Dec. 9, 2011
By Leah Sakdol
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo.—The Colorado State volleyball team recently added two more players to its 2012 roster, after Jaime Colaizzi and Anastassia Koutchouk each joined the Rams. Both will enroll in the fall.
Colaizzi won’t have to travel far to wear a Ram uniform. She currently is a senior libero at Windsor High School in Windsor, Colo., just six miles down I-25 from Fort Collins. Colaizzi’s high school team was the conference, district and regional champion during the 2011 season, and finished the year in the state semifinals. As an individual, she was the Tri-Valley Athlete of the Year and was named first-team all-conference, first-team all-state, and academic all-state. And when the high school season ends, Colaizzi stays dedicated to volleyball by playing with the NORCO club volleyball program.
Colaizzi was born in Littleton, Colo. Her parents are Donna McWhorter and John Colaizzi. At Windsor High School, she is the senior class vice president, in addition to being involved with the student council community outreach team. At CSU, she hopes to study something relating to the medical field.
Head Coach Tom Hilbert plans to have Colaizzi competing for a regular spot in the rotation as soon as she’s on campus.
“Jaime is fast,” he said. “She sees the game really well. She’s a good ball-handler. I see her immediately stepping into our program and competing for a defensive specialist spot.”
Koutchouk, who goes by Nastia, is an outside hitter and middle blocker. Originally born in Minsk, Belarus, Koutchouk grew up in Calais, France, and attends high school at Lycée Saint Pierre in Calais.
Her high school team won the2011 national championship in the second division, and two years ago she assisted her team to the European Cup. Just 16 years old, Koutchouk competed with the French young national team over the summer. During the offseason, she also plays for the club team Stella ES Calais.
Over the years, Koutchouk has received various accolades, including “the youngest player” and “the better hope,” given annually to the player most likely to perform at a higher level. Koutchouk used to swim and play judo, but gave up both activities to fully devote herself to volleyball.
Her parents are Lilia Narouchevitch and David Dangleant. It is easy to see where Koutchouk got her athletic ability, as her mother played with the Belarus national team for many years and was once named “best blocker” at the European championship. Koutchouk is excited to enroll at CSU where she can attend school and play volleyball, something that is not possible in France. She first heard about CSU through former Ram volleyball player Katherine Whitney.
“Nastia is a physical player and has a really good volleyball background,” Hilbert said. “She’s played a lot of good volleyball with people her age and older. She’s young for her grade. With any foreign athlete, your biggest concerns are about her adjusting to a different culture. In terms of her as a volleyball player, though, I don’t worry about her.”
Colaizzi and Koutchouk join Acacia Andrews and Dri Culbert, who both also joined with the Rams last month.