Texas A&M University-Commerce head volleyball coach Craig Case announced Monday morning three additions to the Lion volleyball program. Kaitlyn Ingle, Lacie Jessup and Shantel Norton have signed letters of intent during the early signing period and will join the volleyball program next summer.
"We're very excited about the early signees for our 2014 class," Case said. "We were able to get three players who are a good fit for Lion Volleyball on an off the court and fill some needs that we have. They're all excited about being part of our program and understand the expectations placed on them going forward, expectations which have never been higher. Without a doubt this is a good day for Lion Volleyball!"
Ingle is a 5-10 setter from nearby Allen. She helped lead the Eagles to the 2013 district championship. An honorable mention all-district selection in 2012, Ingle is currently a member of the Madfrog National-Wade club team based out of Dallas.
"Katie is a very diverse player," Case said. "She can naturally play two to three different positions if needed. She has good size for a setter and makes really good decisions when running an offense. I'm very excited for the skills and abilities Katie brings to our team and excited to see the contributions she is going to make."
Jessup is a 5-5 libero from Irving who has been a three year letter-winner at Nimitz High School. A two-time all-district selection, Jessup posted a career-best 483 digs as a senior as she was named the district's Defensive Player of the Year in 2012.
"Lacie is a very talented defensive player," said Case. "I'm excited for her to come in and add ball control and an attitude of defense to our team. She's very quick and has exceptional length as a defensive specialist and has good training from high school and club with an unmatched passion for the game. After spending ten minutes with Lacy, we knew she was the type of person that we wanted in our program."
Norton is s 5-8 outside hitter from Houston, earning four varsity letters at James Madison High School. A two-time first team all-district selection and team MVP, Norton averaged 12 kills a game for her prep career and has spent the past four years as a member of the Southside Storm club team.
"Shantel is as explosive of an athlete as you can find," Case said. "We expect for Shantel to come in and compete immediately at the outside hitter position. Her athleticism and power will be good fits for our systems and we'll be expecting big things from her. If Shantel develops the way we think she will then her career here in a Lion Volleyball uniform is going to be exceptional."
The trio joins an A&M-Commerce program that is coming off one of its most memorable seasons in recent history. The Lions notched 23 victories on the season, marking back-to-back 20-win campaigns, while advancing to the Lone Star Conference semifinals where A&M-Commerce came two points short of knocking off sixth-ranked West Texas A&M. The three will join the program this summer and should compete right away for significant playing time once the 2014 season gets underway.
2013 A&M-Commerce Volleyball Signees
5-10 • Setter
Allen, Texas • Allen H.S.
Prior to A&M-Commerce: Three year letter-winner at Allen High School … Honorable mention all-district selection as a junior … Helped lead the Eagles to the district championship as a senior … Coached by Kelley Gregoriew … Currently a member of Madfrog National-Wade 17 club team … Also played club volleyball for Nortex Black, Premier Mizuno, Victory Select and Summit Mizuno club teams, beginning in 2007.
Personal: Born May 2, 1996 … Daughter of Michael and Angela Ingle … Collegiate major is undecided.
5-5 • Libero
Irving, Texas • Nimitz H.S.
Prior to A&M-Commerce: Three year letter-winner at Irving Nimitz High School … First team all-district selection in 2012 following an honorable mention selection in 2011 … Named the 2012 District 6-5A Defensive Player of the Year … Posted a career-best 483 digs as a senior, including 35 in a victory over Wylie East … Coached by Joy Engeldinger … Currently a member of Texas Advantage Volleyball Molten club team … Played for TAV 16 Advantage from 2011-12 and TAV 15 National from 2010-11 … Two-time academic all-district selection … National Honor Society member.
Personal: Born November 10, 1995 … Daughter of Rebecca and the late James Jessup … Plans to major in education or Kinesiology.
5-8 • Outside Hitter
Houston, Texas • James Madison H.S.
Prior to A&M-Commerce: Four year letter-winner at Madison High School … Two-time first team all-district selection … Two time team captain … Averages nearly 12 kills per game for her prep career … Sam Houston Invitational All-Tournament team selection in 2013 … Coached by Tiffany Lockhart … Member of Southside Storm club team since 2011 … Also played for Houston Slam from 2009-10.
Personal: November 15, 1995 … Daughter of Tanya Sanders … Plans to major in accounting.