Volleyball Announces 2016-17 Signing Class
Newest Mean Green Players Will Help Fill Offensive Void
DENTON — Head volleyball coach Andrew Palileo announced the complete 2016-17 freshmen class on Thursday, just days after the official signing day for spring signees. The four-member group includes two Texas natives and a mixture of talent, both at the net and on the defensive side of the ball.
“I am excited for this class because they will bring the skill sets needed for us to continue building a level of success in Conference USA,” Palileo said. “We wanted to improve our volleyball IQ, ball control and size with this group and I think we’ve accomplished that. Along with being great volleyball players, they have excelled in the classroom and will fit right in to the academic expectations established by our current players.”
The latest members to the North Texas roster - Leka Kiner-Falefa (DS/L), BrynCaitlin Walker (RS/OH), Karissa Davis (DS/L) and Emma Eakin (MB) - will be joining an already-established team with 12 letterwinners from the 2015-16 season. The balance that this class brings is expected to help fill the void left by the departure of former All-American Carnae Dillard.
Coach Palileo on Eakin: "Standing close to 6’5”, Emma brings in added size for us in the front court and will have presence at the net when blocking. Emma graduated high school early to attend North Texas and is coming off a terrific spring season."
Why Emma chose North Texas: “I chose North Texas because I felt so welcomed and at home when I visited the campus for the first time. The girls on the team, as well as Coach Pali, were very easy to talk to. Once I saw how the volleyball program is I realized it was something I wanted to be a part of.”
Coach Palileo on Davis: “Karissa is an explosive outside hitter that will add depth to our teams ball control and has a sensational serve. Her primary role on the team will be a defender.”
Why Karissa chose North Texas: "I decided to go to North Texas becasue of the welcoming environment of the team. I've never met a nicer group of girls who could make someone feel so at home so quickly. Also, there's a great coaching staff that will provide me with the tools to take my game to a high level."
Coach Palileo on Kiner-Falefa: “Leka will be a tremendous asset to our team’s ball control on serve-receive and defense. I’ve witnessed her exhibit immense poise and self-control under duress throughout her club season, things that will certainly add to our team.”
Why Leka chose North Texas: “I wanted to come to North Texas because I immediately had a feeling of good vibes from the volleyball team and the school itself. I loved that the school encourages everyone to establish their own individuality, and I could definitely see that around campus during my official visit. The girls also played a huge role in my decision because they were genuinely nice and I felt as if I fit perfectly with them.”
Coach Palileo on Walker: “Bryn has continued to improve every time I watch her play. Along with her ability to be a six-rotation player, Bryn is a prodigious attacker and will add immediate fire power to our outside hitting position.”
Why BrynCaitlin chose North Texas: “I wanted to play at North Texas because they have a great group of girls that plays with a lot of heart. It is a growing program and they play at a very high level. I can’t wait to be a part of the team.”