COLLEGE STATION -- Darla Donaldson, a 6-3 junior middle blocker, is transferring to Texas A&M from Cal State Northridge and will be eligible to compete when the Aggie volleyball team opens the 2007 season on Aug. 24, A&M coach Laurie Corbelli announced.
“Darla is going to be a huge addition to our group,” Corbelli said. “Most importantly, she brings a high level of experience to our lineup right away. She also brings something that we have been lacking, and that is some size. She is 6-3 and has a nice vertical, and she is known as a great blocker.
“We were really excited to be able to get a player with those kinds of qualities to come to the program right away. In addition to her experience and maturity, her ability and drive to win will likely boost our program immediately.”
Donaldson (Murrieta, Calif./Chaparral High School) was a first-team All-Big West selection last season after leading the Matadors and ranking in the top 10 in the league in kills per game (3.14), hitting percentage (.302) and blocks per game (1.23). She started every match and appeared in every game as Northridge went 16-12 overall and 7-7 in the Big West Conference to finish fourth behind Cal Poly, Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara, who all advanced to the NCAA tournament.
“Darla has played against teams that are very strong year-in and year-out,” Corbelli said. “It is nice to know she has seen the types of things she will see in the Big 12. It won’t be brand new to her. In that regard, her experience with that kind of volleyball will be a really big help for our team.”
Donaldson was tabbed a starter in her freshman year at Northridge and appeared in 24 of 27 matches. She posted double figures in kills in a team-leading 14 matches. In addition, Donaldson led the Matadors with 2.91 kills per game while hitting a team-high .236 and accounting for a team-leading 3.63 points per game.
Donaldson was a three-year letterwinnner at Chaparral High School in Temecula, Calif., and helped lead the Pumas to back-to-back Southwestern League titles as well as the CIF title in 2003. The honor student also competed for Saddleback Volleyball Club.
Corbelli returns five starters -- including three who were freshmen – from last year’s team that went 12-16. The only starter lost was three-year starting middle blocker and 2006 All-Big 12 first-team member Christi Hahn, who completed her eligibility.