Ashland University head volleyball coach Cass Dixon has announced the addition of seven signees in the 2015-16 recruiting class.
"I think we had some definite needs for our program last fall, and I believe that our 2015 recruiting class will fill those needs," Dixon said. "We are extremely excited about working with this great group of incoming student-athletes. Each of them will make an impact on the program."
Kaitlin Bean, Cardinal – A defensive specialist, Bean posted 54 service aces, 195 kills and a team-high 285 digs in her senior season. Cardinal won back-to-back Chagrin Valley Conference championships during her prep career, and she was named CVC Most Valuable Player.
Bean also earned first-team All-CVC and first- and second-team all-district honors. She was a four-year varsity letter winner.
"I have known Kailtyn since she was 10 years old," Dixon said. "She has always been in the gym practicing and playing, and it shows. She has a strong volleyball IQ and defensive skills that will help make her transition to the college game effortless. She will challenge immediately for our libero role."
Jordan Mackay, Hudson – A middle blocker and right-side hitter, Mackay was part of three Northeast Ohio Conference championship teams, two district titles and a berth in the state Final Four. She set Hudson program records for career kills (942), single-season kills (342), single-season hitting percentage (.477) and career hitting percentage (.385).
Mackay earned first-team All-Ohio laurels in Division I. She earned three All-NEOC and two all-district awards, and was the 2014 Player of the Year both in the conference and the district. Mackay was a four-year starter/letter winner at Hudson.
"Jordan comes from both a fantastic high school program and club program," Dixon said. "Her experience playing for both teams will be invaluable to our program. She knows how to compete and finds ways to score. She is a tireless worker and can make an immediate impact in the middle or right side for us."
Reanne Neal, Galion – A middle blocker from nearby Galion, Neal was a part of a 2014 Mid Ohio Athletic Conference title team. Her career prep numbers include 1,137 kills, 316 blocks, 134 solo blocks and 177 service aces.
Neal was the 2014 MOAC Player of the Year and a two-time first-team All-MOAC selection, as well as earning two first-team all-district honors. As a senior, she was second-team All-Ohio, and as a junior, she was honorable mention all-state. Neal earned four varsity letters at Galion.
"Reanne also comes from very successful high school and club programs," said Dixon. "I've watched her play for many years, and she just continues to get better and better every time she steps into the gym. At 6-2 with super long arms and a great jump, she plays very high above the net. She could also make an immediate impact for us in the middle or right side."
Kayla Pfeiffer, Lockport Township – A setter from Lockport, Ill., Pfeiffer is a transfer from Division I Wisconsin-Green Bay. She played in 25 sets as a freshman, recording 27 kills and 42 digs.
In her prep career, Pfeiffer won a regional title as a sophomore. She was a two-time all-area selection in her three seasons on the varsity squad.
"Last fall, she was primarily a right-side attacker at Wisconsin-Green Bay," Dixon said. "However, her setting abilities are just as strong. She will also be redshirting this fall, but her club and collegiate experience will increase our level of play in practice this fall."
Michaela Ping, Rosary – A middle blocker from Batavia, Ill., Ping had a .783 kill percentage during her prep career. She earned All-Suburban Christian Conference honors, and was a 2014 AAU nationals All-American.
Ping earned three varsity letters at Rosary.
"Michaela is actually going to be redshirting for us this fall," Dixon noted. "She has a great base to start from. We are really looking forward to training and working with her to prepare her for the 2016 season. She has a great attitude on the court, and with our strength training program, she is going to be a force in the middle or outside for us."
Molly Rajewski, Rudolf Steiner – A defensive specialist/libero from Saline, Mich., Rajewski was a member of two MHSAA Class D district title teams and a MHSAA Class D regional championship squad. She was a two-time Mid-South Conference Player of the Year and two-time All-MSC first-team selection.
Rajewski also earned MHSAA Class D all-region and honorable mention all-state laurels as a senior. She earned four varsity letters.
"When we first met Molly, we weren't looking to add another defensive player to our team. However, after working with her at camp and seeing her compete, we couldn't pass up the opportunity," Dixon said. "She enjoys what she does and always has a smile on her face. In high school and club, she plays outside, but will contribute in the back court for us. Her experience in multiple positions will allow her to catch on quickly to our style of play."
Mallory Slyder, Hamilton Southeastern – A setter from Crystal Lake, Ill., Slyder is a transfer from Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne, where she played in 29 matches in 2014 and recorded 514 assists, 26 service aces and 183 digs.
As a prep athlete, Slyder was a member of a regional and conference title team in 2010 and a regional runner-up in 2009. She set school standards for career assists, single-season assists and single-match assists. Slyder earned four varsity letters in volleyball and two in track.
"Mallory is transferring in from a great program, where she has received excellent training," said Dixon. "On top of that, both of her parents are coaches. She has been in the gym all of her life, and it shows. She has a high volleyball IQ and is quick and athletic. Her knowledge of the game and her ability to make great setting decisions will be an asset to our program."