Nov. 12, 2008
CLEMSON, SC – Three high school volleyball players have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Clemson program for the 2009 season, as announced by head coach Jolene Jordan Hoover on Wednesday. Sandra Adeleye, Natalie Patzin and Alexa Rand will play for the Tigers next year.
“We are so pleased that Sandra, Natalie and Alexa will be joining our program,” Hoover said. “All three are high achievers and are very disciplined with strong work ethics on the court as well as off the court with their academics. Personally, I love how competitive all three of them are. That competitiveness will help them to have a significant impact on our program during the next four years.”
Patzin has been a four-year letterwinner at Benet Academy outside of Chicago, IL, the same high school as former Tiger Sue Eckman. As an outside hitter, she has led her team to conference championships in 2007 and 2008 and to the round of 16 in the 2007 Illinois state tournament. Benet Academy was ranked 12th in the latest ESPN Fab 50 volleyball poll and is still playing in the 2008 state tournament. Patzin, who plays her club ball for Sports Performance, was named a 2008 All-American after her team won the Junior Volleyball Director’s Association National Championship in 2008.
“Natalie will help us on the outside and can make an impact in all six rotations,” commented Hoover. “She is a dynamic player and a fierce competitor. She will be fun to watch! Her personality is infectious and she brings out the best in her teammates.”
Adeleye was a member of the 2008 Texas Elite club team that finished third at Nationals and was a teammate of current Clemson freshman Lacy Hayes. A middle hitter, Adeleye led her 2008 Katy High School team to a district championship and was named to the Second Team All-District in 2007. With a win in the state tournament on Tuesday night, her Tiger squad advanced to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2005.
Rand hails from Mentor, OH where she has helped lead Mentor High School to three straight conference and district championships with a 68-13 combined record. The Fighting Cardinals reached the semifinals of the Ohio state tournament in 2007 and the regional final four in 2008. Rand earned All-Ohio Honorable Mention and was an all-district selection in 2008. Her club team, Cleveland Volleyball Company, is a two-time Junior Olympic National qualifier. She also has a connection Hayes as the two played together on the USA Girls’ Youth National A2 Training Team.
“Sandra and Alexa both play middle, but bring different styles to the team,” said Hoover. “Alexa plays at a high level above the net with her long arms and excellent foot speed. She is a very smart player and knows the game well, which is an important quality for a middle. Sandra has great lateral quickness and an effortless jump. She can attack the ball from a variety of points along the net and has a fast, quick tempo.”
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