GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tusculum College volleyball coach Michael Robinson has announced that seven student-athletes have committed to attend Tusculum and play volleyball for the Pioneers.
Joining the Tusculum program next fall are Hallie Zumack, Megan Yopko, Kayli Dempster, Brooke Statler, Aubrey Hawkins, Cameron McAbee and Ashley Jones.
Zumack, a 5-8 setter from Independence, Ohio, recorded over 2,000 assists during her prep career at Independence High School. This past fall, she garnered All-State, All-District and All-Conference honors, while also being named the league's Most Valuable Player. The two-year team captain earned the Offensive Player of the Year award in 2014 and was a Cleveland Plains Dealer Player of the Year nominee this season. The four-time varsity starter was named to the Renee Roche Invitational All-Tournament team twice and was the recipient of the Independence HS All-Academic Award. Zumack was also named the Cleveland Plains Dealer Player of the Week, Independence HS Athlete of the Week and Ohio Varsity Player of the Week. She plays her club ball with the Cleveland Volleyball Company.
"Hallie is a tremendous player who will make an immediate impact for us. She has a high volleyball IQ and the mentality you want from a setter," said Robinson. "She has a very well rounded skill set and shines on the defensive end of the ball but it's her ability to run a quick tempo offense that makes her so special. I'm so excited to have Hallie joining the Pioneer family."
Yopko, a 5-8 defensive specialist/libero, led her Beaumont High School squad with 2.5 kills and 3.5 digs per set during her senior campaign. The Mayfield Village, Ohio product was a member of Beaumont's 2012 State championship squad. Last season's team advanced to the Ohio Sweet 16, while the 2013 club advanced to the State Final Four. She earned All-North Coast League accolades in 2015 and was a four-year varsity letter-winner. She served as team captain this past fall and she was a member of the Maverick Volleyball Club program which earned a No. 27 national ranking.
"I could not be happier adding a player like Megan to our roster. She is a tenacious defender who possesses the grit and determination any coach would want in a defender," Robinson added. "On top of that she has an amazing knowledge of the game and skill set. I expect the future to be very bright for Megan."
Dempster, a 5-8 outside hitter from Floyd Knobs, Indiana, garnered All-Conference recognition during her prep career at Floyd Central High School. She earned the Highlanders' Most Improved Player Award and the Mental Attitude Award. She played her club volleyball with the Mid-America Volleyball Association. Dempster also shined off the court where she is a member of the National Honors Society and was the recipient of the Constitutional Government Unit Award.
"Kayli is a tremendous athlete and volleyball player. She comes from amazing high school and club programs that have made her one of the most well rounded players in this class," Robinson said. "She is very explosive and adds an element to our roster that we have been missing. We are extremely excited to be adding a dynamic player like Kayli to the roster."
Statler, a 6-0 middle blocker from Columbus, Indiana, comes to the Tusculum program after completing her prep playing career at Columbus East High School. She lettered three years on the volleyball court and four years on the swim team. She served a team captain for both sports. She was a member of four sectional championship teams and two squads that captured regional titles (2013, 2015). The 2013 volleyball team advanced to the State Final Four. Statler is a two-time selection to the National Honors Society and volunteered with the Big Brother/Big Sister program for two years.
"Brooke brings a great balance of size and quickness to the middle for us. She has the chance to develop into an amazing middle blocker for this program. The quality training and competition she's been receiving with one of the nation's top volleyball clubs will benefit her greatly as she makes the transition to the collegiate level. We are ecstatic to have Brooke joining our family," Robinson added.
Hawkins, a 6-0 right-side hitter from Stamping Ground, Kentucky, earned All-District and All-Region honors at Scott County High School. She averaged 4.7 kills per set this season and served as team captain. The four-time letter-winner was the 2011 recipient of the Best Offense Award and has been an outstanding student-athlete where she has a 4.0 grade point average and a four-time Honor Roll selection. She is a member of the National Honors Society, Beta Club and is a KHSAA Academic All-State award winner. She also played for the Lexington United Volleyball Club.
"The first time I saw Aubrey play I knew we had to have her on our roster. She hits an extremely heavy ball and puts up a wall of a block. Her court presence on both the offensive and defensive end will give her the ability to impact our program early in her career. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Aubrey," said Robinson.
McAbee, a 5-9, outside hitter from Weaverville, North Carolina was an All-Mountain Athletic Conference pick at North Buncombe High School. She led all North Carolina freshman in kills during the 2012 season and was third amongst the state's juniors in kills in 2014. She served as team captain the last two years and was the 2014 winner of the Most Improved Player Award. McAbee was named the Scholar Athlete of the Week twice during her prep career and also played for the Biltmore Volleyball Club.
"Cameron is a player we have had on our radar for quite some time," added Robinson. "She has been coming to camps and clinics here since her sophomore year and her love for Tusculum is apparent. She is a very well rounded player who we've seen continued growth from on a yearly basis. Her senior year came to a halt because of an injury but with her work ethic I have no doubts she will come in ready to go for us this fall. We are excited to have Cameron joining our family at Tusculum."
Jones, a 5-5 defensive specialist/libero was a three-year starter and four-time letter-winner at Leesville Road High School. The Raleigh, North Carolina product helped her prep squad to three NCHSAA State Playoff appearances (2013, 2014, 2015), including this past season as LRHS advanced to the third round. She earned All-Conference first team accolades this past fall, while also serving as team captain.
"We are thrilled to have Ashley joining our program. The thing that drew me to Ashley was her will to win. She's one of the most competitive players I've ever met. This competitiveness is an attribute that will push everyone around her to be better. Her willingness to compete shines through in every aspect of her game. I'm excited to get Ashley in our gym as a part of the Pioneer family." Robinson said.
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