Feb. 5, 1997
Volleyball Signs Four to National Letters-of-Intent
Purdue volleyball coach Joey Vrazel has announced the signing of four
student-athletes to National Letters-of-Intent to attend Purdue in the
fall of 1997.
The quartet consists of Yolonda Cumbess (Houston, Texas, Jesse H.
Jones H.S.); Katie Gibbons (Naperville, Ill., Waubonsie Valley H.S.);
Sarah Wengler (Pacific, Mo., Pacific H.S.); and Jennie Williams
(Marysville, Mich., Marysville H.S.).
"I'm really excited about this class," Vrazel said. "These are four
talented athletes who are physical players. Together with our current
players, they will give us depth at every position for the first time
since I have been here. I expect these four to make major
contributions this year."
Cumbess, a 5-foot-11 middle blocker, was named district Most Valuable
Player as a senior at Jesse H. Jones High School. She was second team
all-district as a junior and played on district championship teams
both her junior and senior seasons. Cumbess plays for the Houston
Juniors volleyball club. She was an apprentice at NASA during the
summer of 1996 and plans on majoring in computer or electrical
"Yolonda just started playing club ball and is a great find for us,"
Vrazel said. "She can jump and grab the basketball rim. She needs some
developing as far as technique is concerned, but her jumping ability,
speed and quickness will help us tremendously at the net."
Gibbons, a 6-foot outside hitter, was named to the all-state team as
a senior at Waubonsie Valley High School. She also was a unanimous
all-conference and all-area selection. Gibbons was a four-year starter
who played in every game of every match over four years. Moreover, she
did not come off the court at all during her sophomore, junior and
senior seasons. Gibbons played for the Sports Performance volleyball
club from 1993-96 and now is a member of the UNO volleyball club on
the 18 Elite Team. An academic all-conference honoree, Gibbons has
been named to the honor roll six of her seven semesters in high
school. She is undecided on her major.
"Katie is a phenomenal athlete and a well-rounded volleyball player,"
Vrazel said. "She is an excellent passer and hits the ball as heavy as
any college player. She is the most talented player we have signed at
Wengler, a 6-foot-4 middle blocker, was named all-conference,
all-district and all-metro during her career at Pacific High School.
She also received the team's Best Offensive Player, Hardest Worker and
Most Improved Player awards. She was a member of the Class 4A state
championship team as a sophomore. Wengler plays for the Bottom Line
volleyball club. She is interested in majoring in secondary education.
"Sarah is new to the game at the club level, but she had a very
successful high school career," Vrazel said. "We will develop her over
the next couple of years, but her height and raw talent should enable
her to help us right away at the net against some of the bigger
hitters we face."
Williams, a 6-foot middle blocker/outside hitter, is currently
inseason, and her Marysville High School team is undefeated and a
favorite to win the state championship. She was an all-state selection
and her team's Most Valuable Player as a junior. Williams plays for
the Blue Water volleyball club. She ranks ninth in her class of 160
with a 3.9 grade-point average and is undecided on her major.
"Jennie comes to us with great experience and a very powerful arm,"
Vrazel said. "She will help us a ton because of her ability to play
both middle blocker and outside hitter and play them well."
1997 PURDUE VOLLEYBALL RECRUITS
Name Pos. Ht. Hometown (High School)
Yolonda Cumbess MB 5-11 Houston, Texas (Jesse H. Jones)
Katie Gibbons OH 6-0 Naperville, Ill. (Waubonsie Valley)
Sarah Wengler MB 6-4 Pacific, Mo. (Pacific)
Jennie Williams MB/OH 6-0 Marysville, Mich. (Marysville)