HARRISONBURG, Va., June 5, 2012 -- James Madison head volleyball coach Lauren Steinbrecher announced the addition of five student-athletes to the roster for the 2012 season, including one scholarship player and four walk-ons.
The new additions include setter Sarah Patterson (Roanoke, Va./Hidden Valley) who signed a National Letter of Intent in the spring. The four walk-ons include outside hitters Sarah Delaney (Herndon, Va./South Lakes) and Patreece Spence (Wilmington, Del./Archmere Academy) and defensive specialists Jaclyn Placha (Oakdale, Pa./West Allegheny) and Sierra Hahn-Ventrell (Chevy Chase, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase).
The five new additions add to an incoming freshman class that includes fall signees Meghan Niski (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) and MacKenzie Kleespies (Lincoln University, Pa./Avon Grove).
"Words can't express how excited I am to add such a talented, dynamic group of players to our current roster," Steinbrecher said. "I expect the level of play in our gym this fall to be the highest it has ever been. JMU is certainly a special school for student-athletes to invest their time and talent. To have these five players join Meghan and MacKenzie to complete the 2012 recruiting class is a testament to what an exciting opportunity JMU presents. I can't wait to see what this class contributes over the next four years. It’s an exciting time to be a Duke!"
Patterson joins Madison out of Hidden Valley High School in Roanoke, Va. Prior to moving to Virginia for her junior and senior years, she spent two years at Plant High School in Tampa, Fla., joining current Dukes in rising senior outsidehitter Danielle Erb (Tampa, Fla./Plant) and rising junior libero Katie Daorai (Tampa, Fla./Plant) out of that program. As a senior at Hidden Valley, Patterson led the Titans to a third-place finish in the state tournament. She is a two-time First Team All-District, All-Region and All-State selection and played in the Virginia All-State East vs. West Game. In club volleyball, she twice helped the Tampa Bay juniors qualified for the Junior Olympics.
Delaney is a three-year varsity performer for South Lakes High School in Reston, Va. She is a two-time All-Liberty District honoree, including a First Team honor her senior year. She added an All-Northern Region selection and was named the recipient of the South Lakes Offensive Player and Top Blocker Awards twice.
Placha comes to JMU out of Oakdale, Pa., and West Allegheny Senior High School. She is a three-time All-Section and All-League selection and a two-time honoree as First Team All-State. She also twice was named to the All-State Tournament team. She played club ball for the Renaissance Volleyball Club from 2008-2012.
Spence is a two-time nominee for the Delaware Gatorade Player of the Year out of Archmere Academy in Wilmington, Del. She also garnered All-State accolades three times and served as a team captain for two seasons. In addition to playing volleyball, Spence also ran track and played varsity lacrosse.
Hahn-Ventrell played on the varsity volleyball team for four years at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. As a senior, she compiled 120 kills and 115 digs, leading the team in both categories. She was twice named to the Magruder Invitational All-Tournament team and was twice named Montgomery Gazette All-County Honorable Mention. Academically she is a honor roll and National Honors Society student and received an International Baccalaureate certificate.
The Dukes return five starters and their libero from a team that went 20-11 and reached the semifinals of the CAA Championship a year ago. Two other players appeared in a combined 58 matches, starting 11 to help Madison return a lot of experience in 2012.
JMU opens its 2012 campaign August 24-25 by hosting the JMU Days Inn Invitational. The Dukes will welcome Appalachian State, Seton Hall and Minnesota into Sinclair Gymnasium for the two-day, six-match tournament.
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