Lady Vols Ink Three To 2013 Signing Class

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."

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2013 Tennessee Volleyball Signees
PlayerPos.Ht.Hometown (School)
Raina HembryMB6-3Portland, Ore. (Central Catholic HS)
Jamie LeaOH6-2Efland, N.C. (Orange HS)
Ashley MarianiMB6-1Arlington, Texas (Arlington HS)

Raina Hembry, MB (Portland, Ore.)

Possessing great size and athleticism, Hembry -'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.

Patrick on Hembry: "Raina is a 6-foot-3 middle blocker hailing from Portland, Ore. She's a very athletic, long player who really plays the game of volleyball very well. She will come in and really challenge for the middle hitter position, but also is flexible enough to put her on the right side. She's a very advanced blocker for her age, which is something that usually takes a while to get proficient at. She'll come in and play defensively at the net at a high level. The other thing that's exciting about Raina is her ability to attack the ball in front and behind the setter equally well. Raina is a winner. Her high school team won three state championships while she was there. I'm excited about bringing winners into the program. She played for one of the top clubs in the country with Oregon Northwest. Raina is going to come in with a lot of high-level volleyball experience and training."

Jamie Lea, OH (Efland, N.C.)

Ranked as the 37th-best player in the class of 2013 by, 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.

Patrick on Lea: "Jamie Lea is a 6-foot-2 outside hitter from Efland, N.C. We're very excited about another long, athletic and skilled player joining us. Jamie has played volleyball at a very high level in North Carolina with her high school team, Orange High School, and with Jammers Volleyball Club. Jamie is a six-rotation outside hitter or right side hitter. We really think she'll play on the outside for us. She has a very good grasp of the game already and can pass, play defense, is a very big presence at the net blocking and hitting and somebody that can really put her hand on the ball at a very high level. We're very excited about what we can do with her offensively and defensively on the court. I see Jamie really getting stronger and being able to help us right away as an all-around six-rotation player, who we can integrate into our offense fairly easily. She's one of the top outside hitters in the country being ranked the 37th-best player in her class. The other thing Jamie brings is leadership. Here's a young lady who was a four-year captain of her high school team and that's something we value greatly. She has a lot of character, is a hard worker and is somebody that her peers look up to."

Ashley Mariani, MB (Arlington, Texas)

Another Texan joining the Lady Vols, Mariani is the 31st-ranked recruit in the 2013 class on'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.

Patrick on Mariani: "Ashley is a 6-foot-1 middle blocker/right side hitter out of Arlington, Texas. She's again somebody that is long, athletic and has played a very high level of volleyball down in Texas. She was training with the USA Junior National Team so she'll bring a tremendous amount of very high-level experience to our team. Ashley can play anywhere on the net. Her exceptional speed really sets her apart from some of the other athletes she'll be competing against. She gets off the ground very quickly, has a great arm swing, can hit off of two feet or off of one on the slides. Offensively, we're really excited about her potential and getting her into our offensive system. She will really push for playing time in any of the front row positions, but also somebody that I believe can play as a six-rotation player for us. Not just with passing and playing defense, but I think she can be a huge offensive weapon hitting out of the back row. Ashley is the 31st-ranked recruit per and we're very excited about having someone of that caliber joining our program."





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