Liberty Volleyball Adds 7 Signees
Liberty volleyball fourth-year head coach Trevor Johnson and his staff have announced the addition of seven student-athletes to the team’s 2022 roster. Taylor Bates, Brooke Elliott, Madigan Faircloth, Kalin Hubbard, Abby Weaver, Kendall White and Sydney Whitfield have all signed commitments to attend Liberty and play volleyball beginning in the 2022-23 academic year.
“We are really excited about this nucleus of kids we have coming in,” Johnson said. “They are all very athletic. Not only are they great athletes, they are even better people. They all work really hard, and have really good club volleyball experience. We are looking forward to seeing this group elevate our gym both on and off the court.”
Taylor Bates (OH, 5-11, Pompano Beach, Fla./Calvary Christian Academy)
Taylor Bates brings an impressive resume from her time at Calvary Christian Academy. This year, she was named an AVCA All-Region and AVCA All-America honorable mention player, also listed among AVCA’s “Best and Brightest.” She has also been a Prep Volleyball Top 10 Performer this year. Bates holds CCA’s career record in points, kills, aces and serve receptions. A two-time AAU Academic All-American, she was listed on Prep Volleyball’s Frosh 59 and Soph 79 earlier in her career. She has posted career highs in kills, digs and aces this season. A varsity starter since eighth grade, Bates in a three-time all-county selection and was named fourth team all-state as a junior. The senior has been listed on Prep Dig’s Top of 22 and Prep Volleyball’s Top 150 of 2022.
“Taylor was an early commitment for us, as she has come to several of our camps,” Johnson said. “We are really excited about her. Watching her improvement and development at the high school and club levels has been exciting. The sky is the limit for Taylor. We see her developing into a strong six-rotation outside hitter for us. She comes from a very good family as well.”
Brooke Elliott (MB, 6-1, Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern High School)
Brooke Elliott joins the Lady Flames as a standout middle blocker from Fishers, Ind. Elliott was rated the No. 1 middle blocker in the state of Indiana by PrepDig in 2020. A three-time AVCA Phenom honoree, she has also appeared on the Ultra Ankle JVA Watch List three times. Serving as team captain this season, she has totaled 166 kills and 69 blocks, earning Academic All-State honors. Elliott earned AAU All-American honors as a sophomore, and also plays high school lacrosse.
“Brooke comes from a very good volleyball club in Muncie, Ind.,” Johnson said. “They are really good at turning out high-level volleyball players to major programs. We are really excited about her, as she stood out at one of our camps. She can play middle blocker or right side. Brooke is a great kid wit ha good sense of humor. I really like her size, and she is going to contribute in multiple positions for us.”
Madigan Faircloth (DS/L, 5-4, Inwood, W.Va./Musselman High School)
A native of Inwood, W.Va., Madigan Faircloth has helped her Musselman High School team to the West Virginia State Championship match each of the last two years, winning the title last year. A two-time West Virginia All-Tournament Team member, she was also named to the EPAC All-Conference first team twice. Faircloth finished fifth in the state in digs as a junior and has earned back-to-back special mention All-State honors. She appeared on the 2020 AVP Phenom Watchlist. Faircloth has surpassed the 1,000-career digs mark and has served up nearly 200 aces.
“Madigan is just a great all-around libero,” Johnson said. “She is a good defender, a good passer. I love her all-around game and her competitiveness. She sees the game really well. Madigan is another good family kid, and she will add to out already good libero group.”
Kalin Hubbard (MB, 6-2, Pembroke Pines, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas High School)
Kalin Hubbard comes to Liberty as a standout middle blocker from Pembroke Pines, Fla. A 2021 AVCA All-Region and All-American third team player, she has hit .375 so far this season with 41 solo blocks, helping her team win a district title. She was also listed among high school’s “Best & Brightest” by the AVCA this season. Last year, she was named first team All-County by Sun Sentinel and Broward County, hitting .371 for the season. Hubbard also competes in varsity beach volleyball.
Hubbard’s father, Joe Hubbard, played football at UCF from 1996-99.
“Kalin is Taylor Bates’ club teammate. She is a very athletic middle blocker,” Johnson said. “She works extremely hard and will probably raise the level of our gym quite a bit. Kalin has a tremendous work ethic. She is going to some really good things for us, and we are very excited about her joining us.”
Abby Weaver (OH, 5-8, Shipshewana, Ind./Home School)
Abby Weaver is one of two Indiana natives in this year’s signing class, joining Brooke Elliott. Home schooled, Weaver has helped the Goshen Blue Blazers to three straight Indiana Home School State Championships. After a National Home School runner-up finish in 2019, Goshen earned the national title last year. She has been named to the State, Midwest and National All-Tournament Teams each of the last two years. This year, she was named to the State All-Star Team, totaling 814 kills.
“Abby is another kid who came late to us,” Johnson said. “Her sister played club beach volleyball here, and Abby came to one of our clinics and impressed us. Abby is unassuming, but she gets off the ground well, passes well and hits well. She has had a lot of success at the home school level. Abby is another player who plays with a chip on her shoulder.
Kendall White (S/RS, 6-0, Gahanna, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln High School)
Kendall White brings impressive credentials as a setter and right-side hitter to the Lady Flames. Hailing from Gahanna, Ohio, White was the 2021 player of the year in her conference. She has earned four all-conference honors during her career, making the first team twice. She has eclipsed the 1,000-career assists mark and is a two-time first team all-district selection. This season, she set career highs in assists (407), kills (210), digs (255) and blocks (57).
“Kendall is a setter from Ohio who popped onto our radar late,” Johnson said. “She is still learning the setter position, but she has good hands and a very good volleyball IQ. I really like her size as a setter. We are excited to what she can bring to our gym as she continues to develop. Her brother, Evan White, is an infielder for the Seattle Mariners.”
Sydney Whitfield (OH, 5-10, Magnolia, Texas/Concordia Lutheran High School)
Sydney Whitfield is a top outside hitter from Magnolia, Texas, continuing Liberty’s string of strong recruiting in Texas. This year, she set career highs with 500 kills and 192 digs, eclipsing the 1,000-career-kills mark. She was named to the AVCA All-America Watch List and was listed among the “Best & Brightest” by the AVCA this fall. Whitfield is a two-time TAPPS 6A All-State second team selection and two-time first team All-District choice. She was named to the 2019 Soph 79 Honorable Elite by PrepVolleyball. That same year, she appeared on the AVCA Phenom Watch List. She helped her team to a TAPPS 6A State runner-up finish as a freshman.
Whitfield’s older sister, Savannah Whitfield, played volleyball at Dallas Baptist in 2019 and 2020.
“Sydney Whitfield is from Houston, and has a heavy arm at the outside hitter position,” Johnson said. “She will be another good athlete for us. Sydney plays for a really good club, Houston Skyline, the same club where Trinity Watts played. She has excelled at the high school level as well. Sydney is another player who will add greatly to our outside hitter depth. She is a great person as well.”