Francis Marion University volleyball head coach Paul MacDonald has announced four newcomers who will join the FMU program this fall: 5-10 right-side hitter Jessica Imbimbo of Hudson, Fla., 5-11 middle blocker Shelby Jones of Buckeye, Ariz., 5-9 setter Kailey Smith of Sumner, Wash., and 5-9 outside hitter Alexzandra Reed of Corona, Calif.
Imbimbo is a transfer from Pasco-Hernando Community College in Florida and will have two years of eligibility at FMU. This past season, she averaged 2.50 kills and 2.47 digs per set while registering a .282 hitting percentage, 31 service aces, and 24 blocks. She helped the Lady Quistas to a 31-11 record and an appearance in the NJCAA national tournament. She served as team captain, was named the most valuable player at the regional tournament, made a pair of All-Tournament Teams, earned her squad’s Most Outstanding Player award, and was named Student-Athlete of the Year.
As a freshman, she started every match as PHCC went 36-7 and won the NJCAA Division II national championship. She averaged 1.83 kills and 2.07 digs per set, while posting a .224 hitting percentage with 28 aces and 48 blocks.
Imbimbo is a product of Hudson High School – where she played for coaches Linda McQuade and Shayna Munson – and the Pinellas Heat Volleyball Club. She was a two-time All-Conference performer at Hudson, earned team MVP honors as a senior, and was named the school’s Female Athlete of the Year in 2010.
Jones and Smith are both transferring from Arizona Western College. The Matadors finished 12-9 last fall and tied for second in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference. The team was 19-9 in 2010.
In 2011, Jones posted a .189 hitting percentage and averaged 0.25 blocks per set. Smith handed out 9.73 assists per set, while serving seven aces and averaging 0.97 digs per set. Smith averaged 5.42 assists and 1.19 digs per set as a freshman, while Jones received a medical redshirt year for 2010.
Jones was an honorable mention All-State performer at Buckeye Union High School, while playing under the direction of head coach Leaven Eubank.
Smith is a product of Sumner High School, where she played for coach Mike Fitzpatrick.
Reed is a 2012 graduate of Mission Viejo High School, where she played for coach Gus Culver. A two-year varsity letterwinner, she averaged 1.3 kills per set and compiled 49 blocks and 22 digs as a senior for the 17-10 Diablos.
“As a group, this quartet brings in a great deal of maturity, and a winning mindset,” said MacDonald. “They suit our needs as we wanted to specifically address our play on the offensive side of the net.
“Jessica is a powerful left-handed hitter that will give our squad a different look on the attack. Shelby is a steady blocker and her vision in that respect will bring her success in the Peach Belt (Conference). She is still learning on the offensive side of play, but with no real weaknesses I am excited to watch her develop that part of her game.
“Kailey is an accurate setter that does a good job of distributing the ball. She also delivers a ball that hitters like to handle. Alexzandra comes from an extremely good high school program – one that sent two hitters to the (NCAA) Division I level. She is very quick off the floor and blocks better than her 5-9 frame might suggest. I look for her to contribute as a freshman in one role or another.”
The Patriots lost four seniors off last season’s 12-18 squad.
FMU previously inked freshman defensive specialist Brianna West of Lexington during the 2011 early signing period.