Volleyball announces fall signees
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Volleyball head coach Jerritt Elliott has again landed a pair of the nation's top players, signing two recruits to National Letters of Intent to attend The University of Texas. Sydney Yogi, a 5-3 libero from Honolulu, Hawaii and Michelle Kocher, a 5-10 setter from Wheaton, Ill., will enroll at UT in the fall of 2008.
"Being able to bring in two players that can come in and impact our program immediately is very exciting," Elliott said. "These are two of the top players at their positions and we are very excited to sign them and we are also excited to complete our recruiting class this spring."
Yogi, who is ranked as one of the nation's top prep liberos, attends Punahou School in Honolulu and plays her travel ball for the ASICS Rainbows volleyball club. The current senior was a member of the 2006 and 2007 USA Youth National Teams and helped her team claim a gold medal at the NORCECA International Championships in 2006. At NORCECA, Yogi was named to the all-tournament team and garnered 'Best Libero' honors.
"It is very exciting any time that you are able to bring in a player that is the caliber of Sydney (Yogi)," Elliott said. "Her international experience with U.S. Volleyball gives her the ability to impact our team right from the start. The high energy that she brings to the floor is something that our fans will really enjoy for years to come."
Yogi led Punahou to a state championship in 2004 and a state runner-up finish in 2006, while earning first-team All-State accolades. She led the ASICS Rainbows to a fifth-place finish at the 2007 USA 17U Junior Olympics, after helping her 16U team to a silver medal in 2006 and her 15U team to a gold medal in 2005.
Kocher is a four-year starter for perennial Illinois state power St. Francis and plays her club volleyball for Mizuno Sports Performance Elite. She led St. Francis to a 2A State Championship in 2006, a 1A State Championship in 2004 and a 3A State Runner-up finish in 2007. In 2006 she led her squad to a 41-2 record a Top 10 national ranking.
"Michelle (Kocher) comes from a very experienced club team and an exceptional high school program," Elliott said. "We lose an All-American in Michelle Moriarty, however, Kocher has the ability to step in and compete immediately. She is a bit of an unknown and we feel like she has the capability to become one of the premier setters in the country."
In 2006 and 2007, Kocher co-captained St. Francis and was named to the Chicago Sun Times All-Area Girls Team in 2007. Kocher led Sports Performance to a USA 18U Junior Olympics championship in 2007 and was named to the Junior Olympic All-Tournament team in 2006.
"We are very excited to have two great young women with great knowledge and experience in our program, Elliott concluded. "Adding two great players to the talent pool that we already have will only make our team stronger in the coming years."
Texas' stellar recruiting class follows back-to-back classes that were ranked second in the country by PrepVolleyball.com and Volleyball Magazine in 2006 and 2007.