Rottman among new UCSB volleyball recruits

UC Santa Barbara will add four standouts to its roster for the 2015 season. With her second recruiting class as the Gauchos’ head coach, Nicole Lantagne Welch will bring an all-state pin hitter, an MVP-caliber setter, and a pair of All-Americans to the team.

“We are extremely excited about our 2015 recruiting class,” Lantagne Welch said. “This is the first class that we had a full year to go through the recruiting process with and we feel that it shows in the results. We’ve addressed important needs and added great depth to strengthen our program. Annie, Devin, Lexi and Lindsey are great students and volleyball players, and they are just as thrilled about becoming Gauchos as we are to have them in our program.”

Annie Hasselmann of

Annie Hasselmann of La Jolla Country Day

At setter, UCSB will be adding the career assists leader in CIF San Diego Section history in Annie Hasselmann. With her record-setting 3,142 assists, Hasselmann guided La Jolla Country Day (San Diego, Calif.) to a pair of state titles (2011, 2013) and is coming off an impressive senior campaign. In 2014, she was named All-Coastal League for the third consecutive year, First Team San Diego Section CIF, Prep Volleyball Senior Ace, and a Prep Volleyball Special Mention All-American. The 6-0 setter was also recognized as the 98th ranked player in PrepVolleyball.com’s Senior Aces Top 100 list.

Her impact went beyond the assist column, as she owned a career .426 hitting percentage in averaging 1.3 kills per set with the Torreys. At the service line, she dealt 190 career aces, while serving at an 89.3 percent clip. With her tall stature and long arms, she was busy at the net in totaling 194 career blocks (1.5 per set), including 53 as a senior, which was the second-most on the team.

Hasselmann will bring a championship pedigree to the Gauchos in having competed in state and national championship matches. In the 2013 CIF State Championship match, she was dominant in a 3-0 sweep of Branson with 33 assists, nine kills, and a solo block. At the club level, she helped Wave 18-1 (Del Mar, Calif.) finish in the nation in the Open Division championships.

“Annie comes to us with great setting experience, size to block and the ability to attack well with her left hand on two,” Lantagne Welch said. “She brings great energy and a competitive drive to UCSB along with a personality that makes those around her want to play harder.”

Devin Joos of

Devin Joos of Menlo-Atherton High School

The Gauchos will also be adding a prolific pin hitter in Devin Joos from Menlo-Atherton HS (Atherton, Calif.). A team captain her senior year, Joos led the Bears to a CIF Div. I Championship, a perfect 14-0 league record and an appearance in the state semifinals. At the end of the season, her school finished 11th in California and 47th in the nation. Individually, she has quite the hardware collection going, which includes being named the San Mateo Female Player of the Year and First Team All-State by Max Preps.

The 5-11 outside hitter has swung for as many as 39 kills in a match, and has had some of her best performances in the postseason. In the 2013 CIF Championship match, Joos led the Bears with 18 kills off her .350 hitting percentage while also picked up 10 digs. In her team’s following match in the state semifinals, Joos led all players with 23 kills and 27 digs, while also recording four solo blocks.

“Devin is a six rotation outside hitter that has very solid all around skills,” Lantagne Welch said. “She is athletic and dynamic as an attacker but can also pass well and play defense. All she knows is how to win and has had success at every level of her volleyball career. She will bring that same winning attitude with her to the team.”

The Gauchos did not need to look far to find local setter/defensive specialist Alexis Rottman.

Lexi Rottman of Santa Barbara High

Lexi Rottman of Santa Barbara High

Currently attending Santa Barbara HS, Rottman played under head coach John Gannon for four seasons and was named the MVP of the Channel League in 2013. She ended her prep career winning her second consecutive league title and was selected as the Women’s Volleyball Athlete of the Year and All-City.

At the club level, the 5-6 setter competed with the Santa Barbara Volleyball Club and went to junior nationals twice. With her 16s team, she helped them finish fifth in nationals and was voted to the all-tournament team.

Rottman was also a member of Santa Barbara High’s first ever sand volleyball team.

“Lexi brings depth to our setting position and strengthens the back court,” Lantagne Welch said. “She always works as hard as possible on the court, and does whatever is asked of her. Having been around volleyball her entire life, she is a great defender and really reads the game well. We love the fact that Lexi is a local product, representing the Santa Barbara community as well.”

Lindsey Ruddins of Aliso Niguel High School

Lindsey Ruddins of Aliso Niguel High School

With multiple All-America accolades, 6-2 outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins will bring a strong attacking game to the Gauchos. Ruddins played her prep career at Aliso Niguel HS (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) where she set the career records for kills (1034) and aces (115). She is coming off her senior season when she led all of Orange County with 474 kills and led the Wolverines to their first ever CIF Southern Section Div. IA Championship and second consecutive Sea View League title. At the end of the season, MaxPreps ranked her team No. 22 in the nation.

ANHS finished with a 29-2 record in Ruddins’ senior campaign, as she registered a .473 kill percentage, 153 digs, 53 total blocks, and 33 aces along with her county-leading kills total. Those figures helped her earn the titles of All-CIF SS Div. IA Player of the Year, Orange County Register’s All-County Player of the Year, League MVP, Second Team AVCA Under Armour All-American, and Honorable Mention Volleyball Magazine All-American.

In addition to playing the past five seasons with the Laguna Beach Volleyball Club, Ruddins also played eight years of soccer.

To cap off her prep career, Ruddins was listed in both the Volleyball Magazine’s Fab 50 and PrepVolleyball.com’s Senior Aces lists. The Fab 50 is voted on by an elite panel of college coaches, which takes into account club and high school careers of Div. I bound women’s volleyball athletes. Ruddins’ strong offensive play combined with her impressive passing skills landed her the No. 15 spot on the Senior Aces Top 100.

“Lindsey is an impact outside hitter,” Lantagne Welch said. “She is a point scorer for every team which she has been a part of and can be that go to attacker. She attacks at a high point, puts up a big block and has developed her back row skills that make her the type of player that you just don’t want to come off the court.”

The recruiting class will join a UCSB team that returns All-Big West pin hitters Ali Barbeau and Chanel Hoffman, as well as all-conference outside hitter/libero Ali Spindt. The Gauchos went 13-14 in 2014 with a conference record of 8-8.

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