Elliott signs quartet of USA Volleyball standouts
Nov. 12, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- Consistently recognized for recruiting top national classes, Texas Volleyball head coach Jerritt Elliott has again landed one of the nation's top recruiting classes, signing a stellar class of four to attend The University of Texas. Hannah Allison, Ashley Bannister, Haley Cameron and Sarah Palmer will join the Horns for the 2010-11 academic year.
"We are excited about this class because it fills a lot of our needs. It is large class, but it gives us players at four different positions. This group of players is very capable of playing and contributing as freshman."
Allison, a 5-11 setter from Siloam Springs, Arkansas, attends Siloam Springs High School and plays club volleyball for the Ozark Juniors. The current high school senior is a four-year letterwinner and is the reigning Arkansas Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year. Allison has led Siloam Springs to a 123-11 record and four-straight state championships during her prep career. She is a four-time all-state selection in Arkansas and has three years of training experience with USA Volleyball.
"Hannah is extremely athletic, she is quick off the floor, very fast and she loves to compete," Elliott said. "In our eyes she is the top setter in this class and she will bring excellent blocking and great leadership to our team. With continued training she will be one of the premier setters in the nation."
In 2009, Allison played for the U.S. Youth National Team at the FIVB Youth World Championships in Thailand. She was a member of the U.S. Youth National Training Team in 2008 and the U.S. A1 Team in 2007.
Bannister, a 6-1 outside hitter from Sugar Land, Texas, attends William B. Travis High School and plays for the Texas Tornados Volleyball Club. As a prepster, she has led Travis to back-to-back District 23-5A titles and was named District MVP in 2008. Bannister helped the Texas Tornados to a fifth-place finish at the 2009 Junior Olympics and earned all-tournament accolades.
"Ashley is an in-state kid and she is very explosive," Elliott said. "She has been one of the best prep outside hitters in the country for quite some time. She has a great arm, nice range and she is going to continue to improve in our gym."
Throughout her prep career, Bannister has been involved with USA Volleyball's High Performance program. In 2009, she paced the U.S. Junior A2 Team to a fifth-place finish at the European Global Championships, en route to earning all-tournament honors.
Cameron, a 6-3 middle blocker from La Jolla, Calif., attends La Jolla High School and plays for Coast Volleyball Club. She is a four-year letterwinner and 2009 team captain at La Jolla where she was a San Diego CIF Division III First Team All-League selection. Cameron headlined her 2008 Coast team at the Junior Olympics, claiming all-tourney honors.
"Haley is a bit of an unknown after having a great sophomore year, getting hurt as junior and then coming back to have a good senior season," Elliott said. "She is big physical blocker and she is a very strong presence at the net. She is a really nice player that continues to get stronger now that she is healthy."
In July 2008, Cameron was injured with the U.S. Junior A2 Team and missed much of her junior season with her high school and club teams. As a senior, Cameron has bounced back with 358 kills and 62 blocks to-date.
Palmer, a 5-10 libero from Kailua, Hawaii, attends Hawaii Baptist Academy and plays club for the ASICS Rainbows. She has helped her Hawaii Baptist squad to three-straight Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II State Championships and has been named tournament most outstanding player all three seasons. Palmer has been honored as an all-state pick the past three seasons and in 2008 she was named a PrepVolleyball.com High School All-American.
"Palmer is an extremely competitive and fiery player," Elliott said. "She brings great ball control and she will come in and add a lot of great skills to this team. The addition of Sarah continues the nice growth of liberos in our program."
Palmer has had extensive experience with the USA Volleyball High Performance Program over the past four years. In 2009, she was selected to the U.S. Youth National Training Team after spending time in the U.S. Girls National A2 Program and on the U.S. Youth Red Team in 2008.
"The overall athleticism of our class is outstanding," Elliott said. "All of these players will make an impact and be contributors to this program."
Texas' stellar recruiting class follows the second-ranked classes the Longhorns brought to the Forty Acres in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and its fifth-ranked class in 2009.