RICHMOND, Va. – Jody Rogers traveled to great lengths to assemble her first VCU recruiting class, which she unveiled Monday.
"We are really excited about our 2013 recruiting class," said Rogers, who will enter her first season with VCU this fall. "Nora, Becky, Kaitlyn, and Kalah have all come from competitive and successful programs. This group holds many of the intangibles of what it takes to win at a high level. They are self-motivated, tenacious, and have the hate-to-lose mentality. We expect, with VCU's current roster and with these additions, 2013 to be a season full of potential for the Rams."
Rogers is set to lead a program entering its second season in the Atlantic 10 Conference. She agreed to join VCU after 16 successful seasons at the University of Indianapolis, where she won 406 matches and led the Greyhounds to seven NCAA Tournament appearances. Under Rogers, UIndy reached the NCAA Tournament in each of the last six seasons, including a Final Four appearance last year and an Elite Eight advance in 2009.
Here is a look at Roger's first crop of VCU recruits:
Kalah Jones, 6-0, Outside Hitter (Fayetteville, Ga./Sandy Creek HS/Clemson University)
Following her freshman season at Clemson, Jones will transfer to VCU and have three seasons of eligibility remaining. Jones appeared in three matches last season and compiled four kills and four digs for the 21-10 Tigers.
Jones enjoyed an outstanding prep career at Sandy Creek High School, where she set program marks for career kills and won a pair of state championships. As a senior, Jones registered 402 kills, an average of 3.7 per set. For her efforts, she was named All-State, as well as to All-America Watch Lists by the AVCA and PrepVolleyball.com.
Rogers on Jones: "Kalah is a very dynamic athlete who plays at a high level and will provide great experience, work ethic, and a winning attitude that will permeate throughout the current players and program as we elevate the level of play."
Nora Reed, 6-0, Middle Blocker (Minnetonka, Minn./Hopkins HS)
A three-year letterwinner at Hopkins High School, Nora Reed was named Minnesota All-State Honorable Mention as a senior by the Minnesota Coaches Association, as well as All-Metro by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and All-Lake Conference.
A team captain and three-year letterwinner for the Royals, Reed chose VCU after receiving interest from Minnesota and South Dakota.
Rogers on Reed: "Norah Reed is a very aggressive blocker with a contagious work ethic. She only knows winning and feeding that fuel as she translates to VCU will only increase her ceiling."
Becky Cazares, 5-7, Libero (Mission, Kan./Bishop Miege HS)
Becky Cazares joins the Rams after helping to establish a championship tradition at Bishop Miege High School in Shawnee Mission, Kan. In four varsity seasons, Cazares helped lift the Stags to three straight Kansas 5A State Championships and a third place finish.
Rogers on Cazares: "Becky is relentless on defense and knows how to direct traffic in the back row, which will be enable VCU's offense to become more dynamic in 2013. Her maturity and tenacious attitude will only increase her chances of playing a major role immediately."
Kaitlyn LaMantia, 6-0, Setter (South Riding, Va./Freedom HS/N.C. State University)
Highly rated setter Kaitlyn LaMantia will join the Rams from N.C. State and will have three seasons of eligibility remaining. As a senior at Freedom High School in 2011, LaMantia led the Eagles to a 23-6 record behind more than 250 kills, 450 assists and 75 service aces. She holds school records for assists and service aces per set in a single season and career.
Rogers on LaMantia: "Kaitlyn's strong volleyball IQ and great setting ability will allow her to compete for the setting position. She is used to success and has a tremendous work ethic. All of these attributes will allow Kaitlyn to be successful while playing for the Rams."