Volleyball Announces the Signing of Four Athletes during Early Signing Period
Dec. 1, 2008
TULSA, Okla. - The University of Tulsa volleyball head coach Ed Allen announced today the signing of four high school seniors - Jessica Adams, Dianna Crane, Tyler Henderson and Shelbi Pitcher - to his squad for the 2009 season during the early signing period.
"This class is probably, athletically, the strongest class that I have ever recruited," Tulsa head coach Ed Allen said. "It has the potential to establish this program in the next couple of years as a perennial power. I think it will allow us to return to the championship form that we were in 2006 and 2007."
Adams is a 5-foot 9-inch defensive specialist/libero from Heritage Hall High School in Oklahoma City, which won the Class 4A Oklahoma state championship all four years of her career. She was named to the Class 4A all-state team as a senior. As a senior, Adams averaged 5.2 digs per set, 2.83 kills per set, one service ace per set, and averaged a .283 attack percentage, while also passing for a 2.43 average.
Throughout her high school career, Adams has served as team captain, was named an All-American at the Junior Olympics and was named to the state championship all-tournament team in her senior season. A multi-sport athlete, she also played basketball, and has scored 529 points and tallied 477 rebounds for her career, which ranks third in school history; she needs just 61 rebounds to set the school career record.
"Jessica Adams in the best ball control kid that I have ever recruited," Allen said. "She has the ability to form a platform like no other kid I have ever encountered. She comes from a coaching family, so she understands work ethic, hard work and attitude - all the intangible things that make a great player and make an even better teammate. I think she possesses those qualities."
Dianna Crane is an outside hitter from Eastside Collegiate and Vocational Institute in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, where she was the captain of her volleyball team as a senior. She was named an Ontario Volleyball Association Provincial All-Star three out of four years in high school, and received a direct invite to tryout for the Canadian Junior National Team as well as training at the Canadian Junior National Training Camp. She has also played for teams at least one age group above her own since she was 15 years old.
In addition, Crane has received the Ontario Volleyball Award of Excellence, the Outstanding Achievement Award given by the mayor of Whitby and the Most Outstanding Team Member award for Senior Girls Volleyball. She has also led her teams to multiple gold medal performances and tournament championship. A multi-sport athlete, in addition to four years of volleyball, Crane also played basketball for two years.
"Dianna Crane is a kid that is very similar to the type of kid that we have been recruiting on the outside," said Allen. "She hits an extremely heavy ball. She is a very strong-built kid who can withstand the pounding and the wear and tear that a left-side hitter has to endure throughout the course of the year. She is a kid that we expect to further develop her shots while she is here, which will make her an even more dangerous attacker when she can mix those shots up with the heavy ball that she hits."
Tyler Henderson is an outside hitter from Heritage Hall High School in Oklahoma City, Okla., where she helped her team to four straight Class 4A state championships. As a senior, she was named the Class 4A State Championship Most Valuable Player, and was a Little City All-State selection.
Henderson also lettered in track and field for four years, where she won the state high jump championship as a freshman and competed at the state championships two other times in the high jump. As a sophomore, she was honored as the best athlete in a field event at the state track and field championships.
"Tyler Henderson is the best athlete I have ever recruited. Period," Allen said. "She is a kid that jump-touches higher than any kid that I have ever had in the program. I think she is a special player and will be one of the most significant players over the next four years in Conference USA. She is an extremely dynamic kid."
Pitcher is a defensive specialist/libero from Lewis Palmer High School in Colorado Springs, Colo., where her high school team finished third in the state with a 25-6 record. As a senior, she was named first-team all-conference, and to three all-state teams, including by the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News. She also made the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News all-state teams as a junior.
On the court, Pitcher broke the school record for service aces in a single season with 77, and set the school record for career digs with 888. She also received the Coaches Award on her team after her junior and senior seasons, was named a KKTV Classroom Champion and a first-team Academic All-State selection as a senior.
"Shelby Pitcher is the fastest, the quickest DS that I have ever recruited," said Allen. "She is extremely explosive. She is a 5' 4" kid that played as an outside hitter for her high school team, which tells how well she can jump. She has a pretty good jump serve, and I think she will develop into one of the most consistent defensive players in the league."
For all Golden Hurricane volleyball news and information, visit www.TulsaHurricane.com.
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