Nov. 18, 2004
Stanford, Calif. -
Stanford Men's Volleyball signed six recruits to National Letters of Intent for its largest recruiting class in recent history. Cameron Christoffers, John Ekins, Brian Fritzsche, Jarod Keller, Michele Groppi, and Brandon Williams will improve the Cardinal's depth at several positions. The class of 2009 features a wide range of players, all with national club experience.
Christoffers played for Southern California Volleyball Club (the same club as freshman Matt Ceran). Christoffers lettered in basketball as well as volleyball at Esperanza High School in Yorba Linda, California and has the size (6'6") to contribute at the middle blocker position.
Ekins hails from Bullard High School in Clovis, California. During his club season he starred for the national championship Fresno Volleyball Club. Ekins will bring added athleticism and depth to the setter position where All-American setter Kevin Hansen, has started for the past four years.
Fritzsche comes across the country to join the Cardinal after playing for Sports Performance Volleyball Club in Chicago, Illinois. Fritzsche is a southpaw outside hitter from Adlai Stevenson High School in Kill Deer, Indiana, who will give the Cardinal a different look offensively.
Groppi will travel the furthest of the six, joining The Farm from Modena, Italy. "Groppi is a very accomplished setter, having played with one of the top club teams in Italy," explained head Coach Don Shaw. Groppi made the decision to continue his education at Stanford rather than entering Italy's professional volleyball ranks. Groppi's mother played in two Olympic Games for the Peruvian national team, and professionally in Italy.
Williams, a middle blocker and Keller, a libero will spend another four years as teammates, both entering Stanford from nearby Bellarmine Prep in San Jose, California. The duo played together for Bay to Bay Volleyball Club, coached by Keller's brother. Williams played for the USA Youth National team in 2004 and was selected to participate in the USA High Performance Camp in 2003. Keller is a multi-talented athlete who lettered in football, basketball, and volleyball at Bellarmine Prep.
"[Associate Head Coach], John Kosty was integral in evaluating talent, and getting these guys to choose Stanford," said Shaw.