Nov. 11, 2009
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Three of the nation's top recruits will join the University of Tennessee volleyball program for the 2010 campaign, Lady Volunteer Head Coach Rob Patrick announced Wednesday. All three of this year's signees, including outside hitters Kelsey Robinson and Carly Sahagian of Bartlett, Ill., and Knoxville native Kylann Scheidt, a setter from Farragut High School, are ranked among the top-32 seniors in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com.
Tennessee is one of just four schools in the country, joining Penn State, Cal and Southern California, to have three incoming players ranked among the top-third of the Web site's "Senior Aces" list.
"This class has the highest volleyball IQ of any that we've ever had come into our program," UT Head Coach Rob Patrick said. "I think we've done a great job of filling needs that our program has, especially at the outside hitter position. A lot of the credit for that can go to our recruiting coordinator Gregg Whitis, who did an absolutely fantastic job of evaluating and identifying the talent of these three players and providing them with information about the University of Tennessee and our volleyball program.
"I would be remiss not to mention the efforts of Dani Busboom as well," Patrick said. "She has proven to be an invaluable member of our staff in her first year here and I am very excited to see her get to work with Kelsey, Carly and Kylann to help them reach their full potential as student-athletes.
"All three of them are very hard workers and have been leaders on their teams throughout their careers," Patrick said. "We are thrilled to have a group of incoming players that has had as much success as these three have had during their high school and club careers and can't wait to see them come in to our program and continue those successes here."
Ranked No. 19 on the PrepVolleyball.com Senior Aces list, Robinson is a 6-2 outside hitter that spent her high school career at Wheaton-St. Francis, where she was a three-year starter and two-time captain for the perennial Illinois high school power.
Robinson led the Spartans to state titles in 2006 and 2007, an Elite Eight berth in Class 3A in 2008 and a Sweet 16 appearance this fall. She was named captain of the Daily Herald All-Area Team and was a first-team selection to the Chicago Sun Times' all-area squad as well. In addition, she was a four-year academic all-conference award winner and finished as the school's all-time leader in kills.
During her senior campaign, Robinson tallied 341 kills, 183 digs, 40 blocks and 68 aces and led her team to a 36-3 record en route to being named the Suburban Catholic Conference Player of the Year and first team all-state by the Champaign News Gazette. As a junior in 2008, she paced Wheaton-St. Francis to a 33-4 mark with 385 kills, 202 digs, 80 blocks and 69 aces.
"In my opinion, Kelsey is one of the top 10 players in the country," Patrick said. "She can really affect a match in many different ways. She has a tremendous jump serve that can be used as an offensive weapon, is a very consistent passer that can play the back row at a very high level and has a mastery of a number of different shots offensively. She can hit angles and line, can control the ball with placements and really plays at a high level. One of the most impressive things I've seen from her is that she is able to change her game in the middle of a match to help her team win. She is also one of the hardest working players that I have ever recruited and has a high desire to be successful.
A 6-1 outside hitter from Bartlett High School, Sahagian is rated as the 32nd-best senior in the country by PrepVolleyball.com. A three-time all-area selection and four-year starter for the Hawks, she led the Fox Valley region in kills as a senior with 422 in 848 attempts, while hitting at a blistering .357 clip. She also topped her squad with 144 digs and 58 aces and contributed 24 solo blocks.
Following a junior campaign in which she guided Bartlett to a 21-12 record and posted totals of 371 kills, 146 digs, 86 aces and 42 blocks, Sahagian was named second team all-state by the Champaign News-Gazette and unanimously voted an All-Upstate Eight Conference choice. In 2007, she was selected to train and compete with the USA Volleyball High Performance Select A1 program in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
"Carly is what I would call a silent assassin," Patrick said. "She has an even-keel demeanor that belies her competitiveness and athletic ability. Much like Kelsey, Carly brings a wicked jump serve to our team, has a beautiful, pure arm swing that generates a lot of power and can play the game all the way around."
Both Robinson and Sahagian have played alongside each other for the past two seasons as teammates on the Sports Performance Volleyball Club's 16 and 18-Elite squads. In the summer of 2008, they helped their 16s squad finish third at the Junior Volleyball Directors Association (JVDA) Championships and fifth at the AAU national tournament. This past club season, Robinson and Sahagian paced the 18s team to a placement of third at AAUs and second at the JVDA national tournament.
"Kelsey and Carly have played on the top team for one of the best club programs in the country, so they are used to playing and training at a very high level," Patrick said. "That will help them adapt to the pace of the collegiate game more quickly as they make the transition from high school. Both of them are very physical players and are talented in all phases of the game, from blocking to jump serving to being able to hit a lot of different shots. Along with Kylann, they provide us a tremendous presence at the net."
The first signee from Knoxville in Patrick's 13-year tenure at Rocky Top, Scheidt prepped at Farragut High School where started for three seasons, earning captain status as a senior. Originally from Firth, Nebraska, she played her freshman campaign at Norris High, claiming all-state honorable mention and top newcomer awards.
Ranked No. 21 on PrepVolleyball.com's Senior Aces chart, Scheidt has spent the past three seasons with the Lady Admirals and will join the Tennessee program in January. As a sophomore at Farragut, the 6-0 setter was named the District 4-AAA Newcomer of the Year and was a member of the region all-tournament team. Just one year later, she led her squad to a 48-7 record and the sectional round of the playoffs, picking up all-state accolades, earning MVP honors in the district and region tournaments and being selected as the Knoxville News Sentinel's 2008 PrepXtra Player of the Year.
During her senior season, Scheidt was a nominee for the Gatorade Player of the Year after guiding the Lady Ads to their third straight district title and a 41-10 record. She also took home league MVP accolades for the second consecutive season and was awarded a spot on the 2009-10 Under Armour Girls' High School All-America Watch List. Scheidt has spent time with USA Volleyball's Junior National Training Team in Chula Vista, Calif., in each of the past two years as well.
"Kylann is easily the most physical setter that we've ever brought into our program," Patrick said. "She already touches 10 feet, so can bring an imposing block if we decide to go with a 5-1. If we stay with the 6-2, she can fit in and help run our system at a high level. She's very strong and can make all the sets already.
"We are excited about having the opportunity to work with her on getting up to speed with our tempo offense this spring and summer," Patrick said. "That will help her make up for a little bit of a lack of experience, as she can spend that time learning from our current group of setters and we will have four months to train her.
"The first place that we look to recruit is our home state," Patrick said. "It's exciting to have a talent like Kylann right here in our own backyard. She was a huge priority for us to recruit in order to keep that talent at home. She received some great training from her coaches both at Farragut High School and at the club level at Smokey Mountain Juniors, and they did a tremendous job of preparing her to play at this level."
|2010 Lady Vol Volleyball Signees|
|Name||Ht.||Position||Hometown/High School/Club Team|
|Kelsey Robinson||6-2||OH||Bartlett, Ill./Wheaton-St. Francis/Sports Performance|
|Carly Sahagian||6-1||OH||Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett H.S./Sports Performance|
|Kylann Scheidt||6-0||S||Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut H.S./Smokey Mountain Juniors|