April 24, 2012

Bletso Earns Spot in Professional Volleyball League

SAINT LEO, Fla. – Former Saint Leo volleyball player Danielle Bletso has earned a coveted spot in the Professional Volleyball League (PVL) as a member of the Team Florida WAVE it was announced by the league earlier this week.

Just one of three NCAA Division II student-athletes, Bletso earned American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Region honors multiple times during her four-year Saint Leo career.  Also named as a member of the All-Conference First Team, the Boardman, Ohio native was a mainstay in the middle for the Lions during the entire course of her four-year career.  In 2011, she led the Lions with a .352 average and 341 kills, ranking her in the top-3 in the tough SSC and 29th in the nation.  On the defensive side, she totaled 102 blocks with 36 coming on the solo side.

Concluding her four years playing for Saint Leo, the 6'2" middle blocker finished fourth all-time in kills (1,052) and blocking (424).  The 2008 South Region and SSC Freshman of the Year capped her time in the Green and Gold when she averaged 3.75 kills and a .500 attack percentage as she earned conference Player of the Week honors for the fifth time in her career.

She joins fellow SSC All-Conference team member Sarah Mendoza, a 2011 graduate of Rollins College and Flagler's Rebecca Royal as the only Division II representatives on the 15-person team.  The remainder of the squad is littered with high-quality Division I talent, including players from the University of Florida, Kentucky and Baylor.

Coach by 28-year veteran Nick Cheronis, the Team Florida WAVE is part of the new Premier Volleyball League, a women's professional league sanctioned by USA Volleyball.  This is a grassroots based league that is unique and has unlimited potential as teams come online across the United States.  Since USA Volleyball has 40 regions there could be as many as 40 professional volleyball teams in the future.

In 2012 the PVL will offer a single league championship event at the USA Open National Championships in Salt Lake City, UT.  Starting in 2013, the PVL will offer tournament play at various USAV Jr. National Qualifiers (JNQ's) in addition to the USA Open National Championships.  The league championships will take place in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls' Jr. National Championship event that is held in various locations throughout the USA.

No.

Name

City

Hgt.

Pos.

College

1

Alicia Johnson

Orlando

5'10"

S

Southern Illinois

7

Valerie Martinez

Miami Beach

5'9"

S

University of North Florida

15

Rebecca Royal

St. Augustine

6'2"

S

Flagler College

12

Nirelle Hampton

Gainesville

5'10"

S

Texas Christian Univ.

23

Janice Rivera

Orlando

5'3"

LIB

Univ of South Florida

21

Danielle Bletso

Saint Leo

6'2"

MB

Saint Leo University

8

Danielle Priest

Spring Hill

6'1"

MB

Hillsborough CC

34

Kisya Putney

Deltona

6'2"

MB

University of Florida

6

Tanya Jarvis

Orlando

5'9"

OH

University of Central Florida

11

Marcela Oliveira

Temple Terrace

5'11"

OH

University of South Florida

51

Sarah Mendoza

Winter Park

5'11"

OH

Rollins

22

Katie Sanders

Fort Myers

6'1"

OH

Baylor

14

Sarah Sykes

Satellite Beach

5'9"

OH

University of Kentucky

10

Benavia Jenkins

Fort Pierce

6'0"

OPP

University of Florida

13

Emily Kohler

Tallahassee

5'11"

OPP

University of North Florida