May 5, 2008

Matadors Add Four Standouts For 2008

May 5, 2008

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge women's volleyball coach Jeff Stork announced that he has signed Samantha Orlandini, Monica McFarland, Tela Burnett and Puneet Pataria to National Letters of Intent to play for the Matadors.

"The four players we have coming in are outstanding volleyball student-athletes," said Stork. "We currently have a roster full of outstanding student-athletes and each year we recruit better and better players. I am happy to say that this year is no exception. Three of our recruits have had great high school careers and one is coming off two very successful junior college seasons. Sam, Monica and Puneet will be great additions to our Matador team."

Orlandini, a 5-9 setter from Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in La Cañada, Calif., is the California state record holder in career assists. She was a two-time First Team All-CIF selection as well as the Pasadena Star News Player of the Year in 2007.

"In addition her great volleyball abilities, Sam has many of the intangibles I like in a setter; court awareness, sense of timing, composure and leadership," said Stork. "I am looking forward to developing those natural skills she already possesses."

McFarland, a 5-7 defensive specialist/outside hitter from Martin Luther King High School in Riverside, Calif., was the 2007 Ivy league MVP as well as First Team All-Area and Second Team All-CIF.

"Monica is extremely quick and very competitive," said Stork. "She has terrific instincts for the game and has been working very hard to hone her skills for the next level. She will make several positions very competitive next season."

Burnett, a 6-0 middle blocker from Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville, Utah, was an Honorable Mention all-conference performer in 2007 and also earned Second Team all-league honors as a senior at Pleasant Grove High School in 2005.

"Tela's strength is at the net and she is an outstanding hitter and a very good blocker," said Stork. "Our team needs strong arms to terminate the ball and I think Tela has that. Also, Tela is transferring from a school which has a similar defensive system as ours, and that will make the transition easier."

Pataria, a 6-1 middle blocker/outside hitter from Mt. Pleasant High School in San Jose, Calif., was the MVP of the Blossom Valley Athletic League after leading the Cardinals to 16 wins in 2007. She was also a First Team all-league selection all four seasons.

"Puneet is still young to the sport of volleyball and her upside is tremendous," said Stork. "She was an outstanding basketball player in high school, who recently started concentrating on volleyball. Most of her experience is in the middle position, but recently she has been training at the outside hitter."

2008-09 CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL SIGNEES

NAME, POS, HEIGHT, HOMETOWN, HIGH SCHOOL Samantha Orlandini, S, 5-9, La Cañada, Calif., Flintridge Sacred Heart Prep Monica McFarland, DS/OH, 5-7, Riverside, Calif., Martin Luther King Tela Burnett, MB, 6-0, Pleasant Grove, Utah, Pleasant Grove Puneet Pataria, MB/OH, 6-1, San Jose, Calif., Mt. Pleasant

- GO MATADORS -