Kirsten Bladek had a problem.
Three weeks into her senior season on the Monarch High School volleyball team in Colorado, the 5-feet, 10-inch setter found herself warming the bench. Her dream of an athletic scholarship seemed dead — especially since her family couldn’t afford the $1,000 or so that many parents pay these days to hire a private athletic-recruiting counselor.
But then in September, Ms. Bladek spent $39.99 to post her athletic résumé and pictures of her playing on the Web site beRecruited.com. The shots, combined with videos posted later, highlighted her ability to set the ball from in front of her forehead, with arms thrust out like Superman in flight. That display, combined with some telephone campaigning by Kirsten and her mother, got college coaches to start paying attention.