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Liberty Volleyball Announces Addition of 5 Student-Athletes
Liberty Volleyball Head Coach Shane Pinder and his coaching staff have announced the addition of five student-athletes to the Lady Flames' 2014 squad. Rachel Morris, Sirena Vorster, Hannah Weidner, Anna Willey and Hannah Williams have all signed commitments to attend Liberty University for the 2014-15 academic year.
"Overall, this is a very talented class," Pinder said. "We're bringing in multiple positions. All of them have played at a high level and know what it takes to win. They will all fill in some positions with depth, while some will be able to compete for spots right away. We're excited about the future with this class."
Rachel Morris (S, 5-10, New Brunswick, Canada/Liberty Christian Academy)
Rachel Morris joins the Lady Flames after competing for the Liberty Christian Academy varsity team for four seasons. She helped the Bulldogs to a State semifinal appearance this season, while also earning first team All-State honors. Morris has been named to the all-conference team each of the last two years, while earning first team all-state mention in 2012. A solid all-around athlete, Morris has won team and individual state track & field championships.
Morris will be the first LCA graduate since Courtney Cooper (2009-11) to compete for the Liberty University volleyball team.
"Rachel Morris is a local kid, playing for LCA," Pinder said. "She is athletic and versatile, having played setter, outside and some right side. She has the potential to be a pretty good defensive specialist. Rachel is someone who will make everyone around her better."
Sirena Vorster (MB, 6-2, Wellington, Fla./Wellington HS)
Sirena Vorster, a middle blocker, comes to Liberty from Wellington High School, where she led her team to an undefeated regular season and district runner-up finish this season. As a sophomore at Timber Creek High School, her team won a district title. Also in 2011, Vorster was named an AAU All-American. She also competed in basketball while in high school.
Vorster's older sister, Jade, is a sophomore on Hawaii's volleyball team, and was a first team All-Big West selection as a freshman in 2012.
"Sirena Vorster is a middle blocker, where we'll be graduating Kendle Rollins this year," Pinder said. "She has good size, and is a very good middle, with a strong presence at the net. Sirena is a really good attacker off of one foot. She is a really good leader, and is one of those people who adds great value to our team."
Hannah Weidner (RS, 6-1, Shorewood, Minn./Minnetonka HS)
Hannah Weidner has been a four-year all-conference selection for Minnetonka High School, setting her school's record for career kills, at 1,170. She was named to the Minnesota All-State team this season, hitting .576 while scoring 303 kills. During each of the last three seasons, she received her team's Offensive Player of the Year award. In 2013, she was tabbed to the All-Metro third team. Weidner earned Star-Tribune Athlete of the Week honors as a sophomore.
Weidner's mom, Angie, played volleyball at Memphis, while her dad, Kirk, played volleyball at Carleton College and later competed in professional beach volleyball.
"Hannah Weidner is a true right-side hitter, and has a right-handed swing at the net," Pinder said. "She puts up a very big block. Hannah is a very physical player with a heavy arm. She also uses a lot of shots, and can terminate points. She has a high volleyball IQ as well, and brings a lot to our team."
Anna Willey (S, 6-1, Davenport, Iowa/Bettendorf HS)
Anna Willey comes to Liberty from Bettendorf High School in Davenport, Iowa, where she captained her team to an Iowa 5A state championship in 2012. She has earned all-conference mention each of the last two years, including first team this season. Willey was voted to the 5A All-District Team and 5A State All-Tournament team as a junior. She has been selected to compete in the Iowa All-Star match, as one of the top 32 seniors in the state.
In club volleyball, Willey played on the Iowa High Performance team in 2011 and 2012, finishing first and second in the nation. Her older sister, Julia, currently plays volleyball at Taylor.
"We're excited about Anna Willey," Pinder said. "She has really good size, and is very athletic. She plays for a very good high school and club team, which run similar tempos to ours. She should have a chance to step in and compete right away. She has all of the skills in the position to make our team very competitive."
Hannah Williams (DS, 5-8, Yorktown, Va./Grafton HS)
Hannah Williams currently competes for Grafton High School, after three years at Hampton Christian High School. She leads the district in digs this season. As a junior, she was named Metro Conference Player of the Year, along with garnering first team all-state mention. She led her team to a conference title and VISAA Division 3 runner-up finish last season, and was runner-up for VISAA Division 3 Player of the Year. In 2011, she led her conference in kills, and earned VISAA All-State mention and selection to the All-Metro Conference team.
Williams' father, Mark, played volleyball at Penn State and also competed on All-Air Force teams.
"Hannah Williams is a DS/libero," Pinder said. "We've been able to have some good defensive specialists over the last few years. She has a very good serve receive platform, and also has a good range of motion. Hannah is very competitive, and will give us tremendous depth at the position."