DENTON, Texas (4/10/08) The North Texas volleyball team added an instant veteran presence with the signing of four college transfers and two high school athletes to National Letters of Intent.
Salah Schoenecke, a transfer from Cal Poly, and Jessica Green of Paris Junior College highlight a class that will provide the Mean Green with immediate reinforcements for the 2008 season.
NT also inked Jessica Batura of San Jacinto Junior College, Marelle Lepmets of Garden City Community College (Kan.), Kayla Saey of Hononegah High School (Rockton, Ill.) and Sarah Willey of Maize High School (Wichita, Kan.).
“This signing period increases our all-around size and athleticism while keeping our focus on leadership,” said North Texas head coach Cassie Headrick. “We continue to upgrade at every position, and I expect this squad to be a much more physical team both at the net and on the back line.”
Schoenecke was a member of the No. 11 ranked Cal Poly squad that advanced to the Sweet 16’s of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. The Lubbock, Texas native tallied 21 kills and 21 digs in 20 appearances for the Mustangs over the last two seasons, including a match against the Mean Green last year. At Coronado High School, Schoenecke was a Class 5A All-Tournament team selection as a senior after leading the Mustangs to the state title game as a junior.
Green was named the Region XIV Conference Libero of the Year after racking up 715 digs in 2007, which ranked second in the nation. She also took First-Team All-Conference honors after posting four matches of at least 40 digs for Paris, including a career-best 47 digs against Brookhaven. Green was just as good as a freshman in 2006 with 534 digs and earned Second-Team All-Region XIV.
Batura burst onto the scene for No. 12 San Jacinto College as a powerful middle presence. The Downer's Grove, Ill. product was named to the Region XIV First-Team All-Region squad after leading the Ravens to a sixth place finish at the NJCAA National Championship Tournament. She posted 112 blocks in 106 games as a sophomore and tallied 159 kills with a .285 attack percentage. Batura finished her junior college career with an overall record of 59-20, which included a pair of Region XIV championships and NJCAA National Tournament appearances.
Lepmets was named First-Team All-Region VI after ranking 11th in the country with 11.8 assists per game in 2007. Her 1,240 total assists also earned her First-Team All-Jayhawk Community College Conference West-Division honors. She led Garden City CC to a 24-12 record as a jack of all trades, tallying 55 aces (.52 per game), 262 digs (2.49 per game), 52 blocks and 161 kills on a .271 attack percentage.
Saey was named First-Team All-Conference (NIC-10) at setter as a senior at Hononegah. She posted 301 assists in powering Indians to the 4A State Sectional finals in 2007. Saey was named to the WIFR News 23 All-Stateline team in 2007, and was a member of the Indians’ run to the state title game as a junior.
Willey will prove another multitalented addition to the Mean Green roster. The Wichita, Kan., native earned First-Team All-League honors after rewriting the Maize High School record books in 2007. Willey broke the school record for best passing percentage and most digs in a season as the team captain last year. She was also a two-time All-League softball player, and a member of the National Honors Society.
2008 Mean Green Volleyball Signing Class
Salah Schoenecke - 5-11, Jr., OH, Lubbock, Texas (Cal Poly)
Kayla Saey - 5-10, Fr., S, Rockton, Ill. (Hononegah High School)
Jessica Batura - 6-0, Jr., MB, Downer's Grove, Ill. (San Jacinto College)
Jessica Green - 5-5, Jr., L/DS, Roanoke, Texas (Paris JC)
Marelle Lepmets - 5-10, Jr., S, Estonia (Garden City CC)
Sarah Willey - 5-8, Fr., DS, Wichita, Kan. (Maize High School)