Kentucky Volleyball Inks Two Standouts

Volleyball coach Craig Skinner has announced the signing of Canadian Tess Edwards and Louisville native Alisa Pierce.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Canadian Tess Edwards and Louisville native Alisa Pierce have signed national letters of intent to play volleyball at Kentucky next fall, coach Craig Skinner announced Wednesday.

"Tess and Alisa fit the mold of athletes we are recruiting to help us win championships at Kentucky," Skinner said. "We couldn't be happier with our first recruiting class."

Edwards, a 6-0 setter from Ottawa, Ontario, is a two-time member of the Ontario Provincial team and is the captain for her club team at the National Capitals Volleyball Club this season. She was a member of the Region 6 Team at the Ontario Summer Games in 2004 and was one of only 20 athletes invited to train with the 2004 Canadian Junior National Team.

"Tess is a multi-talented volleyball player and athletes with a very high IQ of the game," Skinner said. "She is one of only a few setters at the Division I level who has the ability to excel in all areas of the setting position."

Edwards was recently awarded the 2005 Evelyn Holick Award, presented annually at the Ontario Championships to a female youth-division athlete who demonstrates the qualities of determination, leadership, athletic ability, sportsmanship and fair play. Past recipients of the award included Sarah Pavan, the 2004 NCAA Freshman of the Year at Nebraska, and Stacey Gordon, who twice won the award and went on to Ohio State where she was named the 2004 NCAA Co-Player of the Year. Kim Todd of Marquette was the 2003 award winner.

Pierce, a senior at Pleasure Ridge Park, played outside hitter in high school, but will transition to a defensive role at Kentucky in the fall.

Pierce is a two-time first-team All-State selection and a standout club player at Kentucky Indiana Volleyball Association.

"Alisa is an exceptional athlete who will excel in the highest level," Skinner said. "Her competitiveness and determination will immediately impact our team. It's very important for our program to recruit the best athletes in the state of Kentucky and Alisa is certainly in that category."

Pierce, 5-7, was named to the All-Region team in each of her four seasons at PRP and was a second-team All-State selection in 2002. She was named a Junior Olympic All-American for the 17-under division in 2004 and 2000. She's also been a member of the honor roll at her high school all four years.

Pierce is the cousin of former Louisville players Lesley Drury Prather and Sarah Drury. Prather was Pierce's coach at PRP, while Drury is a member or the US Women's National Team. She joins Louisville native Jenni Casper on the Kentucky squad. Casper also played for the KIVA club program and will be a junior in the fall. Pierce picked Kentucky over Nebraska and Florida.

Edwards and Pierce join fall signees Ashlee Fisher and Erin Turner in the 2005 freshman class.

AllWildcats Top Stories