Elliott signs highly-touted trio of USA Volleyball standouts
Nov. 13, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas -- Consistently recognized for recruiting top national classes, Texas Volleyball head coach Jerritt Elliott has once again landed one of the nation's top recruiting classes, signing a stellar class of three to attend The University of Texas. Katherine Bell, Haley Eckerman and Madelyn Hutson will join the Horns for the 2011-12 academic year.
Bell is the second-ranked recruit nationally by PrepVolleyball.com, while Eckerman ranks fifth and Hutson ranks 13th.
"This is a talented class that will have an immediate impact on this program," Elliott said. "This group has a wow factor that our fans will truly enjoy. This 2011 class will be a great complement to our already talented returners. It will be the most physical team that we have ever had."
The three signees were teammates on the 2009 U.S. Girls Youth National Team along with current Texas freshman Hannah Allison. The trio also all garnered 2010 MaxPreps preseason All-America First Team honors.
Bell, a 6-1 middle blocker from Mesquite, Texas, attends North Mesquite High School and plays club volleyball for the Texas Assault. The current high school senior is a four-time all-district honoree at North Mesquite, was named District MVP in 2009 and was named district blocker of the year in 2008. An excellent leaper, Bell possesses a vertical leap that allows her to touch 10'6".
"Khat is a passionate competitor that our fans will fall in love with," Elliott said. "In my opinion she is the most dynamic player in the 2011 class and she will be a great addition to our program. She is one of the best young blockers I have ever seen at her age and she has the physical tools to take a match over at any time."
At North Mesquite, she led her 2010 squad to the District 11-5A title after leading her Texas Assault club to the 2010 Lone Star Classic 18 Club Division title over the summer. Bell totaled 794 kills during her senior season for the Stallions and recorded 910 kills as a junior.
Eckerman, a 6-3 outside hitter from Waterloo, Iowa, attends East High School and plays for the Iowa Rockets volleyball club. She owns four years of experience in the USA Developmental program and she is a two-time PrepVolleyball.com All-American. In all four years of her prep career she was chosen all-state first team, all-state elite, all- district, all-conference and all-metro.
"Haley is a true outside hitter with size and skill," Elliott said. "She has tremendous range as an attacker and a great feel for passing and playing defense. She has the potential to develop into one of the premier outside hitters in the country."
During her freshman, junior and senior season's she was named conference player of the year and in 2009 she earned state of Iowa player of the year accolades. Eckerman concluded her career with 2,494 kills, leading the state in kills in 2007, 2008 and 2010. She led her East squad to three conference titles during her career (2007-08, '10), marking the first three girls championships in school history.
Hutson, a 6-6 middle blocker from Brentwood, Tenn. attends Ravenwood High School and played for Impact Volleyball Club. A three-year veteran of the USA Volleyball program, she helped the U.S. to a gold medal at the 2008 NORCECA Girl's Youth Continental Championship. As a senior, Hutson helped guide her Ravenwood squad to a 49-8 record and the 2010 AAA State Championship one year after finishing as the state's runner-up. She garnered tournament most valuable player honors at the 2010 state tournament.
"Madelyn is a strong physical player with an excellent work ethic," Elliott said. "Her size and physicality make her an imposing presence at the net, while her passing and defensive touch allow her to be a complete player. She hits a heavy ball, blocks very well and her versatility will allow us to use her in many ways. Even though Madelyn is tall she moves well and has a great feel when passing and playing defense."
Hutson was named a PrepVolleyball.com All-American in 2009 and has received all-district honors in each of her four prep seasons. In 2009 and 2010, she was named District 11-AAA MVP and in 2009 she earned Tennessean All-Midstate Player of the Year accolades.
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 classes in 2009 and 2010.