HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Head coach Amanda Berkley and the Southern Miss volleyball program have announced the signings of five recruits for the 2017 season.
Chandler Marshall (Houston) and Madison Lawler (Grapevine) represent the Lone Star State, while Lainey Aenchbacher hails from Savannah, Ga. The other two pickups are more local in Breleigh Favre (Oak Grove High School) and Melanie Miller (Prairieville, La.).
Aenchbacher is a 5-foot-10 setter/right side that appeared on the Under Armor Watch List this season. She ultimately earned GVCA All-State Class A accolades and posted 1,697 assists in her career along with 524 kills and 224 service aces. Her parents are Eddie and Michele Aenchbacher.
Favre on Wednesday was named the Lamar Times' Pine Belt Player of the Year. The 6-foot-2 outside hitter posted over 300 kills and 52 service aces this past season for the Warriors and has been a regular academic honor roll member. She was also named the South's MVP at the Mississippi All-Star Game. She is the daughter of Brett and Deanna Favre. Brett played football at Southern Miss and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August.
Lawler is a 5-foot-7 defensive specialist/libero who comes from Grapevine High School outside of Dallas. She was the District Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore before taking home Second-Team and First-Team All-District honors her senior year. Lawler as a senior totaled 589 digs and 47 aces. She lead the team her junior year to the regional final and this past year to being area champions. Lawler, a two-time team captain, carries a 4.0 GPA and is involved in Student Council, Best Buddies, and the Multi-Cultural Awareness Club. Her parents are Ron and Lisa Lawler.
Marshall, a 5-foot-9 outside hitter, was a three-time first-team All-District selection at Dulles High School, earning District Offensive MVP honors as a junior as well. Marshall was also part of the Willowbrook Volleyball Club. She is the daughter of Lita and Carlton Skinner.
Miller is a 5-foot-5 DS/L completing her final year at Saint Joseph's Academy in Prairieville, La. She lettered all four years and was a two-time First-Team All-District honoree. Twice she was listed as a PrepVolleyball.com Defensive Dandy (nation's best defensive players). Miller has been active with several school groups and community service and was a team captain the last two years as well. Her parents are Mike and Sivi Miller, who played volleyball at Tulane, and Melanie's sister, Morgan, played for Southeastern Louisiana.
Southern Miss, which on Sunday improved to 20-7 on the year, plays at Louisiana Tech Thursday at 7 p.m. CT.
Why They Chose Southern Miss
"From the second I stepped on the campus, it reminded me of home away from home. I could not take the smile off my face as we walked the campus. The atmosphere was comfortable and inviting and the coaches were friendly and welcoming. The campus was beautiful and the variety of educational opportunities offered are phenomenal. The team instantly made me a part of the family and that helped me feel welcome and at ease. My first meeting with Coach Amanda and Coach Dave was exciting. I could see their passion for the game and the program. I look forward to starting the next chapter of my life at Southern Mississippi. I will be able to get a good education while being able to continue my passion for volleyball. The program competes at the highest level and that is the level I want to reach. I look forward to working hard and growing with the Golden Eagles."
"Choosing a college is an overwhelming task. I visited several different colleges, but in the end Southern Miss was the fit for me. It's home. I wanted to be able to represent my home state and school. Not only does the school offer great academic opportunities, but it also offers a competitive volleyball program with an enthusiastic, determined team and coaching staff. I believe great things are about to happen for Southern Miss Volleyball, and that is something I wanted to be a part of."
"I chose Southern Miss because it had every aspect I looked for in a school. Having family members who are Southern Miss Alumni gave me an inside look to what the school was really about and it made me excited to not only get a great education at Southern, but also play volleyball. I instantly knew I wanted to be a part of the volleyball program after meeting the coaches and players and seeing the competitiveness and hard work the program brings. I am looking forward to growing not only as a player, but as a person and I know that Southern Miss will mold me into the best I can be."
"I chose Southern Miss because of the atmosphere. Everyone got along and all I saw was one big happy family. I loved the amount of competitiveness of the players and coaches in practice. I also loved that Coach Amanda and Coach David interacted with the team all the time. I know that they will definitely help me forget about being homesick."
"I chose Southern Miss because of the beautiful campus, and the spirit and pride of the students and faculty that I experienced while I was on my visits. The relationship between the coaches and the volleyball players is something that I was looking for when considering schools. The team treats each other like family, and they have great chemistry on the court; these things stood out to me while watching them compete. I knew I wanted to play for a competitive volleyball program and my plan is to go to USM and win a conference championship. #SMTTT"
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