NACOGDOCHES — SFA volleyball head coach Debbie Humphreys announced last week the signing of a four-woman class for the 2021 season. Three of the newest Ladyjacks are in-state recruits, while a fourth hails from Florida. All four will suit up for the defending Southland Conference Champions next fall.

“The 2021 recruiting class had an interesting journey to get to this point,” Humphreys said.

“Lots of recruiting for 2021 grads took place virtually. Fortunately for us, we had seen most of this group in person before the shutdown in March. We are extremely excited about how they will keep our program moving toward another level. This group has a very good mix of athleticism and volleyball IQ, and I expect them to improve at a rapid pace”

The first signee in the 2021 class is Alyssa Ortega, San Antonio (San Antonio Churchill HS). A 5-foot-5 Libero who played for club volleyball for the San Antonio Magic, Ortega was a 6A all-state selection during her prep career at Churchill, while also earning recognition on the VYPE 2020 All-American Watchlist and being selected as a 2020 Preseason Libero of the Year as well being a team captain.

“Alyssa is quite a feisty defender,” Humphreys said. “She is extremely quick and she loves to compete on the volleyball court. She will keep that defensive pressure that SFA is known for alive. We are really excited to have her join our volleyball family and look forward to watching her progress to an even higher level.”

Joining SFA from just down the road in Diboll is Helene Bolton, a 5-foot-10 outside hitter and middle blocker. Bolton was an all-district selection and Texas Sports Writers All-State selection as well during her prep career, and was named Middle Blocker of the Year for her work at the net.

A dual-sport athlete, Bolton also competes as a track athlete at Diboll and was named her team’s MVP for track as well.

“Helene is a dynamic athlete that will progress quickly once she is surrounded by high level volleyball every day,” Humphreys added. “She has physical tools that you can’t coach, she wants to be good and she isn’t afraid to work hard. The challenge for us will be figuring out where she can really thrive. We expect her to be able to play any FR position and possibly develop her six-rotation game. It will be lots of fun working with Helene to help her take her game to the next level.”

SFA’s lone out-of-state signee joins the team in the form of Valeria Rosado, a 6-foot outside hitter from Altamonte Springs, Florida. Playing her prep career at Lyman and her club career at OTVA, she was named a First Team All-Conference and First Team All-State selection. She was voted the Maxpreps Player of the Match nine times and was elected team captain, as well. Additionally, she ended her prep career as the all-time kill and service ace leader at Lyman. In her club career, she was an AAU Champion and a four-time AAU All-American.

“Valeria is a volleyball player,” Humphreys said.

“She has solid all-around skills and the ability to terminate. As she improves her physicality, she will be an amazing six-rotation outside hitter.”

A 6-foot-2 middle blocker from Rowlett, Kayla Grant joins the Ladyjacks after finishing her prep career at Sachse. While at Sachse, Grant helped her team to an area championship while being named the Newcomer of the Year.

“Kayla is an extremely dynamic middle blocker which is what we are accustomed to at SFA,” Humphreys said. “She has good size and amazing physicality. Once she adjusts to the speed of Division 1 volleyball, she will be a force to be reckoned with.”

Soccer adds 12 signees — The Lumberjack soccer team rounded out a hearty class of 10 signees for National Signing Day on Wednesday, adding a variety of players from around the country.

The class was the first introduced by skipper Tony Minatta, who guided the Lumberacks to a 2-1-2 mark this fall in SFA’s non-conference fall slate.

Joining the Lumberjacks from Frisco is Makenzie Neeley, a 5-5 midfielder who finishes her prep career at Independence this spring and will join the Lumberjacks next season. Neeley is a three-year letterwinner and varsity starter for Independence, championing a pair of undefeated seasons and leading her team to deep playoff runs as a sophomore and junior.

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