Posted: Apr 30, 2013 10:03 PM
KINGSVILLE, Texas - Texas A&M-Kingsville volleyball coach Tanya Allen announced on Tuesday the signings of five incoming freshmen players - Olivia Boutch, Alexia Bustamante, Mariah Carlin, Brittany Gutierrez, and Shae Smith - for the 2013 campaign.
The 5-person class well rounded between setter, defensive specialist and net players. The group joins a trio of early period signees in Kalani Giddens, Kayla McGlathery and Michelle Trotter.
Boutch is 6'0" outside hitter/defensive specialist from Conroe, who prepped at The Woodlands High School. She played both volleyball and softball. She plays club volleyball for the Houston Skyline Juniors program.
"Olivia excels at ball control, both as a passer and an attacker," said Allen. "She is a dynamic athlete and offers our roster some much needed versatility. I am excited to see how she adjusts to the speed and competitiveness of our conference."
Bustamante is a 5'2" setter from Helotes who played in high school at Sandra Day O'Connor for Yamilet Garcia. She was a 3-year starter at setter helping her team to district and bi-district championships all three seasons. Academically, she is on the A&B Honor Roll.
"Lex has the kind of volleyball personality you can't teach," said Allen. "Not only is she talented, both as a setter and as a defender, but she is also extremely competitive and has an incredible work ethic."
From Pflugerville, Carlin is a 5'5" libero from Hendrickson High School. She was 1st-team all-district as a junior and 2nd-team all-district as a senior. After earning MVP honors as a freshman, Carlin was named the team's defensive MVP each of her final three seasons. She helped team to the state playoffs her final two seasons after tying for district titles each year. The team reached the fourth round her junior season. Off the court, Carlin was twice named academic all-district and is a member of the National Honor Society.
"Mariah has a ton of untapped talent," said Allen. "She is quick and aggressive as a defender, and is a very solid serve-receive passer."
Gutierrez is a 5'3" combination player. From Helotes, she current plays setter for her club team, but the plan is to convert her to a defensive specialist. She finished with 304 digs as a junior and senior for Brandeis High School and was tops in assists as a senior with 696. She added 33 aces and 234 digs in her final season. As a team, Brandeis and Gutierrez reached won the bi-district championship and advanced to the area finals her sophomore season. As a junior the team was the District 27-5A Tri-Champs, bi-district playoff title, and advanced to the area finals.
In club volleyball, Gutierrez has been a part of two teams that qualified for the USA Volleyball Junior Olympics and on three teams that qualified for the Tour of Texas Power League. She has been team captain in five seasons of junior play splitting time as a libero, defensive specialist and setter.
"Brittany is currently setting for a very competitive club team, but we plan to develop her as a DS," said the Javelina mentor. "Changing positions can be difficult, but I am confident that she can make the transition."
Along with Boutch, Smith will add much needed size to the Javelina offense and to the team's block defense at middle blocker. As a senior at Cypress Falls High School, 5'11" Smith was named her team's best hitter and also lettered in basketball.
"Shae is extremely athletic." said Allen. "She has a great vertical and is already a very polished blocker. I look forward to seeing how fast she can improve."
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