Pacific Women's Volleyball: Gibbons Signs Three To Start His First Full Recruiting Class
With his first full season nearly complete, head coach Greg Gibbons put the first touches on his first full recruiting class with three new additions signed to National Letters of Intent. Joining the Tigers in 2011 are Ava Cramp (Columbus, Ohio), Gillian Howard (La Jolla, Calif.) and Hanna Levanen (Granada Hills, Calif.).
"We are very excited about our 2011 recruiting class in Hanna Levanen, Gillian Howard, and Ava Cramp," said Gibbons. "We are bringing in very physical and extremely competitive girls who will succeed both on and off the court. They provide us with depth at the outside and middle positions."
A 6-5 middle blocker from Upper Arlington High School, Cramp will join the Tigers in the fall of 2011 where she will immediately help Pacific in the middle of the court. As a senior, Cramp helped lead the Golden Bears to one of their best seasons in school history. The Golden Bears finished 19-5 overall, marking their highest victory total in the last 15 seasons while posting a 12-2 mark in the Ohio Capital Conference-Central Division to place second. For her play, Cramp was named first team all-district and all-league after the season. In addition to her high school play, Cramp is a member of Elite 18 National Volleyball club.
"Ava will add to the physicality of this recruiting class. She brings with her size a tremendous athletic ability. She will immediately be a force at the net and has tremendous potential to be a solid six-rotation player for us."
Continuing the Tigers push for skilled size in the middle, Howard is a 6-4 middle blocker from La Jolla Country Day. As a junior, Howard helped lead her school to its first ever Califonia State Championship after posting a nearly perfect mark of 39-1 while taking the Coastal-South League title with an 8-0 record. As a senior, Howard and the Torrey's ran the table for the second-consecutive season in league play to earn their second-straight Coastal-South title. They enter the playoffs ranked No. 9 in the nation according to Prepvolleyball.com. For the year, Howard has posted 179 kills while leading the team defensively with 91 blocks. On the club level, Howard has been a member of the prestigious Coast Volleyball club.
"Gillian adds tremendous depth at the middle blocker position where she is a strong force at the net both offensively and defensively. She plays at a very high level where both her high school and club team is top-10 in the country."
A 6-0 outside hitter from Granada Hills High School, Levanen will give the Tigers a six rotation attacker from the pins after excelling for four seasons as a Highlander. Currently in the midst of a playoff run, Levanen and her Highlanders finished the 2010 regular season with an impressive 30-3 overall record while capturing the West Valley Volleyball League title with a perfect 10-0 record. Entering the playoffs, Levanen had accumulated a team-best 340 kills as she averaged 4.1 kills per game while hitting an impressive .446 on the year. As a junior, Levanen was just as dominant as she led Granda Hills to the Division I CIF championship on her way to all-city and all-league honors. In addition to her high school accolades, Levanen is a member of the powerhouse Legacy Volleyball club. Most recently, Levanen and her Legacy teammates qualified for the Junior Olympics held in Reno, Nevada from June 28 through July 1, becoming the first girl's team in Legacy Volleyball history to qualify for the tournament.
"Hanna is a versatile outside hitter with a heavy arm and an exceptional volleyball IQ and a true passion for the game. She ranks as one of the top offensive hitters in this class and her speed, vertical, and versatility will be a true asset to our team."
When asked about the class as a whole, Gibbons stated, "I can't say enough good things about these three girls as we are just as impressed with them off the court as we are with what they have done in their prep careers on the court and will continue to do. They will fit in with our young team and our system of play and most importantly they are great team players that truly buy into Pacific Volleyball and the university."