* Photo courtesy of Daily Pilot newspaper (3/6/12).
EUGENE – The University of Oregon volleyball team completed one of its strongest signee classes ever with the addition of libero/defensive specialist Tatum Norton to its freshman class for the 2012 fall season.
The 5-6 native of Costa Mesa, Calif., has played for the nationally-respected Orange County Volleyball Club the past six seasons, and was an All-CIF First-Team pick last fall for Newport Harbor High School.
“Tatum has outstanding instincts, and expects to make an impact for us right away,” Oregon head coach Jim Moore. “She comes from a talented club team that has produced many great collegiate players, and her coach – Charlie Brande - is one of the best defensive minds in the sport.”
Norton’s addition boosts a freshman class that already includes Italian product and middle blocker Clelia DeFelice, prep All-America outside hitter Martenne Bettendorf, Senior Ace middle blocker Canace Finley, and Senior Ace 150 outside hitter Madison Magee.
Information about the latter four newcomers follows.
Name, Position, Height, Hand, Hometown, High School (Club)
- Martenne Bettendorf, Outside Hitter, 6-2, RH, Portland, Ore., Central Catholic H.S. (Oregon NW Juniors)
- Clelia DeFelice, Middle Blocker, 6-2, Milan , Italy (Yamamay Busto Arsizio)
- Canace Finley, Middle Blocker, 6-2, RH, Fort Collins, Colo., Poudre H.S. (NORCO Juniors)
- Madison Magee, Outside Hitter, 6-1, RH, Sammamish, Wash., Skyline HS, (Washington VB Academy)
This fall, the Ducks look ahead to one of their most talented teams after it sported no seniors on last year’s squad (21-10, Pac-12: 14-8) that made its fifth postseason trip in six years. Oregon also placed sixth in the Pac-12 – its third, league upper-division finish under then-seventh-year head coach Jim Moore (and sixth overall since the creation of the Pac-12 in 1986).
UO capped the '11 regular season ranked No. 13 nationally - its 73rd top 25 ranking since 2007 and highest of the season. The Ducks beat four top-five teams (and another top-seven squad) during the slate, including its first wins vs. top-ranked opponents.
Its 3-1 season-opening win at four-time defending national champion Penn State ended the Nittany Lions' NCAA record 94-match home win streak. In November, its 0-2 comeback vs. UCLA came a month before the Bruins won the national title.
Oregon welcomes back a pair of All-Pac-12 picks in All-American and senior outside hitter Alaina Bergsma and junior setter Lauren Plum. Oregon returns a host of other starters in All-Pac-12 Freshman Team choice and outside hitter Liz Brenner, senior outside hitter Katherine Fischer, senior libero Haley Jacob and defensive specialist Kellie Kawasaki and junior middle blocker Ariana Williams.
Duck volleyball fans will get their first peak at this year’s team at the Green-Yellow Exhibition, Saturday, August 11. The team’s first match of the season follows two weeks later at the Sports Import Classic in Columbus, Ohio on Friday, August 24.
Oregon’s first home match is vs. UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday, September 5, and its Pac-12 opener is at home vs. Oregon State on Wednesday, September 19.