ARLINGTON, Texas -- UTA volleyball head coach J.T. Wenger announced the signing of five student-athletes on Tuesday to National Letters of Intent for the 2018 season.
"This class brings together a fantastic combination of length, arm speed and athleticism," Wenger said. "These student-athletes have been part of very successful programs and we are excited for them to carry on that mindset at UTA. This class will excel in the classroom and be great ambassadors for the University and the athletic department."
Addie Ashton // Zionsville, Ind. // Zionsville HS // Outside Hitter // 6-0
Notes: Star for powerhouse Zionsville High School (Ind.) ... Led Zionsville to a 29-3 record in 2017 ... Totaled 127 kills and a .229 hitting percentage in 2017, adding 33 blocks and 42 digs ... Zionsville sported a 27-9 record in 2016 ... Played club for Team Indiana Volleyball and Elite 17/18 Asics.
Wenger on Ashton ...
"Addie is a dynamic athlete with big upside. She brings a winning mindset coming off of a high school season where here team was ranked No. 1 in the state for much of the year. Being from out of the region, she will bring a new style of play to the gym that will diversify our offense and challenge our defenders. Addie will certainly help us and I am excited to work with her next fall."
Jessica Johnson // Plano, Texas // Plano HS // MB // 6-2
Notes: Two-year varsity starter ... Led the district in hitting percentage and blocking ... Served as co-captain as a senior ... Two-time all-district and academic all-district selection ... Played in national competition for Excel Volleyball Club for three consecutive years, leading team to second place in 2017 ... Named a Supernova by Prep Volleyball at the 2017 Northern Lights Qualifier in Minneapolis ... Ranked in the top 1% percent of Plano High School, checking in ninth overall, also earning national merit semifinalist and national honor society accolades ... Named AP Scholar with Distinction in 2016.
Wenger on Johnson ...
"Jessie is the epitome of what it means to be a student-athlete at the highest level. She is a fantastic athlete with a long frame that will be a force at the net for years to come. Jessie is also an exceptional student and is ranked in the top 10 in her class. I am looking forward to seeing her all-around positive impact on the program."
-- UTA Volleyball (@UTAVolleyball) November 14, 2017
Petra Manderson // Riccarton, Christchurch, New Zealand // Burnside HS // Hillsborough CC // 5-10
Notes: Served as captain of the U-23 New Zealand Women's National Team in the 2017 Asian Championships in Thailand ... Played last two years for Hillsborough Community College (Fla.) ... For Hillsborough last year, averaged 3.03 kills and 2.56 digs per set, hitting .229 ... In 2016, played in 29 matches at Hillsborough, averaging 2.3 kills and 2.19 digs per set with a .149 hitting percentage.
Wenger on Manderson ...
"Petra brings a wealth of volleyball knowledge to the Maverick program from her experience playing internationally. She has been a part of the game at the highest levels and that involvement has prepared her for the next level. Petra has great vision of the block and has carried a huge load for Hillsborough over the past two seasons. She is a well-rounded six-rotation outside hitter that gives us depth on the pen. As an incoming junior, she will bring experience that will help a young outside hitting core as they adjust to the college game. He experience will raise the level in our gym."
Brooke Townsend // Bastrop, Texas // Cedar Creek HS // Outside Hitter // 6-0
Notes: Named Team MVP in 2016 ... Twice broke her single-season school record for kills in a season ... Tabbed team offensive player of the year in 2015 ... Named all-district in 2015 and 2016 ... Three-time academic all-district ... As a senior for Cedar Creek, totaled 696 kills and a .362 hitting percentage, adding 45 blocks and 444 digs ... Team finished with a 31-15 record ... As a junior in 2016, led team to a 30-15 mark ... In 2016, finished with 529 kills and a .341 hitting percentage, with 33 blocks and 394 digs ... Has played club with Austin Performance 17 Black, participating in the AAU Junior National Championships in Orlando, Fla. ... Also played club with Austin Skyline ... Ran track in addition in high school, participating in the 400 meters.
— UTA Volleyball (@UTAVolleyball) November 14, 2017
Wenger on Townsend ...
"Brooke is a well-rounded student-athlete. Her jumping ability complements a great all-around game. She is an explosive six-rotation outside hitter that will have a chance to impact the program right away. Brooke will be a great asset for our program, as she plays great defense and reads the game very well."
-- UTA Volleyball (@UTAVolleyball) November 13, 2017
Bre Walp // Portland, Texas // Portland HS // Middle Blocker // 6-2
Notes: Three-year varsity starter ... Named second-team all-district in 2016 and 2015 ... Named to the Sinton Varsity Classic All-Tournament Team ... Was tabbed Student-Athlete of the Week by 1440 Keys during the 2017 season ... Excels academically, earning all-academic honors in volleyball in each of the last two years in volleyball and basketball ... Also played basketball for three years, earning first-team all-district honors as a sophomore and junior.
Wenger on Walp ...
"Bre is an exceptional athlete with tremendous potential. Her ability to play multiple positions will allow her to be successful in a variety of situations. The combination of her versatility and length adds tremendous value to our gym. I'm excited to see how she will grow as a student-athlete throughout her time as a Maverick."
FOLLOW THE MAVS SOCIALLY
For up-to-date news, photos, videos and updates you can follow UTA sports program online at UTAMavs.com or via any of several social media accounts on twitter @UTAMavs, Instagram @UTAMavs, Snapchat @UTAMavsand Facebook at UTArlingtonAthletics. Follow @UTAVolleyball on twitter and at UTAVolleyballon Facebook.
VB: App. State Outlasts Mavs in Five
VB: Canete, Geathers Earn All-Conference Honors
VB: Wenger Inks Five Future Mavericks
VB: Mavs Open Sun Belt Run with App State
VB: Cajuns Outlast Mavs in Four Sets
VB: Canete Stars as Mavs Top ULM