Mocs Add More Volleyball Recruits
After signing LaBelle volleyball standout Kendall Mariotti last fall, Florida Southern volleyball coach Jill Stephens has added six more recruits for the Moccasins’ 2012 season.
Joining the Moccasins this fall will be Kayshia Brady, a 6-0 middle blocker from Crescent City High School; Arielle Fernandez, a 5-6 setter/libero from Terra Nova High School in Pacifica, Calif,; Dominique Hale, a 6-0 middle blocker from South Mountain Community College (Ariz.); Hailey Prescher, a 6-0 outside hitter from JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.; Lauren Shlemon, a 5-6 setter from Tampa Prep High School and Bridgette Ward, a 6-0 outside hitter from Bishop Verot High School in Ft. Myers.
“Our staff couldn’t be happier with the young ladies joining our program this fall,” Stephens said. “All of them are great students, amazing young women and very talented volleyball players who will help us attain our goals.”
Brady starred in three sports for Crescent City. She was a three-time Putnam County Player of the Year in volleyball, a two-time Putnam County Player of the Year in girls’ basketball and a two-time Putnam County Athlete of the Year in girls’ track. In volleyball last season, she was the Class 1A Player of the Year, leading Crescent City to a 22-7 record and the state semifinals. She had 367 kills, 123 blocks and 332 digs, all of which were the top marks in the county. In track, she capped her career with a runner-up finish in the shot put at the Class 2A state championship. She was eighth as a freshman and third as a sophomore and junior.
“Kayshia is a phenomenal athlete who has an incredibly bright future at Florida Southern,” Stephens said. “As she gains experience at this level, she will be an explosive middle for us.”
Fernandez was a first-team all-conference selection as a senior and helped lead Terra Nova to 20-8 record as the team’s setter with 495 assists and 27 aces. She’s also played for Golden Bear Club out of San Francisco.
“Arielle is extremely quick on her feet, which allows her to be in the right position,” Stephens said. “She will add strength to our serve receive and defense.”
Hale played volleyball and basketball for South Mountain. She had 107 kills, 85 blocks and a .337 hitting percentage for the volleyball team. She averaged 9.5 points and 8.0 rebounds for South Mountain’s women’s basketball team. She graduated from Kingman High School (Ariz.), where she averaged 11.6 points and 8.8 rebounds in basketball.
“We look for Dominique to make a big impact for us this season. She is extremely quick laterally, which makes her a great blocker,” Stephens said.
Prescher was a first-team all-conference selection as a junior and senior for JSerra and also was a member of the National Honor Society.
“Hailey comes from a great volleyball club team, T-Street, and she is naturally-gifted with a great arm,” Stephens said. “We are expecting her to be a point scorer and add depth on the outside.”
Shlemon was team captain for Tampa Prep as a junior and senior and was an honorable mention All-Hillsborough County selection last fall. She had 690 assists and 155 digs for Tampa Prep’s 17-11 team that won a district title.
“Lauren gives us great depth both in the setter and defensive positions. Her personality and court presence will be a great addition to our program,” Stephens said.
Ward helped lead Bishop Verot’s volleyball team to a 21-5 record and the Class 4A elite eight last fall. She had 168 kills and 41 blocks. In basketball, she averaged 11.2 points and 4.4 rebounds for Bishop Verot’s 16-11 squad. She was an honorable mention all-area selection in both sports as a junior and senior.
“Bridgette is a winner,” Stephens said. “Her ability to play the middle, right side or left side will make her invaluable to our team.”
The Moccasins will enter their 12th season under Stephens in 2012. They were 18-13 last season and received an NCAA tournament bid for the ninth time in her previous 11 seasons.