Photo Courtesy: ATU athletics
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (ATU) - The Arkansas Tech University volleyball program received National Letters of Intent from four student athletes, head coach Kristy Bayer announced today. Madison Nagel, Alyssa Kool, Sarah Bennett, and Mariah King will all join the Golden Suns in 2014.
A 5-6 libero from Rowlett, Texas, Nagel was a four-year letterwinner at Dallas Christian High School. A four-time All-District honoree, Nagel was named Defensive Player of Year as a freshman and junior. She earned All-State Honorable Mention as a sophomore and a junior and then as a senior was named First Team All-State. During her senior campaign, she was named the District Defensive MVP. She is also a veteran of the Victory Volleyball Club.
"Madi has everything a coach could want in a libero," said head coach Kristy Bayer. "She is quick, reads well, and is solid in serve receive. She is well respected in her area as one of the top defenders. I have watched her play several times, and she has displayed solid consistency."
Kool, a 5-8 setter from Plano, Texas, played for Plano West High School and for Blocksport Volleyball Club. A two-time Academic All-District and one-time Academic All-State honoree, Kool was voted the 110% award from the Golden Suns volleyball team. She was captain of her squad her junior and senior campaign. During her senior campaign, she was also named Second-Team All-District (10-5A). Kool was selected for the High Performance Continental Team in 2009 and 2010.
"Alyssa comes from an area of extremely competitive high school and club volleyball programs," said Bayer. "She has played at a high level since she was young. Her training has molded her into a consistent setter with a high volleyball IQ. She runs a solid offense and she has great leadership qualities. She will look to make a major impact within our program."
A 6-0 outside hitter from Dallas, Texas, Bennett played on a state championship squad and earned several awards her senior season. A First-Team All-District, Second-Team All-State selection, Bennett earned the Bishop Lynch Offensive Award. She was also named to the All-State All-Tournament Team. At Bishop Lynch High School, Bennett was named the 4-5A Newcomer of the Year in 2010, along with being named to the All-Texas Honorable Mention Team in 2010 and 2011. She played club volleyball for the Blocksport Volleyball Club.
"Sarah is a terminator on the outside," said Bayer. "She has power and touches 10 foot. These characteristics will make her hard to stop at the DII level. Having a player like Sarah will definitely add to our offensive options."
Mariah, a 6-3 middle hitter from Gentry, Ark., was a three-year letterwinner and a two-year captain at Springdale High School. She was named as a 7A West All-Conference, Newcomer of the Year, and Prepvolleyball.com's Sophomore 79 Honorable Mention honoree her sophomore season. She was also a part of the Fort Smith Juniors Volleyball Club. During her junior campaign, she was the Ace/Block/Kill Leader and part of the NWA Media All-Big 7 Volleyball Team. She was also inducted as a junior into the National Honors Society.
"Mariah has a lot of potential at the collegiate level," said Bayer. "She has an extremely high reach and moves well. I have been watching Mariah for the last couple of years and have been excited to start working with her. She is a hard worker and she is passionate about volleyball."