FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University women’s volleyball coach Paul MacDonald has announced the signing of four high school seniors to national letters of intent: 6-0 middle blocker Alex Matz of Louisville, Ky., 5-6 libero/defensive specialist Meghan Peji of Virginia Beach, Va., 5-10 outside hitter/middle blocker Erin Porter of Woodbridge, Va., and 6-0 setter Sloane Shank of Fayetteville, N.C.
Matz is a product of Sacred Heart Academy, where she played for coach Eric Garvey.
This past season, she earned District All-State honors as the Valkyries posted a 25-13 record. She helped her school to one state runner-up finish, as a junior earned her team’s Ms. Defense award, was a four-time All-State Academic selection, and was a member of her school’s National Honor Society.
Matz also played with the MidAmerica Volleyball Association.
Peji is a graduate of Tallwood High School, where she played for coach Mike Roberts.
A three-time team most valuable player for the Lions, she earned second-team All-Beach District recognition each of the past two seasons as well as honorable mention honors as a sophomore. She served as Tallwood’s team captain in 2009 and 2010, attended the 2010 USA Volleyball High Performance A3 Camp, and participated in last year’s USA Volleyball Junior National Championships in Reno, Nev.
She also played for the Beach Elite club squad.
Porter comes from Potomac Senior High School, where she played for coaches Audrey Shutte, Melissa Dowell, and Mark Williams. She earned second-team All-District honors as a senior.
She also played for the Arlington Volleyball Club.
Shank is a product of Jack Britt High School, where she played for coach Krista Marrara.
As a senior, she handed out 834 assists, averaged 1.0 kills per game with a .432 kill percentage, served 70 aces, and compiled 126 total blocks as the Buccaneers posted a 23-4 record. She was named to the Fayetteville Observer’s first-team Cape Fear All-Region Team as Jack Britt won its second straight conference title. She also garnered Mid-South Conference All-Tournament Team honors.
In 2009 for a 19-5 squad, she recorded 482 assists, 89 service aces, 60 kills, and 35 total blocks with a .429 kill percentage while being named to the All-Region squad.
She has also played for the Fayetteville Area Volleyball Association, where she earned 2010 Mid-South Player of the Year recognition.
“Alex has block reading abilities that are already at a strong college level,” said MacDonald. “She comes to us from an extremely competitive volleyball conference and we look forward to her bringing that experience to FMU.
“Meghan will make her strongest impact initially defending the attack. As a former outside hitter on both her high school and club teams, she comes to us with a great understanding of the tendencies of attackers she will be digging.
“Erin is really going to be a high flyer for us on the attack. With experience both as an outside hitter and middle blocker, we’re excited to see her offensive expertise and physical athleticism translate to the court here at FMU.
“Sloane possesses a great touch for the ball on her set. At six-feet tall, she has the chance to develop her game to become an offensive threat with the second ball, in addition to her distribution responsibilities. Her athleticism and endurance are second to none, having played both soccer and basketball along with volleyball during her entire high school career.”
Francis Marion lost only two seniors from last year’s 15-16 squad.