FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University women’s volleyball coach Paul MacDonald has announced the addition of six players to his program for the 2010 campaign: one transfer and five high school seniors. The additions are 5-8 freshman setter Nicole Bennett of Round Hill, Va., 5-5 freshman libero/defensive specialist Morgan Brazzell of Rock Hill, 5-8 freshman outside hitter Riley Forester of Alpharetta, Ga., 6-1 freshman middle blocker Megan Mooney of Lake Oswego, Ore., 6-0 junior middle blocker Danielle Parker of Lockwood, Mo., and 5-10 freshman outside hitter Paige Perreault of Kankakee, Ill.
Bennett is a product of Loudoun Valley High School, where she played for coach Laird Johnson.
This past season, she compiled more than 400 assists along with 34 service aces, 56 kills, and 12 solo blocks while helping the Vikings to a 23-5 record and the school’s fourth state title in 10 years – but the first at the VHSL AAA level. She earned first-team All-State, All-Region, and All-District honors.
She was a three-year starter and captain for Loudoun Valley.
She also played for the Northern Virginia Volleyball Association.
Brazzell is a graduate of Rock Hill High School, where she played for coach Cindy Elder. A three-year starter for the Lady Bearcats, she earned All-Region recognition twice, was an All-State selection in 2008, and was selected to play in the North-South All-Star Match following her senior year.
She also played for the Rock Hill Volleyball Club.
Forester comes from Milton High School, where she played for coach Deb Schaefer. She helped lead the Eagles to a combined 60-35 record over her junior and senior seasons.
She also played for the TCA Atlanta Volleyball Club.
Mooney is a product of Lake Oswego High School, where she played for coaches K.T. Emerson and Christy Burnett. As a senior, she earned first-team All-League (Three Rivers) recognition.
She has also played for the ASICS Athena Volleyball Academy.
Parker comes to FMU from Missouri State University-West Plains where she played two seasons. She enrolled at FMU during the spring semester. Last fall at MSU-West Plains, she compiled a .266 hitting percentage and averaged 1.23 kills and 0.61 blocks per game and helped lead the Lady Grizzlies to a 27-9 record and an appearance in the NJCAA Division I national championship match. As a freshman, she hit .272 with 1.19 kills and 0.81 blocks per game as the 38-15 Lady Grizzlies placed seventh at the NJCAA national tournament.
Parker is a graduate of Lockwood High School, where she twice earned All-State honors playing for coach Cheryl Shores. In her three seasons as a starter, Lockwood was 82-21-5 and won three straight district titles.
Perreault is a product of Clifton Central High School, where she played for coach Amber Boudreau.
She also played with the Ultimate Volleyball Club and participated in the 2009 USAV Girls Junior Olympic Championships.
“I am excited about the qualities each of these players will bring to our program,” said MacDonald.
“Nicole will be a steadying force at the setter position for us. She does a great job locating the ball for her attackers, and while her demeanor is very calm, she brings a no-nonsense approach to leading her squad on and off the court.
“Morgan is a classic defensive specialist. Her experience locally at Rock Hill High will serve her well at FMU. Her service reception passing is very steady, and she is physical enough as an athlete to come in at this level and pick up quickly upon the pace of the defensive transition game.
“Riley brings a high energy level to the Patriot program. Her speed on the outside will be a great benefit, both offensively and in court coverage on defense. Her attack approach is long and very fast-paced which will fit well in our offense. She has great pace on her jump serve which will definitely put opponents off balance.
“When I saw Megan a year ago for the first time, I was convinced that she could develop into a solid middle blocker. Since then, she has worked to steady her blocking abilities and improved her powerful attack behind the setter.
“Danielle brings huge championship experience to the squad from her years at Missouri State. She has a competitive spirit and upbeat personality that adds a great dynamic to our team. She has shown a great feel for blocking in the middle, and she has settled into our offense comfortably this past spring.
“Paige is a fierce competitor. She has diversified her game, playing all of the front row positions during her spring club training. Paige has a great attack reach, developed from her training on a men’s height-net during her two seasons of practice with her high school’s boys squad.”
Francis Marion lost only two seniors from last year’s 11-20 squad.