Nov. 9, 2011
Rice University head volleyball coach Genny Volpe has announced the signing of three outstanding high school volleyball players to National Letters of Intent to attend Rice and play volleyball for the Owls beginning in the fall of 2012.
The trio that have signed with the Rice Owls are setter Sara Blaiser from Hartford, Wis., middle blocker Andi Bawcum from Paris, Texas, and from Rocky Hill, Conn., rightside hitter Kyley Reed.
Blaiser, a four-year starter at setter for Slinger High School, was a first-team all-are first-team all-conference selection, and team MVP for 2010. Blaiser was also first team all-conference for 2011. Ironically, Slinger's nickname for its athletic teams is the Owls. She played club volleyball for Badger Region Volleyball and is the daughter of Mark and AmyBlaiser.
"Sara is one of the best setters nationwide in her graduating class," comments Volpe. "She has the unique ability to terminate the second ball as well because she is also left handed. Her size and athleticism will make her extremely effective at her position."
Bawcum, a middle blocker and four-year starter, led the Paris Wildcats in 2011 with 513 kills for a sterling 4.5 kills per set average and she tallied 94 total blocks.
"Andi is a multi-position player and her versatility is going to help our team quite a bit," says Volpe. "She can hit left, middle, or right side, and she can also pass the ball consistently. Andi is very focused, competitive, and composed and she really adds a calm-type of leadership on the court."
In 2008, her freshman season, Bawcum was named District 10-3A Newcomer of the Year, for 2009 and 2010 she was the District's MVP, and she was named all-state in 2010 as well. She played club volleyball for Impact Volleyball and is the daughter of Glen and Tracey Bawcum.
Reed is a four-year starter as an outside hitter for Rocky Hill H.S. In 2008, she was named as the squad's offensive player of the year as a freshman. For 2009, Reed was the team's MVP and she was selected first team all-conference, and first team all-state. As a junior she served as team captain in addition to again being named as the team MVP, first team all-conference, first team all-state.
Says Volpe, "Kyley is a true rightside hitter who is very athletic, has strong jumping ability, and a quick arm. She not only has strong terminating ability and quickness on the court, she puts up a solid block as well. As a lefty, we are excited to add that dimension to ouroffense."
Reed also earned the Hartford Courant Player of the Year award and the Tri-State Olympians Award for Athletics. As a senior team captain, Kyley has over 300 kills for a 7.0 kills per set average, which isfirst in the state, and sports a .634 hitting percentage, which is also first in the state. Defensively, she is third in the state at 6.0 digs per set.
"Overall, this class is not only very athletic, but they are just really good volleyball players," states Volpe. "They are going to add a lot to our already talented team that will return many players from this year's squad. With this excellent trio, we are setting ourselves up for a strong 2012 season and our future looks very bright."