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LONGVIEW, April 25, 2014-- LeTourneau University head volleyball coach Scott Peluso has announced two more commitments –Caroline Baxter and Rachel Earle – to the 2014 roster.
“God continues to do great things in our volleyball program,” said Peluso. “With the addition of Rachel and Caroline, we will have a complete roster for the first time in my tenure as head coach here at LeTourneau University and I could not be more excited to have them. Both of these players are going to add a great deal to our play at the net.”
Caroline Baxter – MB/RS – Broken Arrow, Okla. / Broken Arrow High School
Baxter tallied 140 kills, 21 aces and 21 blocks in a shortened senior season at Broken Arrow High School en route to all-conference honors. In addition to being a four-year letterwinner on the volleyball team, she also played two years on the basketball and soccer team. On the club volleyball level, Baxter has played on the Oklahoma Peak Performance Club team that included three Division I players. As a student, she was selected as an Oklahoma Academic Scholar. Baxter plans to study engineering while at LeTourneau.
The Coach’s Take: “Caroline can play either middle or rightside and brings a great deal of experience of playing at a very high level. She plays with energy and is a solid attacker. She is great off of one foot behind the setter and is going to help make our offense more dynamic. We plan on utilizing her in both positions to help our offense become more of a threat.”
Rachel Earle – RS - The Woodlands, Texas / Woodlands Christian Academy
As a senior, she recorded 170 kills, 73 digs and 45 blocks at Woodlands Christian Academy. Earle led the district in blocks as a senior en route to all-district honors. Earle also picked up all-district recognition as a junior. She was a four-year letterwinner on the volleyball team; plus she also participated on the track and field team. For her efforts in the classroom, Earle was Academic All-State and the recipient of both the Presidential Education Award and Presidential Community Service Award as a senior. Earle plans to study early childhood education while at LeTourneau.
The Coach’s Take: “Rachel is a natural athlete with great jumping ability. The height she plays above the net is going to strengthen up our block on the right side which is an area that we really needed help with since our conference has so many solid left side hitters. She has an explosive approach that we are also excited to see in our offense.”
The YellowJackets completed the 2013 campaign without a graduating senior. Both Baxter and Earle will be joining a LeTourneau team that has a lot of optimism heading into the 2014 season. LeTourneau will return its three all-American Southwest Conference performers from 2013 – Sarah Krippner, Dolores Kroese and Kayla Ronda.
“My number one goal for this recruiting class was to add some offense to our team. Our defense is in a good place, we have just struggled putting the ball away,” said Peluso. “With the addition of these two, the other recruits in this class and with the work our returners have been putting in, I expect us to score more points next season. But, what is even more exciting about these two is how perfect a fit they are for our institution and our program. Both young ladies are committed to the Christian values that LETU is founded on and that are the cornerstone of our volleyball program. Our team has such great chemistry and Caroline and Rachel are going to make it that much stronger. As with the last two recruiting classes, this 2014 class is comprised of young women of character and athletic ability. We are truly blessed.”
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