Volleyball Signs Four for 2014
The LMU volleyball program signed four players for 2014.
Nov. 25, 2013
The LMU volleyball program signed four talented student-athletes to National Letters of Intent, it was announced by LMU volleyball head coach Tom Black. Sarah Sponcil (Setter | Veritas Preparatory Academy), Kristen Castellanos (Libero | Notre Dame Academy), Lindsay Carr (Outside Hitter | Mount Si HS) and Jennifer Casillas (Opposite | Valley Center HS) will all begin playing for the Lions in the fall of 2014.
"This class is as good as any we have brought in to date," Black said. "Who they are as people and athletes embodies what we are striving to achieve here at LMU. Their success in high school and club is a result of their passion to play and commitment to using every opportunity to improve, and those same traits we will deepen and push to grow as we look to achieve greater things for our program. We cannot wait to get this recruiting class into Gersten Pavilion. They are going to do great."
Sponcil was the 2012 Arizona Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year and a 2012 Under Armour second team All-American selection. The setter has guided her Veritas Preparatory Academy squad to three State Championships and one runner-up finish while also being named to the Arizona Republic All-Arizona Team in each of her last two seasons. The three-time Arizona Small School Player of the Year, she is also accomplished on the beach, participating in her first AVP tournament and finishing 17th overall before making the USA U19 Elite Eight National Beach team this past summer.
QUOTE FROM BLACK | "Sarah has achieved an incredible amount of success both indoors and on the beach, and her ability to compete at a high level for a long period of time will help us so much. Sarah is a high-achiever in every area of her life, and this balance is part of what impressed us so much. She is an excellent setter who not only plays hard, but also plays smart. Sarah simply wants to play volleyball all the time, and do it as well as she can. The result is one of the nation's best prep setters, and she is only scratching the surface."
Castellanos is a three-time All-CIF Southern Section selection and garnered All-Sunshine League first team honors in all four years of competition. A PrepVolleyball Senior Aces recipient, she has twice earned Defensive Player of the Year and MVP at Notre Dame Academy. Earned the first of her two Tournament MVP honors at the Royal Volleyball Classic as a freshman before finishing that year as a finalist for the 2010 PrepVolleyball National Freshman of the Year award.
QUOTE FROM BLACK | "Kristen is hands down one of the best prep liberos in the nation. Her ability to read the game and to truly be in the moment each point is rare. Her passion for the game, to become the best player she can possibly become, is incredible and infectious. Kristen is a leader, and since her sophomore year, we've been counting down the days to her arrival."
Carr is the KingCo Most Valuable Player and a three-time KingCo first team selection. A PrepVolleyball Senior Aces recipient, she also earned a spot on the Seattle Times All-Area team. One of the best volleyball players to ever grace the court at Mount Si High School, Carr finished her prep career as the school record holder for most kills in a match, season and career.
QUOTE FROM BLACK | "Lindsay is an excellent outside hitter who can hit with power and play the entire game. This isn't what separates her, though. What makes her special is the work she puts in when no one is watching. Lindsay treats every day as a gift and does everything she can to improve both on the court, in the weight room, and in life. She has experienced a lot of success and has been very well coached. She will get better each day at LMU and have a wonderful career here."
Casillas is a two-time All-Valley League selection, including a first-team selection in 2013. The MVP of her high school team as a senior, she was also awarded the Valley Center Relentless Pursuit Award in 2012. Equally accomplished in the classroom, Casillas is a scholar-athlete and earned a spot on the San Diego Union-Tribune All-Academic Team as a junior.
QUOTE FROM BLACK | "Jennifer is a very physical player who pushes herself to be the hardest worker in the gym. Her improvement each season, and even in the three days of our camp this past summer, has been remarkable. Jennifer can elevate, get way across the net, and hit with power on both pins. More than that, Jennifer competes. The sky is the limit for her, she is capable of so much."