North Greenville University and head Coach Lauren Axson have signed four new players which will join the Crusaders spikers for the fall 2009 season.
Katie Harris, a transfer from Palm Beach Atlantic, is a 5-8 sophomore outside hitter who will add experience to a still very young NGU team. The Florida native attended the Master’s Academy where she excelled under head coach Qyunh Nguyen. She was named All-District three years in a row and the was the Class 2A Player of the Year in 2006. “Katie is athletic, disciplined, determined, and helped ignite the volleyball program at her high school, Nguyen said. By the end of her senior season, she established records for career and single season kills, digs, aces, and hitting percentage.
”Katie’s discipline and determination was something that caught Coach Axson’s attention early on. “She is short for a front row attacker, but is extremely athletic and a very smart player. She has worked hard to improve her vertical and is a student of the game. She knows how to hit around and through a taller block. Defensively, she has the instinct to know where the ball is going before it gets there.” Katie also excels off the court, being named to the Superintendents Honor Roll as well as the National Honor Society. “Katie is a solid girl with a passion for life and for the Lord. We are blessed to have her at NGU,” said Axson. Katie is just as excited about becoming a Crusader, “I know that when God closes a door, He always opens another. I am so glad He allowed me to find a beautiful school like NGU where I can get a Christian education and continue to play volleyball. I can't wait to get to know all of the girls and play under Coach Lauren in the fall!”
Haleigh Gilbert , a Greenville native (Southside Christian HS), has signed a national letter of intent to continue her volleyball career at NGU. Gilbert, a 5-11middle blocker, was named to the 2008 South Carolina All Star team and the 2007 All-State team. The team captain for Southside in 2008, she displays strong leadership and a desire for success. “Haleigh Gilbert has been a valuable asset to SCS volleyball program, and will be a great asset at North Greenville. SCS Coach Priscilla Legrand said of Haleigh, “They (NGU) will be gaining a consistent server and blocker and a mean quick hitter. Haleigh brings a hard work ethic, dedication, and a coachable spirit to the court. She is a gifted middle hitter but will be able to play any hitting position successfully. Gilbert’s club coach, Greg Mosely added, “Having trained Haleigh in club ball for three years, I have found her to possess a dedicated work ethic and commitment to team. She has a desire to be the best with the ability God has given to her. Haleigh will be an asset to the NGU program both as a leader and player. “The thing I like most about Haleigh,” Axson said, “is that she can play all three positions across the front row, and she is selflessly willing play any position. I’ve watched Haleigh for many years and am thrilled that God has led her to play at NGU.” Haleigh is also a committed student who has been named to Who’s Who Among High School Students, the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, Beta Club and National Society of High School Scholars.
NGU Volleyball Inks Georgia Duo
Two Georgia natives recently signed national letters of intent to play volleyball at North Greenville University. Sara Beth White and Anjelica Wilcox will join the Crusaders next year, bringing power and consistency to the line up.
Anjelica Wilcox, a 5-10 right side hitter, comes to NGU from Norcross High School in Atlanta. Wilcox has a strong reach and powerful block, as well as a dynamic jump serve,” Axson said about Wilcox, “She is very athletic and very strong. Despite being a bit smaller on the front line, she is agile and has a high enough reach to play either middle or right side for us. Her serve is definitely something we will want to work into our line up.”
Anjelica’s versatility and team spirit was something her high school coach also brought out. "Jellie never complained about playing different positions on our team. She played right side for us even though she was named All-County as a middle hitter and was honored as an All-State player for Georgia while attending another school."
A class act both on and off the court, Wilcox, a two-sport athlete, will also contribute to the Crusader basketball team. “I feel very fortunate to have signed Anjelica,“ Coach Axson said. “Her athleticism, attitude and work ethic will have a huge impact on our team. She was voted captain of her basketball team the first year she played. For a first year player to have that kind of impact on her teammates says a lot about who you are and how you play.”
Sara Beth White will join the Crusaders after leading her Dacula High School team to the Georgia 5A Sweet 16 this year, and the Elite Eight each of the previous two seasons. Sara Beth is a 5-9 right side and outside hitter who was a Georgia 5A First Team All Region, All County, and all tournament selection last year. ” I had the privilege of coaching Sara Beth for the past three years at Dacula,” says her coach, Kristian Dermid.
“In those three years, Dacula enjoyed our most successful seasons ever. Sara Beth was a key part of that success as her versatility and athletic ability allowed me to play her in several different positions, and her leadership abilities flourished with more responsibility. She is a tireless worker and she easily carried her work ethic with her from the court to the classroom. North Greenville University will benefit greatly from having Sara Beth as part of their program and I look forward to following her progress on the collegiate level.”
It was Sara Beth’s versatility that first caught Head Coach Lauren Axson’s attention. “I saw Sara Beth play outside in high school and loved the way she hit. Then I saw her play right side in club and was impressed with her setting ability. She is a dynamic player who could easily play both positions for us,” Axson said.
“Sara Beth is a leader both on and off the court, and showed great composure and the ability to play calmly and collectedly under pressure. I knew for sure that I wanted Sara Beth when I saw her react to a horrible call at a tournament. She was called for hands on what really was a perfect set at a crucial point in the third set. Rather than get flustered, she calmly set up in serve receive, demanded the next set and crushed the ball. That’s the kind of attitude I want on the court.”