year after totaling 406 kills on .359 hitting with 74 blocks, 33 aces and 290 digs. She led LNE to a 19-11 record and a district finals appearance in 2005. The outside hitter captained the Lincoln Journal Star’s Super-State team in 2005 and garnered first-team all-state accolades from the Journal Star and the Omaha World-Herald in 2004 and 2005.
Bartek played club volleyball for the Nebraska Juniors squad that finished third at the 2005 Junior Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, and she trained with the A2 Junior National Team in 2005. Bartek earned All-America honors at the 2004 Junior Olympics in the 17-and-under category. A standout in the classroom, Bartek was named to the honor roll every semester at Lincoln Northeast and graduated in the top five percent of her class.
Stokowski is a native of Aurora, Illinois, and has been a four-year letterwinner at Waubonsie Valley High School. She was named to the Chicago Sun-Times preseason Top 50 in 2006 and earned numerous honors following her senior season. The two-time team captain was named team MVP, All-Conference, Beacon News All-Area and Naperville Sun Honorable Mention All-Area following her final prep season.
“Laura has an incredible passion for the sport of volleyball which will be contagious within our team,” said Skinner. “She will give us stability at the setter position and will also compete as a defensive specialist.”
Stokowski also excels in the classroom and was named to the All-Academic team in each of the past three seasons. She was named to the Naperville Sun First Team All-City as a junior, and garnered All-Conference honors in 2005 and 2006.
Stokowski plays for Sport Performance club team under coach Steven Bailey. She was a member of the 2004 USA Volleyball Junior Olympic Girls Championships 15U Open All-Tournament Team and the three-time team captain earned All-America honors that year.