Palileo Adds Five In Early Signing Period
2017 Class Brings Size, Athleticism To Denton
DENTON -- North Texas head volleyball coach Andrew Palileo announced the 2017 recruiting class comprised of five high school standouts on Tuesday.
Palileo is adding size and athleticism with his 2017 class, with four of the five signees being over 6-foot. His fifth signee is a defensive specialist/libero, who should build up the back-line defense.
Three of the signees are from Texas, one from Missouri and one is from Hawai'i.
Eimanie Thomas, Mid-Pacific Institute, Honolulu, Hawai'i
Thomas is a 3-year letter winner at Mid-Pacific Institute under head coach Tommy Lake. Thomas, who will be redshirted for the 2017 season, adds a dimension the Mean Green does not have this season: a left-handed hitter. The 6-foot senior competed with the Rox Rainbow Volleyball Club under Luis Ramirez and was teammates with current Mean Green player LekaLeka Kiner-Falefa at MPI.
Palileo on the addition of Eimanie: "She is an athletic lefty that will give us a different dimension after her redshirt season. She also is a great student, and we'll have the opportunity to train her in our system and get her ready for competition in 2018."
Valerie Valerian, George Ranch High School, Sugar Land, Texas
Valerian is a 4-year letter winner at George Ranch High School under head coach Cheyanne Forshee and will enroll at North Texas at the semester break. She was named to the AVCA Under Armour All-America watch list and the Greater Houston Volleyball Coaches Association Fab 50 list as a senior. The 6-foot Valerian was the 2016 District 23-6A Offensive MVP. As a junior, she earned the 2015 Lonestar Volleyball Comeback Player of the Year, garnered District 24-5A Most Valuable Player honors and was first team All-District. She played for Club Catalyst in Richmond, Texas, under Rheanna Stahl.
Palileo on the additionValerian: "Val will be an exciting player to watch because of her athleticism and jumping ability. She will compete right away in the outside position for us next season, and I can't wait to get started in the gym with her in January."
Miranda Youmans, Midway High School, Waco, Texas
Youmans is a 6-foot-1 right-side hitter who is a 3-year letter winner at Midway High School under head coach Ryan Porter. Youmans earned academic All-District honors as a sophomore and junior. She was named first team All-District 12-6A and Co-Blocker of the Year as a junior. Youmans is a member of the Austin Performance Volleyball Club under Tara Hatfield.
Palileo on the addition of Youmans: "Miranda will give us some needed depth in the right-side position while also starting to train as a middle at the collegiate level. She will develop into an all-purpose type player for us in the same mold as Holly Milam is now."
Barbara Teakell, Celina High School, Celina, Texas
Teakell, a 6-foot-1 otside hitter, is a 4-year letter winner at Celina High School under Michele Tucker. As a sophomore, she garnered Offensive Player of the District honors and Celina HS MVP honors. In her junior campaign, she repeated as Celina HS MVP and was named first team All-District and earned a spot on the district's All-Academic team. She played for three club teams: Legacy, Skyline and North Point. Associate head coach Vinh Nguyen was her coach at North Point.
Palileo on the addition of Teakell: "We are really excited to add Barb to our team. We have seen her play many times and have had the opportunity to work with her both in a camp setting as well as our club.
She will give us the skills sets needed in the outside position that will help us compete for championships for years to come."
Andi Elley, Park Hill South High School, Kansas City, Mo.
Elley is a 5-foot-7 libero who is 3-year letter winner at Park Hill South High School under John Sedler. She garnered first team All-Conference honors as a sophomore and junior. In her junior campaign, she was named first team All-District, first team All-Region and second team All-State. The Kansas native has competed for two club teams: Highland Performance Volleyball and Dynasty. Geno Frugoli was one of her coaches at Dynasty.
Palileo on the addition of Elley: "I love the way Andi plays the libero position, she just goes after it and leaves everything on the court. Our defensive positions next season will be very competitive with Andi in the mix."
Palileo on the 2017 recruiting class: "We hold our players to a high standard on and off the court, so this class will not only contribute on the court, but also to our academic excellence as a team and the character values that we hold in our program."