April 24, 2014
DENTON, Texas - Head coach Andrew Palileo has recruited 10 student-athletes out of high school to join the Mean Green volleyball squad.
Excelling on and off the court, seven of the 10 recruits are National Honor Society members, and several rack up All-Academic district awards. Many were also named team or league MVP during their time in high school.
"I'm really excited about our first recruiting class here at North Texas, as we started this process a year ago our staff looked for a set of criteria in our recruits that we felt would make North Texas a championship caliber program," Palileo said. "Culture, size, physicality, ball control and volleyball IQ were things that needed to improve in order to make our practices more competitive and better prapare us for our matches. Not only are we getting a great group of volleyball players but also a group that is foundationally built on character, integrity and sound academics. We are looking forward to mentoring and challenging this class to be the best they can be and in the process win championships."
The new student-athletes join a North Texas team headed by All-Conference USA selection Carnae Dillard, who currently sits in fifth place in Mean Green history with 1,025 career kills.
Alexis Wright | 6'0" | RS | Arlington, Texas | Martin HS
Arlington ISD MVP Alexis Wright joins North Texas as a three-year varsity letterman in volleyball. She was a member of the All-District first team out of Martin High School and was named Newcomer of the Year in her first year with the team.
Chelsea Abii | 5'10" | OH | Arlington, Texas | The Oakridge School
Abii joins the Mean Green as 2013 Southwest Preparatory Conference MVP and member of last year's All-SPC team. She helped lead The Oakridge School to a 2012 conference championship and was an honorable mention in the MVP race that season. This year Abii averaged almost three kills per set and a 44 percent kill rate, with 67 blocks on the season.
Bailey Banks | 5'10" | OH | Missouri City, Texas | Elkins HS
As a two-year Elkins High School team captain, Banks has been named to the Fort Bend ISD All-District first team each of the last three years. The daughter of former NFL defensive end Robert Banks, she was named 2013 Offensive Player of the year for her district. Banks was also the district kill leader last year with 270 kills and 4.66 kills per game.
Kate Dicken | 5'11" | OH | Coppell, Texas | Coppell HS
Dicken was a member of the 2012 and 2013 5A district champion Coppell Cowgirls volleyball team. She earned All-District team awards in those years as well. Dicken also played for the North Point Volleyball Club U18 National Team last year, a team that Palileo coached.
McKenna Thornlow | 5'9" | DS | Colorado Springs, Colo. | Rampart HS
Thornlow was awarded 2013 Rampart High School MVP and led the team in five statistical categories in her senior year. She tallied 44 aces, 315 digs and 573 serve-receive attempts, averaged 11.7 digs per match and held a 95 percent pass efficiency rating that year. Thornlow was named to the Colorado Springs 5A Metro League First Team in 2013.
Alexandra Bollier | 5'7" | DS | La Habra, Calif. | Troy HS
Bollier was named league MVP at Troy High School in Fullerton, Calif., last year and has earned her school's Warrior Award each of the last two years. A two-sport athlete, she also lettered in soccer as the team's starting goalkeeper as a freshman.
Meredith Bramer | 5'9" | DS | Prosper, Texas | Prosper HS
2013 All-State first team member Meredith Bramer comes to North Texas as the 2013 district hitter of the year. She ranked second in her district in kills and was named to the All-District first team each of the last two years. Bramer was awarded MVP of her varsity squad in her senior year.
Amanda Chamberlain | 6'3" | MB | Lakewood, Calif. | Valley Christian HS
A three-sport athlete out of high school, Chamberlain was named to the All-League first and second team in volleyball, second team All-League in basketball and also competed in track and field. She was awarded MVP for the 2013-2014 season and notched a game-high 27 kills against rival St. Joseph High School last year.
Holly Milam | 6'1" | MB | Burleson, Texas | Burleson HS
Another three sport athlete, Milam joins the team as a two-time 4A district MVP and Texas Girls' Coaches Association All-State team last year. Additionally, she was named district offensive player of the year in 2011. She tallied 2,238 kills, 676 blocks and 242 aces during her time at Burleson High School, where she also lettered in softball and basketball.
Mikali Myers | 6'2" | MB | San Marcos, Texas | San Marcos HS
A dual sport athlete in basketball and volleyball at San Marcos High School, Myers comes to North Texas as a 5A first-team All-District selection this year. She was an honorable mention selection the year before that and won Newcomer of the Year for her district in 2011. Myers was also team MVP for two years in a row and recorded the most kills for two years straight and most blocks in each of the past three seasons.