HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss volleyball coach Amanda Berkley announced the signing of Danielle Ajayi of Fayetteville, Ga., Sarah Bell of San Antonio, Texas, Alex Coombs of Leesburg, Va., and Kylie Grandy of Rolesville, N.C., to national letters of intent and grant-in-aid to join the Golden Eagles volleyball program for the 2015-16 academic year.
Danielle Ajayi, 6'0 Middle Blocker, Fayetteville, Ga./Starr's Mill HS
High School: A two-year letterwinner at Starr's Mill High School ... Helped her team to the runner-up in the area ... Finished her senior campaign with 230 kills, 86 blocks, 57 digs and 38 aces ... Selected by the Georgia Volleyball Coaches to participate in the 2014 Senior All-Star Volleyball match ... Daughter of Sam and Juliette Ajayi
Club: Played for Tsunami Volleyball Club ... An A-Town Showdown semi-finalist for 2014.
Why Southern Miss?
"I chose Southern Miss because I wanted to go to a college that I felt exceeded my expectations of what a college should be. For me, Southern Miss provides a place that I can call home. As an athlete I feel it is important to have unity within a team, I feel as if Southern Miss provides that and more. The girls on the team are extremely welcoming and hard working. I have a passion for volleyball, and I believe with Southern Miss, my passion will only get stronger."
Sarah Bell, 5-10, Setter, San Antonio, Texas/Antonian College Preparatory HS
High School: A four-year letterwinner and three-year starter at Antonian College Preparatory High School ... Recorded over 3,000 assists in her career ... Received TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools) first team honors for the second consecutive year ... Led the city in assists per set as a junior ... Ranked in the top five as a senior ... Received all-state and all-area first team honors ... Named the district MVP as a junior ... Helped her team post a 38-11 record and a state semi-finalist in her senior season ... Team captain junior and senior year ... San Antonio Player to Watch as a junior and senior ... Daughter of Keith and Carol Bell ... Has two sisters, Jessica and Katie ... One brother, Ryan.
Club: Played for Texas Fusion Volleyball Club ... Placed first in the Las Vegas Showcase Club Division ... Placed fourth in the Dallas Lone Star Classic ... Placed fourth in the Atlanta Big South Classic
Honor Roll: Four year Honor/High Honor Roll ... President of the National Honors Society ... GPA: 4.0 ... Ranked 20/190 ... School ambassador
Why Southern Miss?
"I chose Southern Miss because I wanted to be a part of a family, not just a team. I saw a family in the girls and the coaches when I met them, and immediately felt at home. Southern Miss has a strong volleyball program that is going to push me and allow me to grow not only as an athlete but also as a person. The campus is beautiful, and I love that it is located in the south. Also, Southern Miss will allow me to pursue my future career goals with its strong academic programs."
Alex Coombs, 6-1, Outside Hitter, Leesburg, Va./Tuscarora HS
High School: Attended Tuscarora High School ... A three-year letter winner and starter ... Named team captain as a senior ... Finished career with 581 kills, 395 digs, 154 blocks, and 66 aces ... Currently hold the school record in Kills, blocks, and digs ... Featured in the local newspaper achievements in my senior year ... Received first-team all-conference, all-region, all-met, and all-state awards as a junior ... Earned first-team all-conference as a senior ... Received the team MVP award two years ... Named MVP at the Raider Rumble invitational tournament ... Daughter of Courtney and Adrianne Coombs.
Club: Played club volleyball with NVVA for four years and VA Elite for three years.
Why Southern Miss?
"I chose Southern Miss because the minute I stepped on campus I fell in love with everything about it. The academics is perfect for me and the support the school demonstrated was a major factor in my decision. I've always wanted to go far away from home and go to school in the south. Another thing that contributed to me choosing Southern Miss was the players and the coaches. The head coach was very accommodating and showed a genuine interest in me as a person first and volleyball second. Everyone is passionate and has high goals for the sport they love. This is why Southern Miss is the perfect place for me."
Kylie Grandy, 5-11, Outside Hitter, Rolesville, North Carolina
High School: Attended Wake Forest High School ... A four-year letterwinner ... Named Cap8 Player of the Year ... Earned first team all-conference ... Named MVP two times ... Led the conference in kills (533) ... Led her team in aces (54), blocks (28), digs (235) and hitting percentage (.343) ... Was second on the team in blocking her junior season ... As a sophomore, led team in kills and assists ... Daughter of Doug and Theresa Grandy.
Club: Played for Triangle Black Club Team (2009-2015) ... Transitioned from Libero ot outside hitter during 16's year ... Monument City Classic Champion (13's, 16's, 17's) ... Placed ninth at NEQ and MEQ (17's) ... Placed second at MAPL Hampton Roads (2014)
Beach Volleyball: USAV National Championships 16U (Milwaukee, Wis., 2014) ... Placed second at USAV National Championships 14U (2012) ... Placed fifth at USAV National Championships 16U (2013)
Why Southern Miss?
"Beginning the recruiting process I had no criteria for what I expected to find at the school of my dreams but as soon as I walked on to the Southern Miss Campus I knew it was the one for me. A combination of the coaches, the team members and the campus all contributed to my love for the school. I trust that Coach Amanda and Coach David will take care of me and give me the training and coaching needed to become not only a good volleyball player but a great one. I look forward to meeting my future teammates and building strong relationships through these next four years."
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