HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team has inked three recruits to National Letters of Intent, head coach Jason Oliver announced on Wednesday. Val Jeffery, Megan Kennedy and Crystal Widom will join the Panthers in 2013.
“I am really pleased with the way this class came together,” Oliver said. “All three have a great feel for the game and come from winning high school and club programs. I also think the character of the of the people we add to the program is very important and they will represent the team and High Point University in a great way.”
Jeffery is a setter from Pickerington, Ohio. She is the first two-time All-State honoree in the history of Pickerington North High School and has helped the program to three straight Sectional and District Championships. Jeffery is a two-time All-League and All-District selection and was named to the District All-Star Team.
Jeffery has also played five years with the Columbus Volleyball Club, the No. 1-ranked team in Ohio in 2010 and 2012. She was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Junior Olympics National Championship in Reno, Nev. in 2010 and again in Columbus, Ohio in 2012. She was selected to the Team USA Volleyball High Performance Training Program and competed with the Ohio Valley Region High Performance Team in Tucson, Ariz.
“We knew it was important to have a setter in this class for a couple of reasons,” Oliver said. “We wanted someone to come in and compete with Maddie Simpson but also to be ready to take over when she graduates. Val is the perfect fit for HPU. Her technical skill is top notch and she has a great demeanor of the floor.”
Kennedy joins High Point from Coppell, Texas. She is an outside hitter that helped Coppell High School to the Texas 5A State Championship in 2011. She earned All-District honors in 2010 and 2011 and was the 2010 Newcomer of the Year.
Kennedy has played for the Skyline Volleyball Club for the last three years. The team finished ninth in the open division at the Junior Olympics in 2012, 15th in 2011 and third in 2010.
“Megan is 6-foot-1 attacker who can play defense and handle the ball like a libero,” Oliver said. “She plays great defense and makes it look effortless. She is great in all areas of the game, ball control, defense, serving and mental toughness. She will be a great attacker for us but no in a flashy way. She is the type glue player that keeps the team together and makes the important, but often overlooked plays.”
Widom is a right side originally from Naples, Fla but currently completing her senior year at Wakefield High School in Raleigh, N.C. She helped Wakefield to the Final Four in the North Carolina State Championship, the best finish in school history. As a junior at Barron Collier High School she was first in the state of Florida in kills and blocks of any right side.
Widom also competed with the 2012 USA Volleyball Junior International Team. In 2011 she was selected to the UAS Volleyball Girls Select National Team and was a Team Florida All-Star.
“Crystal will add an entirely new dimension to our offense,” Oliver said. “She is a lefty who will spread out our attack and free up more angles and cross court shots. We can’t wait to pair her with Val, who has a great back set, and create a really dynamic pairing. Crystal has a really impressive wingspan so when she blocks she can cover so much area.”
Jeffery, Kennedy and Widom will join a Panther team that went 20-11 in 2012 and knocked off ACC teams Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. High Point returns five starters including All-Big South honorees Kristin Heldt and Annemarie Chin.