RICHMOND, Va. – On the heels on one of its finest seasons, Virginia Commonwealth University announced the signing of four recruits for 2010, Head Coach James Finley said Thursday.
"VCU Volleyball is excited about announcing our
amazing class for 2010," Finley said. "We have been fortunate to
bring together a group of young women who will have an immediate
impact on our continually growing and improving program. This
class brings size, speed, athleticism and experience to a squad who
was young but very successful in 2009. We are also looking
forward to having junior Jessica Ojukwu back from her injury for
the 2010 season."
The 2010 class will shore up the Rams all over the court, with a pair of setters, an outside hitter and a middle blocker coming into the fold.
Ciara Brown (left) is a 5-10 setter from Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, Fla. Brown was recently named All-America Honorable Mention by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), an honor that places her among the top 100 players in the nation. Brown led Bishop Verot to a 49-1 record the last two seasons. In 2009, she handed out 715 assists for the 27-1 Vikings and was named the Florida Athletics Coaches Association (FACA) 3A Player of the Year.
Brown is also a member of the Girls Youth A2 National Red (1) squad, which captured first place in the International Junior Division at the 2009 High Performance Championships, where she was named Best Setter.
Finley on Brown: "We are very excited about Ciara. She is a very smart, athletic setter who will excel on and off the court. She is a great competitor who has a winning history and expects to be successful. With international and national team experience Ciara will adapt to the speed of the college game quickly."
Irene Ojukwu (right) is a 6-1 outside hitter from Sao Paulo, Brazil. The younger sister of VCU junior Jessica Ojukwu, Irene has been wildly successful in club play. In 2007-08, her Sao Paulo team won the Brazilian Championship, and she was named Most Valuable Player. Ojukwu also spent three seasons with the Sao Caitano Club, which won the Paulista Championship each year.
Finley on Ojukwu: "Irene is a coach's dream player. She is athletic, smart, strong and will find a way to win. Irene will be one of the top outside hitters in our region when she arrives at VCU. Even though she will be a young freshman, she has played at a high level and plays well above the net.
Ya Zhao (left) will look to shore up the Rams in the middle. A 6-1 middle blocker from Tian Jin, China, Zhao has been a force on the Chinese Youth Volleyball scene for more than five years. In September, she guided her team to a Chinese Youth Volleyball Championship.
Finley on Zhao: "A great athlete that is very quick and plays high above the net. Ya with her fast arm will be a great addition to our team in the middle. She is experienced, dynamic, and has a great eye for the game. "
Bridget Camacho (bottom right) is a 5-10 setter and right side hitter out of Cumming, Georgia. A four-year starter at Pinecrest Academy, Camacho earned All-Region honors four times and was named to the All-State team her final three seasons.
In 2009, Camacho co-captained Pinecrest's first-ever state championship squad. She is also a member of the A5 Volleyball Club and is active in the National Honor Society.
Finley on Camacho: "This is one competitive young setter who will arrive determined to get on the court. She expects to win and will push those around her to succeed. Bridget will help take our team to another level of competition."