Kentucky Volleyball Adds Three Signees for 2016
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky volleyball program is excited to announce Caitlyn Cooper, Leah Edmond and Jordan Fry have all signed national letters of intent to join the Wildcats for the 2016 season. The class has the potential to be Kentucky volleyball’s best ever, including two of the country’s top 30 recruits.
“The words that come to mind when thinking about this class are explosive and dynamic,” said 11th-year head coach Craig Skinner. “Lindsey [Gray-Walton] and Anders [Nelson] have really pushed the envelope with our recruiting and we are thrilled about the addition of this group. Athletically we are taking another step forward as a program.”
OH – 5-11– Missouri City, Texas – Ridge Point – AVA of Texas
Cooper, ranked No. 29 in PrepVolleyball.com’s Senior Aces, comes to UK after playing for Ridge Point and AVA of Texas. A first-team Under Armour All-American and three-year letter winner at Ridge Point high school, she has accumulated more than 1,100 career kills, averaging 3.6 per set while hitting at a .251 clip during her career. She adds 2.9 digs per set and 0.5 blocks a set. Her accolades include a 17 Open national championship MVP award along with being named to the 2013 & 2014 junior nationals all-tournament team. Cooper holds the school record for kills at Ridge Point high school. She was named the District Newcomer of the Year in 2013 before earning District Offensive MVP recognition in 2014. She was also named a part of Volleyball Magazine’s Fab 50 for 2014 & 2015.
PrepVolleyball.com wrote about Caitlyn, “Cooper may lack ideal size for an elite attacker, but she more than makes up for it with astounding athleticism that allows her to soar to 10-4 with one of the most dynamic approaches in the game. Cooper not only jumps high, she hits high, allowing her to hit all angles of the court whenever she wants. Few hit the ball harder. Unafraid of any block, Cooper seems to play her best on the biggest stages. Last summer, facing match point again in the 17 Open national championship final, it was she who striped the sideline to keep her team alive. Cooper uses her great leaping ability to block with her triceps at the tape and possesses a natural ability to swing block successfully, which is one of the hardest skills to teach. Cooper has played volleyball for only three years. She possesses the potential to grow and expand her all-around game. She has the desire. Cooper strives to better her game every day and her desire to compete and win is so palpable that it innately inspires her teammates. A great cheerleader for her teammates, Cooper isn’t anywhere close to reaching her potential. She will be a difference maker and fan favorite at Kentucky.”
Cooper is anticipated to graduate from Ridge Point this spring. She is the daughter of Michael and Cassandra Cooperl.
Skinner on Cooper: “Caitlyn is a very dynamic player/athlete. She plays the game with full intent to produce points and energy for her team. Her accolades over the last year have come with a full commitment to the game and desire to improve as she has continued to play at a higher level. She’s an elite athlete and her best years as a volleyball player are still to come. We are fired up that she will be wearing blue during that time.”
OH – 6-2 - Lexington, Ky. – Dunbar – Lexington United
Edmond comes to UK ranked No. 7 by PrepVolleyball.com’s Senior Aces after a dominant career in Lexington. An Under-Armour Second-Team All American and AAU All-American, Edmond enters the 2016 season with high expectations after being named the 2015 Region Player of the Year. A two-year letterwinner at Dunbar, Edmond was named First Team All-State in 2014 and 2015, where she averaged 5.0 kills per set hitting .400. She also averaged 2.6 digs a set and 0.5 blocks a match, including 80 solo stops. Edmond has also been named District MVP (2013), First Team All-City (2013, 2014) and Region All-Tournament Team (2013). She helped guide her team to a Regional championship and Final Four appearance in 2014 after being Region runners-up the year prior.
PrepVolleyball.com wrote about Leah, “Prior to AAU Nationals last summer, Edmond was regarded as a raw athlete, with incredible jumping ability and explosive quickness, who had potential to be an impact player down the road. After squaring off against the tournament’s top seed, Mizuno Sports Performance 18 Elite, everything changed. She crushed kills from the front and back row, shut down some of the nation’s best attackers, and played a steady six-rotation game in leading her unheralded Lexington United team to victory. Edmond has since cemented herself as one of the best players in the class regardless of position. Edmond can hit from both pins at a high level and crushes it from the pipe. She is a physical player with a rare competitive edge who consistently plays high above the net. She has handled the transition from middle blocker to the pin with ease, and has made tremendous strides in her ability to receive serve as well. Edmond has an aggressive top spin serve, which is as difficult to return as her thundering front court attacks. The best prospect to ever come out of the Lexington area, Edmond chose to stay home and play for the Kentucky Wildcats. Extremely coachable and very driven to be great, she has the chance to find the court early in what could be an All-America career.”
Edmond is the daughter of Laurie and Kentucky football head strength and conditioning coach Corey Edmond. She is set to graduate in the spring from Dunbar High School.
Skinner on Edmond: “Leah is one of the most explosive athletes we have recruited here at Kentucky. She has earned a lot of respect around the country over the last year in this sport and will continue to do so at the next level. Leah’s potential in the game combined with how hard she plays and competes for each point will no doubt make an impact here at Kentucky.”
MB – 6-3 – Cincinnati, Ohio - Ursuline Academy – Elevation Volleyball
Fry joins the Blue and White after an impressive career as a high school athlete. She played elite level soccer for eight years before switching to volleyball during her senior year of high school. Despite no prior experience, she played for Ohio volleyball powerhouse Ursuline Academy, where she played a critical role in helping the team to the 2015 Ohio Division I Regional finals. Fry was familiar with volleyball growing up, as her sister, Sam, is a current volleyball player at Notre Dame and was an All-ACC selection in the past season. Fry comes from a family of athletes, as both her parents competed in Division I athletics at Columbia and Notre Dame. Holding a 4.5 GPA in the accelerated honors program at Ursuline, she is slated to graduate in the spring. Fry is the daughter of Greg and Shari Fry.
Skinner on Fry: “Jordan is a promising player in volleyball and we are still amazed that she only picked up the game 18 months ago. After a long career in soccer, the volleyball bug caught up to her and she’s been hooked ever since. She is a sponge for the game and really competes to be great. We are very excited about her future ability to be a dominant middle attacker at this level.”
Kentucky’s Memorial Coliseum will play host to the NCAA Regionals Dec. 11-12. UK is one of four sites selected for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups with one team advancing to the Final Four in Omaha, Neb., from the Lexington Region. This marks the third time in five seasons Memorial Coliseum will host this premier volleyball event.