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2011 Utah Volleyball Preview: Middle Blockers

Danielle Killpack leads an experienced and talented trio of Ute middle blockers into the 2011 season.

Danielle Killpack leads an experienced and talented trio of Ute middle blockers into the 2011 season.

Aug. 17, 2011

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With the first serve of the 2011 Utah volleyball campaign nine days away, utahutes.com preps fans for the beginning of the season with a breakdown of the Ute roster as well as a look at the upcoming schedule for Utah's Pac-12 debut. This is the third in a five-part series about the student-athletes Utah has at each position heading into the season as well as the competition they will face.

Monday, Aug. 15: Right-side Hitters
Tuesday, Aug. 16: Outside Hitters
Wednesday, Aug. 17: Middle Blockers
Thursday, Aug. 18: Setter/Liberos
Friday, Aug. 19: Schedule

Talent and Experience Highlight Utah's Middle Blockers in 2011:

Senior Danielle Killpack finished last season fourth in the MWC with 1.27 blocks per set after leading the MWC with 1.27 blocks per set in 2009.

"We'll get strong senior leadership out of [Killpack]," Launiere said. "She's ready to take on that position as captain. We're looking forward to her stepping up."

Erin Redd, a sophomore from Spanish Fork, Utah, finished second in the MWC with a .354 hitting percentage, which tied for fourth in the school's single-season record book. She finished third on the team with 2.40 kills per set and recorded at least 10 kills in 13 MWC matches.



"We want to try to get the ball to [Redd] more this year and increase her attempts," Launiere said. "She proved by the end of last season that she is a big-time player for us."

Freshman Bailey Bateman will also provide stability to the Utah middles. Bateman is a 6-0 product from West Hooper, Utah and was selected as PrepVolleyball.com's Top 100.

"Bailey is a great competitor and an aggressive athlete, who just loves to play volleyball," Launiere said. "She is going to excel as an NCAA Division I level athlete in this environment because of those qualities. She should adjust to the DI level well because of her athleticism."

Middle Blocker Player Notes:

Bailey Bateman
Fr. • MB • 6-0 • West Hooper, Utah • West Hooper H.S.
A very dynamic athlete ... her athleticism, jumping ability and quickness make her an exciting player ... it will be exciting to watch her develop in Utah's system ... also has a dynamic personality ... very competitive ... will make the jump to the NCAA Division I level pretty easily because of these qualities.

Danielle Killpack
Sr. • MB • 6-3 • Idaho Falls, Idaho • Idaho Falls H.S.
A fifth-year senior entering her third season as a starter ... was one of the top blockers in the Mountain West Conference the last two years ... her experience will be counted on by the whole team, especially in blocking ... established herself as a leader and captain last spring.

Erin Redd
So. • MB • 6-3 • Spanish Fork, Utah • Spanish Fork H.S.
Enjoyed a great freshman year ... physically and athletically gifted ... may be more prepared to play the game in the Pac-12 than anyone on the team, in terms of playing high above the net and being physical ... worked hard this spring on hitting different sets and having more sets available to her so she can get more involved in the offense ... made astonishing improvement over the course of last season ... has the ability to process information and make changes very quickly ... a very cerebral player.

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