RICHMOND, Va. – VCU Volleyball will add four recruits for 2018 on the heels of an Atlantic 10 Conference Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance, Head Coach Jody Rogers announced Thursday.
"Our 2018 class fills our immediate need for depth and team culture," said Rogers, who is set to enter her sixth season at the helm for the Rams. "Along with this talented recruiting class, we return all but three members from our 2017 team. The future of the VCU Volleyball program looks extremely bright."
VCU finished 30-3 in 2017, including a perfect 14-0 in A-10 play. The Rams, who owned a 27-match win streak during the season, captured the A-10 Tournament crown and earned an NCAA Tournament berth for the second time.
Here's a look at VCU's incoming class:
Iro Hounta l Outside Hitter l 5-11 l Peania, Greece (Lyceum Glykon Neron)
About Hounta: Hounta was named MVP of the Greek U17 National Championship and won a national title in 2017. Hounta also led her U17 team to a national runner-up finish in 2016. She was selected for the U18 and U19 national teams for the CEV European qualifiers. Hounta has starred for the Iraklis Kifisias Volleyball Club since 2013. A well-rounded athlete, Hounta has also earned a pair of letters in track & field.
Coach Rogers on Hounta: "Iro is a tremendous athlete with a tremendous volleyball I.Q. She possesses a very successful volleyball background and shows a high ceiling. Iro is a six-rotation hitter who can play both pins with a heavy arm. Her experience playing at a high level internationally will enable her to make an immediate impact at VCU."
Aysha Hood l MB/OH l 6-0 l West Bloomfield, Mich. (Walled Lake Central)
About Hood: Named All-Lakes Conference and All-Oakland County, Hood led Walled Lake Central to district championships in 2017 and 2018. She also spearheaded runs to the KLAA Conference title in 2017 and a Lakes Conference tournament crown in 2018. A member of the Legacy Volleyball Club Elite program, which is ranked in the top 10 in the open division and placed ninth at the USA Volleyball Junior Nationals in 2017, for five years.
Coach Rogers on Hood: "Aysha is an extremely dynamic, versatile player who can play any position and excel. Her explosiveness and feel for the game will enable her to contribute in whatever role is asked of her. Aysha epitomizes 'teammate', and that's what drew me to her from the beginning."
Alyna Draper l Libero l 5-6 l Phoenix, Ariz. (Xavier College Prep)
About Draper: A four-year varsity player, Draper collected 1,171 digs during her high school career for the Gators. She also helped lead Xavier to three state championships, including a 2017 title while serving as a team captain. Draper, who is a member of the AZ East Valley Juniors volleyball club program, trained at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. as part of the High Performance Beach program. She is a member of the National Honor Society and plans to study cinema.
Coach Rogers on Draper: "Alyna is a great all-around player who plays with confidence and calm. She's the type of player who absolutely hates to lose. She's an excellent libero with range and consistency in serve receive. Her ability to command and direct the backcourt should make for an easy transition to the college game."
Danielle David l Setter l 5-7 l Virginia Beach, Va. (Bayside)
About David: A three-year starter and captain for Bayside High School, David has also been a member of the Beach Elite volleyball club for 10 years. David qualified for USA Volleyball Nationals five times. A member of the Health and Sciences Students of America, David served as her junior class president.
Coach Rogers on David: "Dani is a nimble, crafty setter with great timing and connection with her attackers. She's a true gym rat and her tenacity will help her become a top-level setter. Her communication and leadership skills are what we expect to help us right away. Dani is a phenomenal fit for VCU and our team culture."