Nov. 13, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas – Rice’s volleyball team announced the signing of two student-athletes on Wednesday to enroll in school and join the volleyball team in 2014. Shelby Livingstone of Malibu, Calif. and Portia Okafor of Lewisville have signed National Letters of Intent with the Owls.
“We are very excited to be bringing these two young ladies into our program,” Rice head coach Genny Volpe said. “Both of them know how to play at a very high level and know how to win. Both of them should make an immediate impact on our program.
Shelby Livingstone is a 6-2 outside hitter from Malibu, Calif., who has started all four years for Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village. Livingstone has helped the Lions win three league championships in the Tri-Valley League. Through 33 sets played of her senior season, Livingstone was hitting .496 with 150 kills (4.5 per set) with 106 digs (7.6 per set) six aces and 12 blocks. Livingstone has been named an All-CIF Team Division 2AA selection, one-time MVP of the Tri-Valley League, First-Team SCVR All-Southern California and three different All-Tournament teams.
In addition to her on court success, Livingstone has also been named to both the dean’s and headmaster’s list and has earned AP Art History and Scholar awards.
“Shelby is a six rotation outside hitter who is very polished,” Volpe said. “She is a smooth player who has a high volleyball IQ. She hits from a high spot and has a lot of different shots offensively. But she also is a strong defensive player and passer as well.
Portia Okafor is a 6-2 middle blocker from Lewisville, playing for the Fighting Farmers under head coach Libby Rodriguez. A four year starter, Okafor is a two-time all-district first-team selection and has finished academically in the top 10 percent of her class all three years. Okafor played club ball for Texas Advantage in 2013 for the TAV 17s Black and for Instinct VBC, 2011-12.
“Portia is a serious threat at the net both offensively and defensively,” Volpe said. “She has great blocking instincts as well as quick lateral speed which makes her a great middle blocker. Her club team won the gold medal at nationals last year so she has experience against the best competition in the country and has found success in that environment. We are expecting her to keep the level of play high in the middle that has been traditional on our team.
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