BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union College volleyball head coach Jeremy Wise has announced the Bulldogs' 2014 recruiting class, which features nine student-athletes from five different states.
"This year's class not only will add lots of needed depth at certain positions, but will raise the bar at other positions with some really talented student-athletes," said Wise. "This year's class also will add some height to our line up and versatility. Other than being a skilled class on the court, all these young ladies are also strong students in the classroom.
"They have had the opportunity to meet and play with some of our returners and looks like they will mesh in nicely and quickly this fall."
Leading off the class is its lone setter, Lauren Johnson, a product from Seymour, Tennessee A 5-foot-9 left hander, Wise also expects Johnson to play right side hitter, as she will likely be the varsity's teams back-up setter entering the 2014 campaign.
Two defensive specialists are in the class in Bella Salazar of Arlington, Texas, and Cassie Martin of Charlestown, Indiana. Salazar will play libero for the Bulldogs, and is a shifty player who played for one of the top club teams in the United States. Martin, meanwhile, is a pure defensive specialist, who plans to major in Pre-Med once she begins taking classes next month.
Wise added more to the middle and right side hitting positions than any other in the class, signing five student-athletes in all. They are: Rachel Andrews and Amy Gossett, both of Louisville, Kentucky. Jillian Stuff of Marengo, Ohio, Jenna Nelson and Sami Hare, a pair of Florence, Kentucky products, and Taylor McNeal of Clinton, Tennessee.
Of the group, Wise expects both Andrews and Stuff to compete for starting positions once preseason practice begins in a few weeks. Nelson, Hare, and McNeal will also compete for spots, as well, giving the Bulldogs needed depth in the middle.
The final recruit of the class is Marissa Elam, an outside/middle hitter. A Muncie, Indiana native, Wise describes Elam as an athletic leaper with good speed, and yet another incoming freshman who could log playing time at outside hitter throughout the 2014 season.
Overall, Wise has lofty expectations for this group, as he enters his second season at the helm of the Bulldog program in 2014.
"Even though all our recruits are freshmen this year, they are an experienced bunch and should all make contributions at different points throughout the season," Wise added. "I believe this year's recruiting class will help to elevate us from a good program, to a great program for years to come."