Head coach Mike Johnson added a pair of defensive specialists in Suryadevara and McIlquham to the 2013 recruiting class.
July 31, 2013
"We feel very fortunate to be adding Sariah and Emily to our program," said Johnson. "With the graduations of Kaleigh Rougraff and Stephanie Vorherr, the defensive position was certainly one of great need. We have a program identity of being stalwart defenders and these two both have the ability to propagate that tradition. Beyond that, both of these kids are tough competitors and they will enhance the culture of our team. We are excited for them both."
Suryadevara (sir-EE-ah-duh-vera) played her first two seasons at Lees-McRae, where she amassed 971 digs in two seasons as the libero. The Cincinnati native (Sycamore High School) was named the Conference Carolinas Co-Freshman of the Year in 2011.
"It has been my goal from the beginning to keep the very best talent here in the city of Cincinnati," stated Johnson. "Bringing Sariah back home where she can play in front of family and friends is a blessing to us. I love that Sariah has had the chance to play a significant amount of time at the collegiate level. She has impressed us with her work ethic and Sariah has shown us that being a great volleyball player is of absolute importance to her. Beyond that, Sariah was trained by a number of coaches that I have great respect for and I anticipate she'll be ready to go the moment she steps foot on campus."
A native of Toronto, McIlquham (MAC-uhl-wahm) joins the team following a sensational prep career at Greenwood. She helped lead her squad to three-consecutive OFSAA Single `A' Tournaments, which included an Ontario Provincial Championship in 2013. McIlquham also competed in and won the US and Canadian Nationals in 420 sailing.
"Emily's story is a favorite of mine," said Johnson. "As we recruit players - beyond simple talent and ability - we seek out strong, tough kids who have the wherewithal to conquer the adversity faced in competing at this level. Emily is talented, very talented. But this is a kid whose athletic endeavors began behind the bow of a ship and not on a volleyball court. As I think of the ideals that we embody in our program - resilience, perseverance, courage - I can't think of a better representative of what we stand for than Emily."
Xavier will open practice and begin preparation for its inaugural season in the BIG EAST on Aug. 10. XU will host 2012 Final 4 participant Michigan, as well as Clemson and NKU, to open the season in the Xavier Invitational from Aug. 30-31.