Valparaiso volleyball head coach Carin Avery announced today that Mary Dent and Taylor Root have both signed National Letters of Intent and will join the Crusader volleyball program as freshmen for the 2009 season.
Dent, an outside hitter out of Von Steuben [Ill.] H.S., has started all four years for the Panthers. A two-time All-City and 2007 All-Area honoree, Dent was named a preseason top-50 player by the Chicago Sun-Times prior to the 2008 campaign. In club volleyball, Dent helped guide the Powerhouse 18 Black squad to a top-five finish at AAU Nationals in 2007. She currently holds school records for single-match, single-season and career kill totals, and helped lead Von Steuben to the city championships in her sophomore season.
“Mary is a player that shows a lot of promise,” said Avery. “Her athleticism really excites us, as she is a great all-around athlete. She jumps extremely well and is also a very strong player. She also has a great presence about her on the court and has that ability to make the teammates around her better players.”
Root, a libero out of Jenison [Mich.] H.S., was a Second Team All-State honoree as a junior. A four-year starter for the Wildcats, she helped lead Jenison to the Class A State Championship last season and has Jenison atop the Class A rankings again this year. A four-time All-Conference and three-time All-Region recipient, Root is one of ten finalists for Michigan’s Miss Volleyball award. A four-year player on the club level for the FaR Out VBC, Root was named the Most Outstanding Passer at last year’s Prepvolleyball.com Classic and also has previously earned All-American honors at the Junior Olympic Championships, where she helped her team to the national title.
“A strong libero is one of the key components to a successful team, and Taylor has the ability to step in and take on that role for us,” said Avery. “She is very much like Brittany (Malicoat), both on the court in terms of the way she plays the game and off the court with her personality and work ethic, which should help ease the transition after Brittany’s graduation. Taylor has been a proven winner wherever she has played, both with her high school team and her club team, and we are very excited about her future here.”