Dec. 10, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Anchored by three national top-50 recruits from the class of 2013, the Tennessee Lady Vol volleyball program and head coach Rob Patrick spanned the nation to assemble another stellar recruiting class, announcing on Monday three student-athletes that will come to Rocky Top for the 2013-14 academic year.
Middle blocker Raina Hembry, outside hitter Jamie Lea and middle blocker and right side hitter Ashley Mariani have all signed National Letters of Intent to join the Big Orange next season.
"We're really excited about our 2013 recruiting class, a class that we pretty much spanned the entire United States to put together," said Patrick, who concluded his 16th season at the helm of the Lady Vols in 2012. "One of the big items you would see if you look at this class as a whole is its athleticism. We have young ladies who are very athletic that can be very physical - not just in the front row with blocking and hitting - but also very physical in the back row. They're long athletes who can move so we're excited about bringing this class in to help bolster our graduating seniors, who did a fantastic job for us.
"These young ladies are all going to come in and really have an opportunity to make us better right away. All of them will have the opportunity to play as we're graduating players in the outside, right side and middle hitter positions pretty much everyone in their positions. We're excited about their arrival and can't wait to get them in the gym with the rest of our team."
|2013 Tennessee Volleyball Signees|
|Raina Hembry||MB||6-3||Portland, Ore. (Central Catholic HS)|
|Jamie Lea||OH||6-2||Efland, N.C. (Orange HS)|
|Ashley Mariani||MB||6-1||Arlington, Texas (Arlington HS)|
Raina Hembry, MB (Portland, Ore.)
Possessing great size and athleticism, Hembry - PrepVolleyball.com's 45th-ranked senior in the nation - joins the Lady Vols after an outstanding high school career at Central Catholic in Portland, Ore. The 6-foot-3 middle blocker helped lead the Rams to the Oregon 6A State Title as a junior, capturing the school's third-straight state championship. As a senior, Hembry was named a first team all-conference honoree after her team won the Mt. Hood Conference and took fifth in the state. As a junior, she registered 282 kills and 141 blocks and was named an all-conference honorable mention. Hembry upped her averages her senior campaign, leading the Rams with 367 kills and 194 blocks for an average of 4.0 kills per set and 2.67 rejections per game. Played club for Oregon Northwest Juniors Elite, which placed 18th at the 2012 AAU Nationals.
Ranked as the 37th-best player in the class of 2013 by PrepVolleyball.com, Lea is a high-flier that can touch 10-foot-4 and plays outside hitter. Lea played her high school ball at Orange High School in Hillsborough, N.C., where she was a four-year captain for the Panthers. A team captain at Orange, Lea earned Carolina 3A All-Conference recognition every season. She finished her career with 1,142 kills, a .371 attacking clip, 138 aces, 126 blocks and 381 digs. Playing club for Jammers Volleyball, Lea led her team to tournament championships at the Monument City Classic in 2010 and 2011, the Capital Hill Classic in 2010 and 2011 and the Quest for Excellence in 2011.
Another Texan joining the Lady Vols, Mariani is the 31st-ranked recruit in the 2013 class on PrepVolleyball.com's Senior Aces. A middle blocker/right side hitter with loads of speed, Mariani played for the Arlington High School Lady Colts. A USA Junior National Team member, Mariani was named an AVCA Under Armour All-American Watch List member and one of Volleyball Magazine's Top 25 Underclassmen. Most recently, Mariani was named Lonestar Volleyball Second Team All-Texas after leading her team to a 36-13 record in 2012. In 2011, Mariani garnered District 4-5A Middle Blocker of the Year honors, was named to the Texas Sportswriters Association All-State Team and a Lonestar Volleyball All-Texas Honorable Mention. Mariani finished her career with the Lady Colts with 1,179 kills, 472 blocks and won the area, bi-district and district championships in 2011 and 2012. She played her club volleyball for Dallas Summit.