A-State Volleyball adds four newcomers for 2016

A-State Volleyball adds four newcomers for 2016

JONESBORO, AR (A-STATE) – Arkansas State head volleyball coach David Rehr announced Wednesday that Madison Turner, Ashton Sitkowski, Diane Phillips, and Madison Cassady will continue their careers as members of the A-State volleyball squad in 2016.

Turner, a 6-4 middle blocker, hails from Louisburg, Kan., and prepped at Louisburg High School.  She helped lead the Lady Cats to a Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) Class 4A Division I state tournament third-place finish as a senior.  She led the team in blocks and kills, including one match where she registered 20 kills and 20 blocks, and ended the season with a .408 hitting percentage.  Additionally, she was named to the 2015 all-state tournament team and the 2015 MO-KAN All-Tournament and All-Star teams.  She helped lead the team to a 2013 KSHSAA Class 4A state tournament runner-up finish as a sophomore.

"Madison Turner is already an excellent blocking middle and her offensive game profiles to our style of play," Rehr said.  "She's got great size and is a good athlete too so I'm excited about getting her on campus next season and watching her compete.  I expect her offensive game to just get better and better once she gets here."

A native of Russellville, Ark., Sitkowski is a 5-11 outside hitter and was a three-year starter at Russellville High School.  She helped lead the Lady Cyclones to the Arkansas Activities Association Class 6A state championship in 2014 and an appearance in the state tournament semifinals as a senior in 2015.  RHS registered a 27-8 record in 2015 as Sitkowski averaged 13 kills and 15 digs per match.  She was an all-conference, all-state tournament, and all-state selection in 2015.

"Ashton is a great addition to our team," said Rehr.  "She's a great athlete and was on a very successful Russellville team that won a state championship in 2014.  She's a great student as well and just a great person overall.  It's always nice to find quality in-state kids to add to our program."

Phillips, a product of Marion, Ark., was a four-year letterwinner for Marion High School and helped lead the Lady Patriots to an Arkansas Activities Association Class 6A state championship in 2015 after a runner-up finish in 2014.  She was a four-time all-conference honoree to go along with a three-time all-state and all-state tournament selection, and was named the 2015 Class 6A state tournament MVP.  She won the Wendy's High School Heisman in 2015 and leaves MHS with school records in kills (1,448) and digs (1,959).  Additionally, she played for the Memphis Metro Volleyball Club and was a Best of Preps Metro Selection by The Commercial Appeal in 2014 and 2015.

"Diane is a great offensive and defensive player, but we expect her to help us on the defensive side here," Rehr said.  "She was on a state championship team this season and has a long list of accolades that are impressive.  Once again, it's always important to lock up top talent in the state and this is another example of that."

A defensive specialist/libero, Cassady is a native of Plainfield, Ill., and helped lead Plainfield North High School to the regional semifinals as a senior.  She has played club volleyball since the age of 13 with three years at Sports Performance and two years for Team One in both indoor and beach volleyball.

"Madison Cassady is a very solid addition to our program and our depth at the defensive specialist position," said Rehr.  "I am excited about adding her to the mix in the back row and expect her to compete well.  Overall, this was a very good day for us to add all four of these players."

Arkansas State returns to action Thursday, Nov. 12 against Appalachian State at the Convocation Center.  First serve is set for 6 p.m. and "Senior Night" ceremonies will be held to honor outgoing seniors Kariana Castanon-Hill and Hannah Robey.  Fans can follow the team on Twitter (@stAteVolleyball) and Instagram (astatevolleyball).