Nov. 29, 2011
By Todd Mounce, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee volleyball team received a National Letter of Intent from one of the nation's top setters, as Bianca Arellano of Phoenix, Ariz., is set to join the Lady Vol program as a member of its 2012 recruiting class.
"Bianca is our type of setter," Lady Vol head coach Rob Patrick said. "She is somebody that is very athletic, who can really do a great job of getting to the ball with her quickness. She has a very high volleyball IQ and plays the game at a very high intellectual level."
Named to the 2011 Under Armour All-American Second Team and a Prep Volleyball All-American, the 5-8 setter earned first team all-state the past three seasons. She was also ranked 30th on the PrepVolleyball.com "Senior Aces" list.
"She is one of those rare players that make the other people around her better," Patrick said. "I've seen it over and over again in her high school team and her club team. She has been able to maximize the players she has on her team and make everyone on her team play at their highest level."
A four-year letter-winner and a two-time team captain, Arellano led Xavier College Prep to three Arizona 5A-1 State Championships and a state semifinal appearance. During her prep career as a Gator, she finished with a high school record of 158-17 (.903).
"She is a winner," Patrick explained. "Everywhere she has played, they have won at the very highest level, whether it is her high school or club team. She is a very hard worker and somebody that will put the time in at the gym to get better."
This season, Xavier College Prep was on the MaxPreps' preseason national top 25, as the squad was ranked 11th in the preseason. During her senior campaign, the Gators won the prestigious Goldwater Volleyball Festival Tournament, which featured 32 teams this past October. For her efforts at the tournament, the AVCA tabbed her as the Arizona Player of the Week.
"Bianca really fits what we do here well because we really like to run an up-tempo offense," Patrick said. "She is already comfortable doing that with her club team, as they run a tempo that is similar to what we do. She is somebody that can distribute the ball to a lot of different players with different types of sets, all very hittable. Those two things are attributes we saw in her while she was playing, and we thought she would fit our system and what we do very well."
Tabbed the Region Player of the Year in 2010, Arellano also was a National Junior Player of the Year finalist, as she tallied 143 kills, 1294 digs, 89 blocks and averaged 12.3 assists per set.
A member of Club Red volleyball club, her squad won the Denver Crossroads U-17 Open national tournament in March without losing a game, while also winning the U-16 Open Tournament in Denver last year.
At Xavier she also competed in track and field, earned academic honor roll the past three years and was a member of National Honor Society.