Ashland University head volleyball coach Cass Dixon has announced her 2013 recruiting class.
Dixon has a list of four newcomers, three from the state of Ohio. The AU head coach believes the quartet can provide quick help to a program that's moving forward at a rapid rate. Dixon just finished her second season on campus. In 2012, the Eagles advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs for the first time since 2007. AU finished the year with a 24-9 record.
"They all are really driven," said Dixon of the four newcomers. "They want to compete. They all want to be here. They've seen the direction of the program, us going to the NCAA Tournament. They want to make that happen."
Information on the recruits can be found below.
Kara Cousins (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) – Cousins is a 6-2 middle blocker who was named All-South Suburban Conference in 2010 and 2012. She was a team captain in 2012. She also played for the highly regarded Northern Lights Junior Program. Cousins was a 2010 AAU All-American (15 Open Division). Cousins was a four-year letterwinner.
"I saw Kara at the Junior Nationals in Columbus," said Dixon. "She's a great blocker and she moves well laterally. She's the one who has the longest to travel in this class, she's from Minnesota. She hits at a high point. Kara will compete for a spot right away."
Alli Cudworth (Kent, Ohio/Roosevelt) – Cudworth is a 5-11 outside hitter. She was honorable mention all-state as a senior. Cudworth was first team All-Portage Trail Conference and was the conference's player of the year. She was tabbed as the team's most valuable player. Cudworth was a second team all-district selection. She lettered three times in volleyball.
"Alli is very athletic," stated Dixon. "She jumps well and blocks high. She's going to compete for a starting spot on the outside right away. Alli has played on a great club team. She's seen a lot of volleyball and had a lot of great experience. We expect her to draw on those experiences here."
Rylee Scott (Orrville, Ohio) – Scott is a 5-11 middle hitter/outside hitter. In 2012 she had a school-record 475 kills, 28 aces, 242 digs and 118 blocks. She finished her career with 884 kills, the third highest total in Orrville history. She had 45 career aces, 478 career digs and 248 career blocks. She's fifth in career blocks at the school.
Scott was first team All-Ohio Cardinal Conference as a senior. She was the district player of the year and was a second team all-state selection. In her career, she was a two-time first team all-conference performer. Scott lettered four times in track and field and three times in volleyball.
"Rylee jumps extremely well and she had a great career at Orrville," said Dixon. "Rylee's received great coaching and that's a great program. She had an outstanding career there."
Kate Siefert (Highland Heights, Ohio/Beaumont) – Siefert is a 5-9 setter who played on a team that won a state championship in 2012. As a senior she had 424 assists, 52 kills and 24 blocks. She was an honorable mention all-conference choice. Siefert lettered three times in volleyball.
"Kate has exceptional leadership skills," raved Dixon. "Remember, she played on a state championship team. We'll have two setters on the roster with her here and that was a big thing for us this year, having two quality setters. Kate can run an offense."
The Eagles lose two seniors off the 2012 team – outside hitter Brittany Snider (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) and setter Crystal Elliott (Canal Winchester, Ohio). While those two were recognized as two of the best players in the GLIAC and the region, the Eagles have an experienced nucleus returning in 2013. This recruiting class should create depth at every spot on the roster. That's been Dixon's goal since she arrived.
"Your dynamic always changes," reminded Dixon. "It's a matter of learning about the team and the individuals. It's exciting and I think we have a good mix."