Volleyball adds four during early signing period
Head coach Shaun Kupferberg
Head coach Shaun Kupferberg
The JU volleyball team got a head start to its 2010 recruiting class by announcing the signing of setter Kendall Courtney (Houston, Texas), outside hitter Jenell Larsen (Waupun, Wis.) and middle blockers Alyssa Robertson (Pompano Beach, Fla.) and Kylie Jacob (Fayetteville, Ga.).

The foursome will infuse youth into a veteran Dolphin squad which finished second in the A-Sun standings and tallied the program’s best winning percentage (19-9, .679) in the Division I era last season.

“I’m very excited about this group of athletes and can’t wait to get them on campus and start preparing for 2010,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “They each have a great attitude and personality that will add to our already great team chemistry. Combine that with the fact that they are all near the top of their class academically and we have some great young leaders coming into our program next year. ”

Courtney, a 5-foot-8 senior from Cypress Falls High School, was named all-state honorable mention and district “Setter of the Year” after leading the Eagles with 14 double-doubles and setting school single season records for assists (1,196) and aces (68). She also garnered all-district accolades as a sophomore and junior while setting the previous school single season record for assists (1,090) as a junior. In club play, she was a member of Willowbrook from 2006-09 and led the squad to an open division birth each year at the Junior Olympic National Championships.

“Kendall is a natural leader on the floor,” Kupferberg said. “She has great location and tempo on her sets and plays tough defensively in the back row. Her skill set is a great fit for our team and where we want to head as a program.”

Jacob, a 6-1 senior from Starrs Mill High School, earned first team all state, all-region, all-county and all-area honors while being named a Georgia Senior All-Star after leading the Panthers in kills and blocks. As a junior, she earned all-county accolades while leading the area in blocks.

“Kylie has tremendous potential in the front row and we’re looking forward to getting her in the gym,” said Kupferberg. “The sky is the limit for her if she really catches on and gets aggressive on the court.”

Robertson, a 6-foot senior from Monarch High School, was a first team all-city selection after setting school records with a .393 hitting percentage, 284 kills and 216 digs while also adding 49 aces and 32 blocks. She was named MVP of the BCAA All-State Seniors Match at the end of the season. In club action, she was also selected to USA Volleyball’s High Performance program and is a member of Ocean Breeze volleyball club.

“Alyssa is just an all-around great athlete,” said Kupferberg. “I really don’t know where she’s going to play on the floor, but she’s too gifted athletically not to recruit. Her front row skills are solid at all three positions and we’ll get a better idea of what she can do when we put her up against the great athletes we already have in our program.”

Larsen, a 6-foot senior from Waupun Area High School, earned second team all-conference honors after tallying 157 kills and 97 blocks while leading the Warriors to a regional title. As a junior, she was named honorable mention all-conference with 80 kills and 133 blocks while leading the squad to a state championship. In club play, she was a member of Club Breakout and placed third in the JVDA Championships in 2008.

“Jenell is a solid player who can help us both in the front and back row,” Kupferberg said. “She’s a consistent player that coaches love because we know what we’re going to get every night when we put her on the court.”

JU has tallied four consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1986-89 and tallied a Division I program record 13 consecutive wins during the 2009 season. The Dolphins will begin spring practice on Feb. 17 before competing in the UCF Invitational on March 28th.