KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ??? The University of Tennessee volleyball program has finalized its recruiting class for 2008 with the signing of talented prepster Alyssa Hilby, UT head coach Rob Patrick announced Tuesday afternoon. A 6-3 middle blocker from Tacoma, Wash., Hilby becomes the fifth player to sign on to play at Rocky Top next season.
???Alyssa is a very physical, strong, dynamic player and we are very excited to have her on board at Tennessee,??? Patrick said. ???She provides a great deal of experience and depth at our middle hitter position and is someone that we will be able to use defensively to help slow down the opposing team???s main hitters.
???As good as she is defensively, I am also very excited about her offensive potential over the next four years,??? Patrick said. ???She has received great training with the Kent Juniors Volleyball Club, which will help her transition to the collegiate game very quickly.???
Despite missing her senior season at Life Christian Academy due to a knee injury, Hilby was the most dominant player in school history, amassing career records for kills, blocks and digs. A two-time First Team All-Nisqually League selection, Hilby led the Eagles to appearances in the state tournament in each of her four seasons, serving as a coach in her senior campaign.
As a junior, Hilby was named all-area for the Puget Sound Region and took home first team all-state accolades after guiding her team to a fourth-place finish at the state championships. In addition to her many achievements on the volleyball court, Hilby also spent one season on the school???s varsity basketball team and was named to the honor roll all four years.
A member of the Puget Sound Volleyball Club from 2004-06, Hilby has competed for the Kent Juniors Volleyball Club for the last two years. Current Lady Vol Kylie Marshall also played for KJ VBC prior to arriving at Tennessee in 2006. Hilby has played in the Junior Olympics three times, traveling to Atlanta, Ga., and Salt Lake City, Utah, with the Puget Sound squad in 2005 and 2006, respectively, and to Minneapolis, Minn., in 2007 with KJ VBC.
Hilby originally signed with Washington State but was granted a full release earlier this summer following former Cougar head coach Brian Heffernan???s resignation in February. She will be eligible to compete this upcoming fall.
The addition of Hilby completes the 2008 recruiting class for the Lady Vols. The Orange and White previously announced the signing of three other talented prepsters, including DeeDee Harrison (Nashville, Tenn.), Kayla Jeter (Solon, Ohio) and Kelsey Mahoney (Fort Worth, Texas), as well as junior college transfer Michaela Hanakova (Brno, Czech Republic).