HOUSTON – Rice volleyball head coach Genny Volpe announced the signing of three student-athletes on Wednesday to enroll in school and join the Owls in 2016. Lee Ann Cunningham (Louisville, KY), Adria Martinez (Spring, Texas), and Grace Morgan (Crowley, LA) have signed National Letters of Intent with the Owls.
“Overall, this class is full of athleticism, talent, and leadership,” Volpe said. “We are thrilled to add Grace, Adria, and LeeAnn to our team and believe all three will make significant impact on our program.”
Martinez is a 5-11 setter from Spring, Texas, who plays at Concordia Lutheran High School and Houston Juniors Club. As a senior, Martinez was selected as a PrepVolleyball 2016 Senior Ace and helped guide the Crusaders to a TAPPS 5A District 3 championship. A four-year starter under head coach Kim Odinga, Martinez was a 2014 TAPPS 5A First-Team All-State selection while also garnering first-team all-district and academic all-state honors her junior season. She was also a 2014 AVCA Phenom List recipient. Martinez also earned first-team all-district honors her sophomore campaign and was a second-team all-district selection as a freshman.
While playing club, Martinez’s squad finished second in USA this past year and individually Martinez earned all-Tournament honors. She played at the Junior Nationals in Open 2012-14 and represented the Lone Star Regional Team in 2013 at the High Performance Championships.
“Adria is a true leader and very sound setter,” Volpe said. “She is strong, has a high volleyball IQ, and can run the floor well. Her greatest asset though is her leadership and team-oriented attitude. She is an extreme competitor and constantly gives.”
Cunningham is a 5-7 libero/defensive specialist from Louisville, KY, who plays at Assumption High School for head coach Ron Kordes. The Rockets volleyball team is coming off a state championship, their 19th in the last 24 years. Cunningham was the recipient of the Above and Beyond Award and received the Coaches’ Award in 2014. Aside from volleyball, Cunningham also competed in the high jump.
“Lee Ann has had great training and comes from a high school and club program that is traditionally very successful,” said Volpe. “She knows how to win and is a fighter. She is quick on her feet, has solid passing and defensive fundamentals, and is also a phenomenal leader.”
Morgan is a 6-2 middle from Crowley, LA, who plays at Notre Dame High School for head coach Tara Young. Through mid-October Morgan had posted 389 kills on 775 attempts (.426 hitting percentage) with 59 solo blocks and 15 aces. Morgan was named to 2015 Under Armour Watch List and was an LHSAA Composite Academic All-State Team selection. Morgan has been named to the AVCA Phenom List from 2013-15 and was an AAU 16s Club All-American in 2014. The 2014 LHSAA Div. IV MVP, Morgan was an all-district selection from 2012-14. The Pioneers won the district championship all four years of Morgan’s career. In addition to volleyball, Morgan excelled in the high jump, placing third at the LHSAA AAA State Track Meet in 2014 and 2015.
“Grace is one of the strongest athletes in the 2016 class on a national level,” said Volpe. “She jumps well and easily, moves quick laterally, and puts up a dominating block. She can attack from a very high spot as well. Her potential is off the charts and we believe she will do great things for our program early in her career.”