Head coach Mike Johnson and the volleyball staff has signed Abbey Bessler, Mackenzi Humm and Alexis Newsome for the 2013 season.
Nov. 14, 2012
CINCINNATI - Xavier volleyball has received commitments from Abbey Bessler, Mackenzi Humm and Alexis Newsome to join the Musketeers in the fall of 2013. All three players are recognized as being in the top 250 by Prep Volleyball.
"This is a great class for Xavier Volleyball," said volleyball head coach Mike Johnson. "We are not only bringing in exceptional athletes, but wonderful people who believe in the mission of the university and what we stand for. Moreover, they have bought in wholly to our vision of where this program is headed and they will be an integral part of our exciting future. We welcome them with open arms to our family."
Bessler, a product of Saint Henry High School in Erlanger, Ky., raked in the accolades during her four-year prep career. Her accolades include 2012 Under Armor High School All-America Honorable Mention, two-time KVCA First Team All-State Class A, 2012 NKGVA All-Opponent DII Co-Player of the Year, 2012 KVCA Region 9 Player of the Year and MVP of both the All-A Classic Statewide and 9th Region All-A Classic tournaments. The outside hitter was also named Max Prep State Player of the Week and LaRosa's MVP Player of the Week during the season. A member of four-straight conference and district championships, Bessler displayed the same acumen in the classroom by being a four-year member of the honor roll.
"This city has produced elite, top-notch talent and it has been our goal from the beginning to get the best that Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky has to offer," said Johnson. "Abbey is a prototypical five -tool athlete. She can do it all and do it well. Very few have the court sense and game awareness that Abbey does. And of those, fewer still combine that ability with a 6-foot-2 frame. We're thrilled that Abbey chose to stay home and it is our hope that she inspires other local stars to do the same."
A native of Crystal Lake, Ill., Humm will come to Xavier after being placed on a list of 20 players who sit just outside the top 100 in Prep Volleyball's rankings. Additional honors include all-state honorable mention, Northwest Herald All-Area Second Team, Chicago Sun Times Third Team All-Area and two-time Northwest Herald All-Conference. Humm led Prairie Ridge High School in aces, assists and hitting percentage last season and has made honor roll all four years.
"I might be the pickiest coach I know when it comes to choosing a setter," said Johnson. "We scoured the country in search for a setter who can deliver a ball with great precision while leading with great enthusiasm. When I first saw Mackenzi, I was sold instantly. She plays with great intensity and is probably one of the most accurate setters in the country. She is the perfect fit for our up-tempo, high-wire act of an offense."
Newsome rounds out XU's early signees. In addition to being named Pickerington Central's team MVP the last two seasons, the middle blocker was named all-region honorable mention both years. The four-year letter-winner earned first team all-district accolades in 2012 after a second team all-district distinction as a junior in 2011. Newsome has also displayed her athleticism as a three-year letter-winner on Pickerington Central's basketball team.
"When it comes to pure, natural athleticism, Alexis might be one of the quickest, fastest, most dynamic kids in the country," stated Johnson. "She is learning the game at a high level and can already do things with the ball that most others could only dream of. She is also a spirited, fiery competitor who is dedicated to become great. When she puts it all together - watch out. The tools are all there for her to become nothing short of dominant."
Xavier is currently 19-10 overall and 11-3 in the Atlantic 10. The Musketeers finished second in the Atlantic 10, their third-straight second-place finish in the conference. By virtue of ending the season in second, XU received a bye into the semifinals of the A-10 Championships this weekend in Pittsburgh, Pa.
6'2" Outside Hitter
Saint Henry High School
Prairie Ridge High School
Crystal Lake, Ill.
6'1" Middle Blocker
Pickerington Central High School