Lashbrook headed to Cal State Monterey |

Lashbrook headed to Cal State Monterey

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunTruckee senior Melanie Lashbrook goes for a kill during the 2007 season. Lashbrook signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at Cal State Monterey.

One glimpse of Melanie Lashbrook in action and Cal State Monterey volleyball coach Jody Garry was sold.

Further scouting of the Truckee High senior, who at 5-foot-10 with a 27-inch vertical leap has the physical tools and competitive edge to take over any given match, confirmed that first impression.

Now, after signing a letter of intent last month, the 17-year-old is one of seven incoming freshmen expected by the coach to bolster the Otters’ roster.

“We are very excited about Melanie and believe she is our ‘diamond in the rough’ that not many coaches know about,” said Garry, who first saw Lashbrook on film and has since watched her compete on her Capital City club volleyball team ” Capital City 17 Black.

Lashbrook also received offers from a handful of East Coast colleges, but she wanted to stay in California. She thinks the Division II college ” well within reasonable driving distance from her hometown ” will be a perfect fit.

“I really liked it,” Lashbrook said of her visit to the Monterey campus. “It’s a small school, right on the beach. And the team is just the level I want to play on.”

She’s already chosen a major, kinesiology, and will move to Monterey in early August, after her club volleyball season wraps up in early July. She also plans to attend Cal State Monterey volleyball camps over the summer.

This past season playing for the state runner-up Wolverines, the third-year varsity starter earned first team All-State and All-League honors at middle blocker. Lashbrook recorded 28 blocks, which was second most on the team, and 100 kills, which was third best. She also made first team All-League as a junior and second team All-State.

“Melanie is a terrific volleyball player,” said Truckee head coach Nicole Annaloro, who recently watched her former standout excel in the Far Western Volleyball Tournament in Reno. “She’s a leader on the court. She has intensity that she wants her teammates to match. She lifts the level of play.”

In the Far Western Tournament, Lashbrook’s Capital City 17 Black team finished 22nd in the 17 Open Division. The team includes fellow Truckee standout Nikki Schneider as well as Kayla Baumgardner of North Tahoe and Kiara Ross and Kayla Lommori of Yerington.

Lashbrook credits playing both club and high school volleyball for her progression in the sport. Between the two, she plays almost every month of the year.

“It’s definitely a plus,” she said. “You pretty much have to play volleyball year-round to play in college, because there’s so many girls,” to compete against.

Lashbrook also has benefited “tremendously” from her work in the Truckee weight room. Her freshman year, she improved her vertical leap by 9 inches.

“She’s been in the weight room I believe every quarter since her freshman year, and I think that’s helped her vertical leap,” said Truckee athletic director Bob Shaffer, also Lashbrook’s track and field coach. “She has worked very hard to become a good athlete.”

And when it comes to academics, Lashbrook is the ideal student-athlete, Shaffer said, despite her busy schedule that has included basketball for three years and track all four years.

“She’s one of our better (student-athletes),” Shaffer said of Lashbrook, who has a 3.7 grade point average. “Melanie’s always done very well in the classroom. She has great work ethic and time management skills. She’s all over the place and still manages to do well.”

Lashbrook said she’ll miss her Truckee teammates most. And they’ll certainly miss her presence, Annaloro said.

“She’s terrific,” the coach said. “She’s come a long way in the two years I’ve known her as far as her maturity level. She’s a great girl.”

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