CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland State volleyball head coach Chuck Voss announced the addition of eight newcomers for the upcoming 2019 season Tuesday morning, as Keanna Avery, Peyton Bloomer, Marissa Durand, Lydia Latimer, Audrey McConihe, Chelsea Penfield, Julia Piccolino, and Alison Thomas will be joining the Vikings this fall.
"This is one of our largest classes ever, and we are super excited about all of them joining our program. We have some tremendous athletes in this class who will make an immediate impact for us on the court. They all have a great work ethic which gives them the chance to play right away, and hopefully they will also make an impact on our environment in the gym and continue to move our program in the right direction," Voss said.
Keanna Avery | Outside Hitter | Dover, Ohio
High School: Three-time All-Ohio honoree at Claymont High School, earning First Team, Second Team and Third Team accolades…Named the Inter-Valley Conference Player of the Year twice…Picked up First Team All-IVC or First Team All-ECOL honors every year of her high school career…Earned a spot on the Eastern District First Team on two occasions…Helped her club team, Elite Sports Ohio, to a fifth place finish at the AAU Nationals in 2017.
Academics: Plans on majoring in early childhood education…Earned High Honors and was named to the Honor Roll and Principal's List throughout high school.
Voss on Avery: "Keanna is a six rotation outside who reminds me of Emily DeGeorge. She has a lot of shots as a young player, and although she was a late addition to this class, she has a chance to make an impact for us and get some playing time."
Peyton Bloomer | Outside Hitter | Graytown, Ohio
High School: Named the District Player of the Year as a junior and senior along with picking up First Team All-State honors during both years…Also earned Sandusky Bay Conference Player of the Year accolades during her junior campaign…Three-time First Team All-SBC and All-District honoree…Named to the All-SBC and All-District Second Team as a freshman, earning All-Conference and All-District honors every year of her high school career…Led Oak Harbor High School to three sectional championships, a Sandusky Bay Conference title and a district crown…Finished her high school career with 1,729 kills, 346 total blocks, 114 service aces, and 942 digs.
Academics: Plans on majoring in occupational therapy…Earned High Honor Roll throughout high school.
Voss on Bloomer: "Peyton has an endless amount of athleticism – she was the state high jump champion – so she definitely has the potential to contribute right away. She has been learning a new position over the last few years, so it has been fun to watch her progress throughout that time span and really start to come into her own on the court."
Marissa Durand | Outside Hitter | Washington Township, Michigan
High School: Four-year varsity starter at Utica Eisenhower High School…Named All-MAC three times…Three-time MHSAA All-County honoree…Earned a spot on the MHSAA All-Region Team twice…Led Utica Eisenhower to three Macomb Athletic Conference titles and two District championships…Finished her high school career with 1,177 kills.
Academics: Plans on majoring in psychology…Named to the National Honor Society…Four-time MHSAA All-Academic Team and Individual honoree.
Voss on Durand: "Marissa is a great athlete who has been recovering from a serious injury. She has a great work ethic and wants to be a great player, which will definitely help her as she continues to grow on the court. We are hopeful that her body can train the way she wants to train and allows her to reach her full potential."
Lydia Latimer | Outside Hitter | Warren, Pennsylvania
High School: Three-time First Team All-State, All-District and All-Region honoree…Named the Regional Player of the Year as a senior and earned Erie Times District Player of the Year honors during the same season…Owns Warren Area High School career records for kills (987) and blocks (234), along with single-season records for both (kills-428, blocks-91)…Led Warren Area to a Regional and District championship as a senior, finishing as the Pennsylvania Class 3A State runner-up.
Academics: Plans on majoring in environmental science…Named to the High Merit Honor Roll throughout high school.
Voss on Latimer: "Lydia is a great athlete with a ton of potential. She played for a smaller club team, so she will need to get used to the speed and height of the game, but I think she is more than capable of adjusting. She enters the fall season with a chance to make a significant impact right away for us on the court."
Audrey McConihe | Defensive Specialist | Amherst, Ohio
High School: Named First Team All-Southwestern Conference as a senior and Second Team All-SWC as a junior…Picked up Second Team All-District accolades during her final campaign…Earned a spot on the All-Lorain County Second Team as a junior…Led Amherst Steele to a pair of Southwestern Conference Co-Championships…Finished her high school career with 1,281 total digs, averaging 5.6 digs per set.
Academics: Plans on majoring in special education…Named to the National Honor Society…Picked up Southwestern Conference Scholar-Athlete accolades…Earned High Honor Roll every year of her high school career.
Voss on McConihe: "Audrey is a solid defensive specialist with good ball control who will have a chance to see playing time this fall. I've been able to watch her a lot the last four years and she will not only help us on the court, but will also improve the culture in the gym immediately."
Chelsea Penfield | Outside Hitter | Sterling, Virginia
High School: Three-time First Team All-State honoree as a sophomore, junior and senior…Led Middleburg Academy to a pair of Division II State titles as a freshman and sophomore and a Division III State championship as a senior…Part of the Division II State runner-up team as a junior…Finished her high school career with 1,066 kills, 287 blocks and 161 service aces.
Academics: Plans on majoring in international business or communications and journalism.
Voss on Penfield: "Chelsea is a dynamic middle with a ton of potential. She has a great volleyball personality and a bright future ahead of her. She will no doubt make a contribution on the court this fall.
Julia Piccolino | Outside Hitter | North Versailles, Pennsylvania
High School: Earned All-WPIAL and All-Section honors every year of her high school career, including First Team accolades as a sophomore, junior and senior…Named to the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association All-State team three times…Earned High Honorable Mention on the 2016 PrepVolleyball.com Soph 79 List…Named to the AVCA 2017 Phenom List…Led Serra Catholic to a Sectional championship every year of her high school career and a trio of District semifinal appearances.
Academics: Plans on majoring in communications…Named to the National Honor Society…Earned High Honor Roll and Dean's List honors every year of her high school career.
Voss on Piccolino: "Julia is a very energetic defensive specialist, who will help the culture in our gym immediately. She has a great work ethic that will give her the chance to play right away this fall."
Alison Thomas | Defensive Specialist | Haymarket, Va.
Prior to Cleveland State: Played her first two years at Southern Illinois, averaging 2.73 digs per set through 46 combined matches played…also combined for 36 service aces in two seasons.
High School: Two-time All-State honoree – earning Second Team accolades as a senior after leading the Tri-State Area with 475 digs and 108 service aces and First Team accolades as a junior…led Middleburg Academy to back-to-back state titles as a junior and senior…combined for 1,387 digs, 315 service aces and 229 kills during her high school campaign.
Academics: Plans on majoring in sport administration.
Voss on Thomas: "Alison has two years of experience as a collegiate player, which will add immediate depth to our back row. She has a positive mindset and we will look for her to contribute right away this fall."