Megan Courtney – 6-2 S/OH
6-2 S/OH Megan Courtney, a Senior at Kettering Archbishop Alter High School, has signed a Letter of Intent to play volleyball at Penn State University for the 2012 season. Welcome to Penn State Women’s Volleyball, the Greatest Show in Blue and White™ (OK, we’re biased).
Here’s what Penn State Head Coach Russ Rose had to say about Courtney in a November 12, 2011 interview with Gordon Brunskill of the Centre Daily Times:
We’re looking at her with the ability to set and hit and play all the way around. We’ve had her in camp for a couple of years. She’s a terrific talent. She’s a very talented kid. She’s wiry and really strong with a great arm and a high volleyball IQ.
Courtney capped-off an exceptional high school career by garnering 2011-12 First Team AVCA Under Armour All-American honors. For the season (20-10), she registered 451 kills (.603 attack %), 426 assists, 316 digs, 52 blocks and 36 service aces. On December 14th, she was named the 2011 Gatorade Ohio Volleyball Player of the Year. ESPNHS managed the selection process, which was based on three criteria: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement, and exemplary personal character.
Here’s a short video clip from the 2011 Ohio State Championship Semi-Final match:
WASHINGTON TWP., Montgomery County — Before Megan Courtney was born, as her parents envisioned what they wanted from their under-construction Washington Twp. home, volleyball was part of the plan.
Rob and Sharon Courtney had become consistent volleyball players in a recreational league for NCR employees (Sharon, a former Bellbrook player, helped teach her husband the sport). In the backyard, they wanted an area that would cradle a home volleyball net.
What resulted were family home games and a practice area for a player who would grow up to be one of the country’s best.
Near the end of a youth, club and prep career that has made her a consensus top-10 national recruit, Courtney enters her senior season at Alter High School as a 6-foot-2 mix of pounding attacker and calculating setter.
For the complete article, Click Here.
Kendall Pierce – 5-6 L/DS/OH
In an interview with the BuffaloNews.com , her coach at Eden, Stephen Pierce (who is also her uncle), described Kendall as a natural libero, although she plays OH for the Eden Raiders.
Kendall Pierce is the daughter of former Penn State volleyball All-American Robert Pierce, who played for the Nittany Lions from 1986 to 1989. Robert Pierce set the Nittany Lion single-season service ace record with 47 aces, and held it until 2007, when it was broken by Max Holt’s 55. He is now the Director of the Eden Volleyball Club. Kendall’s mother also was a scholarship athlete at Penn State. For a blast from the past for long-time Penn State Volleyball fans, here’s a 1988 article from the Los Angeles Times, writing about the 1988 Penn State Men’s Volleyball team.
- Update: Eden High School’s girls volleyball team won a second straight (and eighth overall!) New York State Class B championship Sunday, October 21st, in Glens Falls, New York. Here’s video (courtesy of WGRZ TV Sports) of an interview by Stu Boyar with Eden Head Coach Stephen Pierce, talking about winning the championship after losing four of their top players from the previous year.
- Update: Michael J. Petro wrote a terrific article on 11/30/2011: “Pierce’s Sister Act in volleyball actually a family connection.” Here’s an excerpt:
Kendall and Lainy Pierce aren’t just two sisters playing volleyball at the same high school; they’re stars of a sport with a rich tradition in their family and at Eden, and most importantly, they’re best friends.
Within the family, particularly by their father and uncle, a culture of love for the game has been fostered and the siblings have grown together within that environment. It has helped them connect with each other and given both Division I college prospects the tools to share the spotlight.
While they may play contrasting styles and individually have their own strengths, the results are very much the same. The sisters respect the game of volleyball, their team and each other, which has helped them lead an effort to carry on the tradition of excellence associated with both the Eden program and Pierce name.
For the complete article, Click Here. And here’s a video of Kendall after she was named the #1 “Super Athlete of the Week” by WKBW – Buffalo:
Paulina Prieto-Cerame – 6-2 OH
From USA Volleyball (updated as of August 8, 2011):
Hometown/Residence: Miami, Fla./Miami, Fla.
Birth Date: Jan. 25, 1994
Club Team (City)/Coach: Boomers Volleyball Club (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) / Steve Wilcosky
High School/Grad Year: Palmer Trinity High School (Miami, Fla.) / Dec. 2011
College Status: Verbaled to Penn State University
Born Paulina Prieto-Cerame on Jan. 25, 1994, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.… Father is Guillermo Prieto and Mother is Maria Cerame…Sisters are Nashali Prieto (1997) and Carola Rodriguez (2005). . . . “Most admired person is my mom because she is the strongest and most self-less person I know. The most valuable thing I learned from her is that great achievements are usually born from great sacrifices. I am so grateful for her leadership in my life. Her best advice on the game ‘play well, believe in yourself, every time, all the time’ she has kept me grounded.”
For the complete write-up on USA Volleyball.com, Click Here.
After months of internet rumors, Paulina Prieto, the 6-2 outside hitter for Palmer Trinity School in Palmetto Bay, Florida, confirmed in a March 1, 2011 interview with Jose Ayala Gordián on primerahora.com, that she has verbally committed to play for the Penn State Nittany Lions Women’s Volleyball team, starting in 2012.
It was stressful and took a lot from me because you want to make the right decision for the university that is best for you. You get that pressure, but I had great support from my family and coaches. I am very happy with my decision.
For the complete interview (in Spanish), click here.
Prieto was selected to PrepVolleyball.com’s 2011 Top Recruit list. She played for Team VB Rags from Puerto Rico at both the 2010 AAU Girls National Championships in Orlando Florida and the 2010 USA Junior Olympics National Championship at Reno, Nevada, was a 2010 AAU Junior National Championship All-American for the 16 – Open Division and, among other honors, was the 2009-2010 Miami Herald’s Miami-Dade Volleyball Player of the Year. She enjoyed a successful 2010 season as well, registering 381 kills, 366 digs, and 81 blocks, and earning All Dade County 1st Team 4A-1A honors from the Miami Herald. She started playing club volleyball in 2002 for Borinquen Coqui
Here’s a short video showing Prieto playing for Team VB Rags versus A5 Mizuno in 2010:
And here’s a video showing the end of a VB Rags match, followed by a team celebration, as well as a short reprise in what appears to be an airport. We’ve know that some people frown on celebrations in volleyball matches, but we think these are fantastic — they are all about having fun as a team. Well done, VB Rags!
Lara Caraway - 5-4 DS/L
Lara (sometimes listed as “Laura” — if we picked the wrong spelling, we apologize) was a 2nd Team 2011 All State selection by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association, after recording 291 digs for Mars High School during the 2011 season.