Nov. 19, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.--Virginia volleyball head coach Dennis Hohenshelt announced Monday (Nov. 19) that Jasmine Burton, Haley Kole, Meghan McDowell and Alex Thorson have signed National Letters-of-Intent to join the Cavaliers for the 2013 season.
"To say I'm more than pleased with this class would be an understatement," Hohenshelt said. "They are all very good volleyball players coming from good high school program, good clubs and have been trained really well. It's a big class right now and hopefully will get a little bigger, but it was important that we add some depth to our team.
"We are trying to create a competitive atmosphere in the practice gym and I expect all four to be able to come in, jump into the mix and compete for playing time right away. We're happy they all chose to come to UVa to get a great education, play volleyball and be a part of our bright future."
5-10 right-side hitter
West Hills, Calif. - Louisville High School
A 5-10 left-handed right-side hitter from West Hills, Calif., Burton led Louisville High School to its first Mission League Championship in more than two decades and to the 2012 Division IA quarterfinals. Burton, who plays for Sunshine Volleyball Club, was named to the Prepvolleyball.com Senior Aces "Next 150" list.
"Jasmine's always been interesting to us because she's not the biggest kid, but has long arms, is 5-10, is a lefty, hits the ball hard and always just keeps competing, Hohenshelt said. "She gives us a whole new look having a lefty on the team now. I think she's going to come in and do some things in the gym that nobody's doing right now."
6-2 outside hitter
Tallahassee, Fla. - Maclay School
A 6-2 outsider hitter from Tallahassee, Fla., Kole is a two-time Tallahassee Democrat Big Bend Player of the Year and was ranked No. 42 by Prepvolleyball.com. She was a National Junior Player of the Year finalist in 2012, a two-time finalist for Florida Player of the Year and was invited to play in the FACA All-Star Classic.
"Of all the ladies coming in, Haley is probably the most polished player at this point," Hohenshelt said. "She's a six-rotation left-side hitter for us. She's very good at ball handling, passing and defense. She can jump out of the gym and understands the game of volleyball really well. We'll have some great competition at that left-side hitter position with Haley and the ladies we have now. I expect her to contribute right away for us."
Clarendon, Ill. - Hinsdale Central
McDowell, a 6-3 setter from Clarendon, Ill., was named to the Chicago Sun-Times All-Area third team and led Hinsdale Central to its first sectional title since 1977. She plays club volleyball for Sports Performance and was selected for the 2012 SportsTownChicago.com Volleyball All-Star Game.
"Meghan is going to be very good because she's a big, long, quick athletic setter," Hohenshelt said. "We think she's going to be a dominating front-row setter. When we saw her last play during the summer, we thought she was one of the best net players at the setter position in the country. We're excited about her coming her and upgrading that position for us."
6-3 outside/left-side hitter
The Woodlands, Texas - College Park
Thorson, a 6-3 hitter from The Woodlands, Texas, can play either as a left-side or right-side hitter. She was named in the Top 32 by the Greater Houston Volleyball Coaches Association and to the VYPE Magazine's All-Preseason Team.
"Alex has great upside," Hohenshelt said. "I don't think she's even tapped into her potential yet. She's a 6-3 outside or opposite hitter with long arms, big hands, similar to how Kayla (Sears) is with great potential. I think she's going to come in and make big jumps right away as she gets stronger. We think she can play on either antenna (left-side or right-side hitter) and we're looking forward to having her as a Cavalier."