Nov. 14, 2012
Outside hitter/middle blocker Sydney Cooper of Atlanta, Ga., outside hitter Javoni Faucette of St. Louis, Mo., middle blocker/outside hitter Brooke Betts of Pickerington, Ohio, and outside hitter Maya McClendon of Louisville, Ky. have all signed national letters of intent to continue their volleyball careers at the University of Louisville.
"This 2013 class is very special because they are all fundamentally sound volleyball players, extremely athletic, incredible students, and wonderful young people," said U of L head coach Anne Kordes. "All four of them bring a strong standard of work ethic, character, and drive, which will allow this group to accomplish anything they dream of. I can't wait to coach them."
Sydney Cooper is a 6-1 outside hitter/middle blocker who played high school volleyball for head coach Tad Sahara at Woodward Academy. Highlights from her high school volleyball career include being a two-time Area Champion, two-time State Champion, four-time All-Area 1st Team selection, All-State 2nd Team selection, and an All-State 1st Team selection. She played her club ball for the Atlanta Juniors, where she was coached by Rex Welch. Sydney was selected to both the USA Volleyball's Select Continental Team and USA Volleyball's Junior Continental Team. She was named honorable mention on the 2012 Under Armour All-American team. She also competed in the 2012 High Performance Championships in matches against the Chilean Women's Junior National Team and the Dominican Republic Women's Junior National Team.
"Sydney Cooper is a smooth athlete with an explosiveness that allows her to get off the floor and hang in the air with ease," said Kordes. "She is going to be a fun offensive threat because she is incredibly fast and dynamic and although just 6'1", she is going to be a strong blocker because she can get from pin to pin effortlessly. Sydney Cooper is also an incredible student and independent young person. She will be bringing with her a strong work ethic on and off the floor and an exciting personality to add to this team's strong chemistry."
Javoni Faucette is a 6-1 outside hitter who played her high school volleyball for head coach Justin Young at Francis Howell High School. She played club volleyball for the Saint Louis High Performance team and was coached by Scott Mebruer. Javoni accumulated personal honors during her high school career that included a 2nd Team All-Conference selection, 1st Team All-Conference selection, three-time All-District selection, 2nd Team All-Region selection, 2nd Team All-State selection, and a nomination to the Under Armour High School All-America Watch List.
"I saw Javoni Faucette for the first time when she was thirteen years old while coaching in St. Louis and it was evident then that she had athleticism and coordination to be one of the best volleyball players in the country," said Kordes. "On top of her physicality, Javoni has great fundamentals, which I think will allow for her to see the court early in her career. She is a six-rotation player that we will lean on to become an offensive weapon from the front and back row, but also to move in to the role of primary passer. Javoni isn't afraid to work hard, which is why I am excited to see the impact she is going to make at Louisville."
Brooke Betts is a 6-1 middle blocker/outside hitter who played her high school volleyball at Bishop Hartley for head coach Max Miller. She played club volleyball for the Mintonette Sports team, which is coached by Talisa Kellogg. At Bishop Hartley, Brooke was named a 2012 Senior Ace, two-time 1st Team All-League selection, two-time 1st Team All District selection, two-time 1st Team All-State selection, and the 2011 State Championship Player of the Game. She was named a 2010 All-American during club volleyball at the USAV Nationals and a USA National All-American in both 2010 and 2012. Brooke also participated on the 2009 OVR High Performance team.
"When Brooke Betts walks in to the gym people take notice. She is long and lean and as fast off one foot as any athlete we have in the gym," said Kordes. "She comes from an incredible club and high school program that has trained her to play multiple positions, which has resulted in being a well-rounded player. She is phenomenal young person and student that I am proud to have as a representative of our volleyball program and University. Brooke is going to do great things at U of L."
Maya McClendon is a 5-10 outside hitter and a local talent who played for head coach Chris Gould at DuPont Manual High School. Her father, Roger McClendon, played college basketball at the University of Cincinnati and her sister, Deja McClendon, is currently a member of the Penn State University volleyball team. She played her club volleyball for Coach Lesley Prather of the Asics KIVA (Kentucky/Indiana Volleyball Academy) team. At DuPont Manual, Maya was a member of the KHSAA District Champion teams from 2009-2011, she was named 1st Team All-State, 1st Team Academic All-State, a Maxpreps Player of the Week, a PrepVolleyball.com Top 50 recruit, and was No. 80 on the PrepVolleyball.com Senior Aces. She was named to the 2012 First Team Under Armour All-American team. All- In 2009, she was selected as a member of USA Volleyball's High Performance Select A1 Team. In 2010, Maya was a USA Volleyball Youth National A2 Team member, USA Volleyball Holiday Camp Invitee, and she participated for USA Volleyball in the High Performance Championships, finishing in 3rd place for Bronze. Maya competed for USA Volleyball in 2011 during the High Performance Championships and for the USA Volleyball Youth National A2 Team. In 2012, she competed in the NORCECA Intercontinental Volleyball Championships in Nicaragua where the team finished in third place for Bronze. She also participated for USA Volleyball's Junior National Team and High Performance Championships, in which the team won 1st place and Gold in the Women's International Junior Division. Maya qualified to compete for the USA in the 2013 FIVB World Championships in the Czech Republic.
"When I took the job at Louisville it was my goal get the best players in Louisville to stay at Louisville and with Maya McClendon, that goal has been accomplished for 2013," said Kordes. "There is no better way to describe Maya as a player then to speak the phrase "dynamite comes in small packages". She is one of the most fiery and aggressive players I have ever recruited and although she stands at only 5'10", she plays like she is 6'4". Maya has an electric personality and leadership skills that bring people together."