NU Volleyball-Tracy Stalls Signs With Nebraska

Nebraska volleyball coach John Cook announced Wednesday that Tracy Stalls, a 6-3 middle blocker from Arvada, Colo., has signed a national letter-of-intent to play for the Huskers beginning in 2004.

One of the top young talents in the nation, Stalls graduated from Lakewood (Colo.) High School in 2002 but opted to delay her collegiate career and join the USA Volleyball National Team Developmental Program. Stalls has spent the past two years competing for a spot on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team. She will have four years of eligibility at Nebraska.

"We're ecstatic that Tracy wants to be a Husker," Cook said. "We have never recruited a player who is more driven and focused than Tracy. She brings a tremendous work ethic and a competitive desire to help Nebraska win a national championship. Tracy was a pioneer, in a way, by choosing to spend two years in the USA program before attending college. She has blazed a trail and given high school players another opportunity to think about."

Since entering the National Developmental Program in May of 2002, Stalls has been on the U.S. National Team roster for several competitions, including the 2003 Centennial Cup in Mexicali, Mexico, the 2003 Pan-American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and the 2003 Yeltsin Cup in Russia. During the fall of 2002, Stalls spent two and a half months training with the Nagasaki International University Volleyball Team in Sasebo City, Japan.

Before joining the National Developmental Program, Stalls competed on the USA Youth National Team at the 2000 NORCECA Zonal Championship. She was also a member of the USA Junior National Team and competed at the 2001 World Championships and the 2002 NORCECA.

In high school, Stalls played club volleyball for the Front Range Volleyball Club. She served as a co-captain in 2001 and 2002 and led the team to a first-place finish in the 18 Open division at the 2002 USA Junior Olympic Volleyball Championships, where she earned All-America honors.

An excellent student-athlete, Stalls graduated from Lakewood as the valedictorian of her class. Stalls took college courses at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs while training with the National Developmental Program.

"Heading into the fall, we will put her at middle blocker, but Tracy is so versatile that she could also play on the outside," Cook said. "Tracy's athleticism will allow us some flexibility with our lineup."

Stalls joins two players that signed in November for the 2004 season, 6-1 middle blocker Meghan Smith from Sidney, Neb., and 6-5 right side hitter Sarah Pavan from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

"I am looking forward to experiencing and improving my skills in Nebraska's volleyball and academic programs," Stalls said. "I am especially drawn to the people based on the incredibly kind encounters I experienced on my visit to Lincoln. I feel NU is a place where I can easily and comfortably learn more about myself – who I am, who I want to become, and what kind of people I want to surround myself with. I am thrilled with the potential for great success and growth in all of these areas."

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