Former Conley Volleyball Star One Of Four New Pirates

GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina head volleyball coach Julie Torbett announced the signing of Lauren Bewick, Aileen Hnatiuk, Alex Johnson and Natalie Montini Friday. The signing class includes two freshmen and a pair of transfer students who have all started classes at ECU this summer and will hit the court in the fall.

Bewick, Hnatiuk, Johnson and Montini complete the signing class that also includes sophomore outside hitter Sydney Darden, freshman libero Alex Jessett and freshman outside hitter Ashton Mares who signed with the Pirates earlier this year. Hnatiuk and Montini are incoming freshman, while Bewick is a transfer from Campbell and Johnson comes to Greenville after spending two years at the College of Southern Idaho.

Lauren Bewick, Defensive Specialist, 5-7, Junior, Winterville, N.C., D.H. Conley (Campbell)
Bewick is a product of D.H. Conley High School and is returning to her hometown of Greenville, N.C., after spending the last two years as a defensive specialist at Campbell. As a sophomore, Bewick played in all 31 matches and finished the year with 230 digs to average 1.85 per set. She owns a career-best 23 digs after eclipsing the 20-dig plateau against Georgetown in 2013. In her freshman season with the Camels, Bewick saw action in 30 matches and tallied the second-highest dig total on the squad with 256. While at D.H. Conley, Bewick was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 and 2011. She finished her prep career with a selection to the 2011 All-Conference First Team.

Coach Torbett on Bewick:
“Lauren is a local player who chose to come back to Greenville after two seasons at Campbell University. She will compete for the libero position or see time in the back row. She is a great addition to the team.”

Aileen Hnatiuk, Outside Hitter, 5-11, Freshman, Weeki Wachee, Fla., Bishop McLaughlin Catholic HS
Hnatiuk comes to East Carolina from the Sunshine State where she attended Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School (Fla.). She is a 5-foot-11 outside hitter who helped the Hurricanes to an 18-7 record in her senior year. Hnatiuk was named a 3A Regional Semifinalist and to the All-North Suncoast Second Team. She also earned All-Pasco County Honorable Mention and was chosen for the 2013 FACA All-Star Team. She concluded her senior year at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School with 352 kills and 120 blocks.

Coach Torbett on Hnatiuk:
“We are pleased with the development of Aileen. She came to our volleyball camp last year and fell in love with ECU. We need players who want to be here and have the ability to push this program to the next level. I think Aileen will help us do that. She is a very versatile player.”

Alex Johnson, Opposite, 6-4, Junior, Las Vegas, Nev., Centennial HS (College of Southern Idaho)
Johnson transferred to East Carolina from the College of Southern Idaho where she played opposite for two years. In her first year at CSI, she helped the Golden Eagles capture the NJCAA National Championships after posting a 33-1 record. She followed that season with five starts in her sophomore year en route to finishing the year with 35 kills, 11 total blocks and eight digs. Johnson is a Las Vegas, Nev., native who competed at Centennial High School (Nev.) where she led the Bulldogs to three league championships and a third place finish at state during her senior year.

Coach Torbett on Johnson:
“Alex is a great addition to the team. She adds some much needed height at 6-foot-4 and has college level playing experience at one of the best junior colleges in the country, the College of Southern Idaho.”

Natalie Montini, Middle Blocker, 6-0, Freshman, Fletcher, N.C., Reynolds HS
Montini rounds out the 2014 signing class as the freshman middle blocker comes to ECU from Fletcher, N.C. She was a four-year letterwinner at Reynolds High School where she was named the MAC Player of the Year, earned First Team All-WNC honors and was a finalist for the All-WNC Female Athlete of the Year award. Montini also helped the Rockets capture the 2013 MAC Conference Championship.

Coach Torbett on Montini:
“We are so excited that Natalie ended up at ECU. I began recruiting her as soon as I got here. She is the type of athlete that will continue to develop and do great things for our program.”