Utah State volleyball head coach Grayson DuBose announced Friday the addition of five players to the USU signing class that have signed to compete for the Aggies in the 2013 season.
DuBose and the Aggies inked Maddie Day, Kayla DeCoursey, Hannah Gleason, Carly Lenzen and Hannah Smith, who will all enroll in the fall of 2013 as freshmen and compete for the Aggies next season. They join Kaylie Kamalu and Erica Moscoso, who signed with USU in the fall.
"We are excited about this group of volleyball players because they are not only going to impact our program, they are going to impact the community as well," DuBose said. "They will represent our program and department well. They are good volleyball players and good people with outstanding character. We are looking forward to having them join our gym this fall. It is a great day to be an Aggie.”
A 6-foot-0 outside hitter from Smithfield, Utah, Day helped lead Sky View High School to the Utah 4A State Championship. She tallied 374 kills on a .297 attack percentage, adding 286 digs, six solo blocks and 15 block assists, on the way to being named the Herald Journal all-Valley Volleyball Player of the Year. She was also the Salt Lake Tribune Utah 4A MVP, as well as earning first-team all-state honors. Day was named the 4A Tournament MVP, highlighted by tallying 24 kills in the championship match, and she also earned 4A all-Tournament team accolades. Additionally, Day was a three-time all-region selection, a two-time first-team all-Valley honoree, as well as the Herald Journal Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore.
"Maddie Day is going to help solidify our outside hitting position. She brings a lot of experience to the gym, and she has a great work ethic that will increase our competitive environment," DuBose said. "Being a local product, she has followed our program for a while and knows what we are about.”
Day helped lead the Bobcats to a 30-3 overall record this season, including going unbeaten in regional play in winning its third-straight regional championship. Day also was on the Sky View girls basketball team as a sophomore and junior. Off the court, she was also named to Sky View's Honor Roll. Day also competes for the Wildcat Volleyball Club.
DeCoursey is a 6-2 opposite side hitter from Farmington, Utah, were she was a three-year starter and letterwinner at Viewmont High School, but did not play volleyball as a senior. She helped lead the Lady Vikings to the second round of the 5A playoffs as a junior.
"We are excited about Kayla becoming an Aggie. She is going to provide some depth to our right-side position. She is a lefty and that is something that we have not had in our gym, so we are looking forward to working with Kayla. She has been trained well and it shows in her play," DuBose said.
DeCoursey played her club volleyball with Club V Volleyball Club, helping her 17's teams to a top 50 ranking in 2012. She posted a .351 attack percentage in hitting 199 kills and posting 36.5 total blocks this season. Off the court, she has been on either the honor roll or high honor roll every year since the seventh grade.
A 5-6 libero from Las Flores, Calif., Gleason helped Tesoro High School to three-straight California Interscholastic Federation playoff appearances, finished ranked No. 24 in the country and No. 7 in California by MaxPreps. She also earned all-Southern California and prepvolleyball.com all-American honors. Gleason led Tesoro HS in digs all three seasons, earning first-team all-league accolades as both a junior and senior. This season, she was tabbed first-team all-Orange County as the only libero/defensive specialist on the awards list.
"Hannah brings a lot of high level playing to our gym," DuBose said. "She has been trained by some great coaches, and you can tell she has absorbed this training when you watch her play, as she sees the game really well. She also has a high level of character which we always look for in players."
Gleason is in her first season with the T-Street Volleyball Club, ranked No. 1 in the country by prepvolleyball.com, and coached by Olympic Gold Medalist Troy Tanner, helping them to the Vegas Classic and So Cal Qualifier titles. Before T-Street, Gleason played with Laguna Beach Club, helping them to six-straight USA Jr. National appearances, most recently playing in the 2012 18-Open National Championships. During her time with Laguna Beach, Gleason helped the club to five national open qualifier titles. Off the court, Gleason is a four-time District Scholar-Athlete, maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
Lenzen is a 6-0 middle blocker from Cave Creek, Ariz., where she helped lead Cactus Shadows High School to two top-four finishes in Arizona State 4A, including runner-up as a freshman. Cactus Shadow HS is coached by former Aggie volleyball coach Michelle Hansen Gardiner. As a senior, Lenzen helped the Falcons to an eighth-place finish in the state, earning honorable mention all-state accolades as well as second-team all-section honors after posting 73 total blocks (23 solo, 53 assists), averaging 0.7 blocks per set, highlighted by posted six blocks each in two separate matches. Lenzen also registered a .309 attack percentage, posted 396 kills (3.7 per set), including a season-high 25 kills in a match, one of three matches with 23 or more kills, as well as tallying 48 service aces (0.4 per set). She also was an honorable mention all-state selection as a sophomore, as well as a second-team all-Desert Sky Region honoree. As a freshman, she earned honorable mention all-Desert Sky Region recognition and also earned her team's Most Improved Player award.
"The recurring theme we heard about Carly was that she always worked hard and liked to compete. We are excited about having her learn our system. Her high school coach is a former USU volleyball coach, Michelle Hansen Gardiner, so she has been prepped for this experience," DuBose said.
Lenzen plays for the Arizona Desert Sky Club team, earning USA HP youth continental team honors in 2010. In the classroom, Lenzen has posted a 3.6 GPA.
Smith is a 6-3 middle blocker from Flemming Island, Fla., where she was a three-year letterwinner at Orange Park High School. She led the Raiders in total blocks and block assists all three seasons, tallying 56 solo blocks and 159 block assists in her three-year career at Orange Park, also posting 509 career kills in posting a .410 career attack percentage, adding 303 career digs and 83 career aces, in helping the Raiders to a 60-24 record in her three years. She earned first-team Clay County honors as a senior, after earning second-team as a junior and honorable mention as a sophomore. Smith was also a three-time all-St. Johns River Conference honoree, also earning first-team accolades as a senior after collecting second-team honors as a junior and honorable mention accolades as a sophomore. Smith was named to the Florida Times Union "5 To Watch" list in 2012, also earning Florida Times Union second-team all-area honors as a senior after being an honorable mention selection as a sophomore and junior.
Smith helped Orange Park to three district championships and two regional quarterfinal finishes and was co-captain her senior season. She also competes with the JJVA Jacksonville Jaguars club team, where, like Lenzen, is coached by a former Aggie volleyball head coach in Ginny Alexander. Smith helped the Jaguars to third place at the 2012 Big South National Division and third at the Beast of the South tournament, in finishing ranked in the top 10 in the Florida Regional rankings each year. Smith is also on the Orange Park HS National Honor Society and the National Technical Honor Society. Her father, Brad Smith, played football at BYU and was on the Cougars' 1984 National Championship team.
"Hannah brings some length to the middle blocker position," DuBose said. "She has a great upside and will add some much needed depth to our middle blockers. She continues to develop and is coached in club by former aggie head coach Ginny Alexander."
The 2012 Western Athletic Conference regular-season champion Aggies return four starters, who were also all-WAC honorees, plus their libero from last season's squad that posted a milestone season with a 21-9 record. Utah State won its first-ever WAC regular-season title to go with its 2010 WAC Tournament Championship in its eighth and final season in the league before joining the Mountain West Conference next season.
Headlining the Aggies' returners are junior setter Paige Neves (Otto, Wyo.) and junior outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.), who both earned first-team all-WAC honors.
USU also has two second-team all-WAC honorees returning in the middle blocking duo of junior Kaitlyn VanHoff (Draper, Utah) and sophomore Elle Brainard (Saratoga Springs, Utah). In addition to second-team all-WAC honors, Brainard was the WAC Freshman of the Year and was also on the all-freshman team.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.