Volleyball signs three in early signing period

Nov. 30, 2005

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After two of the most successful seasons in JU's Division I history, the Jacksonville volleyball team signed three players in the early signing period for the 2006 season.

Joining the Dolphins will be Shelley Walroth (Cincinnati, Ohio), Amanda Youell (Orange Park, Fla.) and outside hitter Detelina Dimitrova (Sofia, Bulgaria).

""I am very happy with the progress we have made over the last few years in terms of recruiting," said JU head coach Kevin Paul. "Signing these three players early shows how far we've come over the last two years. Cerina (Pele, assistant coach) has worked very hard in the last 10 months and it has certainly paid off for us. These three players are going to be immediate impact players for us filling the shoes of quality seniors that have departed. The experience and level of play they bring together will be very important to us as we look to continue to be at the top of the A-Sun consistently."

Walroth, a 5-foot-8 libero and outside hitter, comes to JU after a successful career at Oak Hills High School and with the Club Z volleyball team. A four-year letterwinner at Oak Hills, Walroth was named the most outstanding player on her team and the best offensive player, while earning first team all-conference and second-team all-city honors.

Her club team, Club Z, won the under-14 national title in 2002 and finished third in the country this past year.

"I am really happy we were able to sign Shelley," Paul said. "I think she has a great desire to play the game and she will bring a great attitude to our team. She has played the last few years with one of the top club teams in the country, Team Z, which means she has had some great training and plays some of the top competition around. Shelley hustles on every point and that is what we are going to need to continue climbing the ladder in the A-Sun. I'm really looking forward to what she can add to our team."

Youell , 5-foot-11 setter, joins the Dolphins after starring at Fleming Island High School, leading her team to the Class 5A, Region 1 semifinals this past season and directing the team to a 28-2 record.

During the season she racked up 61 aces and was named the best offensive player on the team. She was also recognized by the Florida Times-Union as one of the five volleyball players to watch and was chosen as the athlete of the week by the Times-Union on Sept. 20.

"Amanda is going to bring some very important versatility to our team," Paul said. "Her joining the program will give us depth at setter and our attack positions. She is a very physical player who we will look to provide tougher play at the net, as she has done over the years with our juniors team here in Jacksonville. It's also nice to get a talented player from our backyard and is something we want to do more of in the near future."

Rounding out the trio is Dimitrova, a 6-foot-1 outside hitter with loads of power. A four-year starter at the World of Languages school, she led her team to the national title twice, her freshman and senior seasons, and was named the MVP of the national championship this past year while serving as team captain.

To round out her career, she played on the Bulgaria Junior National Team the past two years. All the while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average in high school and making a 1250 on the SAT.

"We will look to fill Joanna Silva's shoes with Detelina," Paul said. "They are very similar when it comes to playing the game. She is going to bring us great ball control and a mature mind for the game. We've had a lot of success with our Bulgarian players and I don't think it will be any different when Detelina steps on the court. She is a strong kid who has a lot of power for us on the outside."