Tendler Inks Three in Elon Volleyball Signing Class

ELON, N.C. – Elon University volleyball head coach Mary Tendler announced on Thursday, Dec. 1, the signing of three future student-athletes to the program as the Phoenix welcomes the additions of Courtney Carpenter (Blue Valley High School / Overland Park, Kan.), Julia Crabtree (Avon High School / West Grove, Penn.) and Natalie Cummins (Institute of Notre Dame / Baltimore, Md.) to the team after signing their national letters of intent (NLI). The trio is set to join the maroon and gold for the 2017 season.

“We are very happy to welcome in the initial signees for our 2017 incoming class and their families,” said Tendler. “This class has the size, skill and mentality to help us continue to move up in the rankings of the Colonial Athletic Association.”

Courtney Carpenter • Overland Park, Kan. • Blue Valley High School • Middle Blocker • 6-1

Notes: A four-year varsity starter, Carpenter was a two-year captain at Blue Valley High School under head coach Dave Johnson. She led the team in kill percentage in 2016 and was selected to the 2014 and 2016 AVCA Phenom List. She also received first team All-Conference honors during her senior year and was a second team selection as a sophomore. Carpenter received special mention for Prep Volleyball 79 as a sophomore and was also a member of the National Honor Society and the Honor Roll. The daughter of Wade and Sue Carpenter, she intends to major in journalism at Elon.

“Courtney was a very good player when she verbally committed to Elon and she keeps getting better and better,” said Tendler. “The more we watched her in club, the more excited we got about her becoming a Phoenix. She is a smart and athletic player who will get the job done both offensively and defensively in the middle position.”

Julia Crabtree • West Grove, Penn. • Avon High School • Outside Hitter • 6-1

Notes: Crabtree was a four-year starter at Avon High School under head coach Ashley Fotch. She earned District 1 first team accolades during her sophomore, junior and senior years while also receiving State First Team laurels in her junior and senior years. She led the team in kills as a junior and was the program’s point, ace and defensive leader as a senior. The daughter of Anetta Kudlorz and Michael Crabtree, she plans to major in exercise science.

“Julia can play at either pin and be a six rotation player for us,” said Tendler. “The combination of her size and overall skill level is what attracted us to her and will be very valuable to our program during her career at Elon. Julia expressed a high level of interest in Elon early in her recruitment and is a perfect fit for the school and program.”

Natalie Cummins • Baltimore, Md. • Institute of Notre Dame • Middle Blocker/Outside Hitter • 6-3

Notes: Cummins arrives from the Institute of Notre Dame where she played under head coaches Meagan Tudja and Cristina Aquia. She earned a spot on the Interscholastic Association of Maryland (IAAM) B Division All-Conference Team in both 2015 and 2016. She also was a member of the Honor Roll, the National Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society while also being a Theresian Scholar. Cummins also played for the club team Elite Volleyball Club 18 Navy for head coaches Jeff Kim and Elizabeth Prang. The daughter of Jennifer and W. Neil Cummins, she intends to major in communications at Elon.

“The sky is the limit for Natalie,” said Tendler. “Her size will make her a big presence at the net and she has the potential to play a couple of different positions for us. It will be fun to watch her grow at Elon, and her high level of energy will add to the atmosphere of the team.”