Bowling Green, Ky. — Head Coach Travis Hudson announced on Thursday that three high school volleyball stars, Sarah Rogers (Louisville, Ky.), Jordyn Skinner (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Paige Wessel (Louisville, Ky.), have signed national letters of intent to play volleyball for the Lady Toppers next season.
"I think everyone says this on signing day but I could not be more thrilled with this class," Hudson stated. "These kids are the future of our program and they give us everything that we need moving forward. These are not only three talented young ladies but they bring a toughness and a competitivness to the floor that we will need to continue to compete on a national level. I really believe that when it is all said and done, you will see this class ranked nationally as one of the best recruiting classes in the country."
Playing for the nationally recognized KIVA volleyball club, Rogers has won three national championships with AAU in 2004, 2005 and 2007 and was a part of the national runner-up team in 2006 and 2008. Additionally, Rogers was a part of the USAV Jr. Olympic National Championships team in 2004 and 2006 and was a member of the 2008 JDVA National All-Tournament Team.
"Sarah brings that toughness that you want in the libero position," Hudson stated. "She brings that toughness and competitivness that separates the great liberos in the country. She is maybe the hardest working kid that I have ever seen play the game. I think she will immediately be a fan favorite because she is so relentless when she plays the game."
Rogers will re-join former Assumption High School teammate Lindsey Gould next season on the Lady Topper roster. The three-time varsity letterwinner has been a part of two Kentucky State Championships in 2006 and 2007 and is captain of her 2008 team.
"I really liked Western Kentucky University and as I began to visit other schools it became clear why WKU is such a special place," Rogers said. "I love the family atmosphere that Travis (Hudson) and Ashly (Miller) have worked so hard to create, the bond between the players and the success of the volleyball program. I am excited about playing for coaches and a team that work so hard together, and I look forward to practicing and playing as hard as possible to help the team in any way that I can. I can't wait to play for WKU and for the challenge of having a successful career at the college level."
Skinner, an outside hitter, is one of ten finalists in the state of Michigan for the coveted Michigan Miss Volleyball Award and was recently named as one of the Top 50 recruits in the class of 2009 by PrepVolleyball.com.
"She is going to be special," Hudson said. "She is maybe the most complete volleyball player that we have ever signed here. In a day and age when the game has become more specialized, she is a young lady that does everything very well. She is a tremendous offensive player but she also handles the ball well and plays great defense. She is a very complete player and she doesn't have any weaknesses. I think she will make an immediate impact on our program."
Playing for the FarOut volleyball club, Skinner helped guide her team to the under 16 Junior Olympic National Championship in 2007 by being named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Also a standout in basketball and soccer at Grand Rapids South Christian High School, she is a two-time All-State, All-Region and All-Area selection as well as a three-time All-Conference honoree.
"I decided to attend Western Kentucky University because I think that the university is a great fit for me," Skinner said. "One of the reasons that I liked WKU so much is because I am interested in becoming a physical therapist and WKU has a great program for that. I also chose WKU because of the volleyball program. I'm very excited about becoming a Lady Topper and all of the fun and exciting experiences that being on this team will bring."
Wessel, a member of the MAVA volleyball club, is a four-time AAU All-American team selection and a two-time Junior Olympic All-Tournament team member.
"Athlete is the first word that comes to mind when you watch Paige," Hudson said. "She is a little bit undersized but is a tremendous leaper. She is as athletic as any player that we have ever signed here and all she has ever done is win. She is an exciting kid to watch. She will be making a position change when she gets here because she's been a middle hitter but she will move to an outside position. But, I think we'll make that transition smoothly with her level of athleticism. She is just a flat out winner in every level that she has played and I cannot wait for her to get here so I can start working with her because her athleticism is as good as there is."
A product of Mercy Academy, Wessel led her team to the 2008 Kentucky State Tournament title and was honored in 2006 and 2008 by being named to the All-State Tournament team. In addition, she is a two-time All-State First Team honoree.
"I am very honored and excited to become a Lady Topper," Wessel said. "It's a privilege to play for Coach Hudson and such a talented group of girls. The Lady Topper volleyball team is rated as one of the best teams in the country and I am looking forward to playing with and learning from the team. I chose to attend WKU because it is a university that is very well respected academically and athletically. The environment is comfortable, friendly and I feel very welcome. This is a terrific opportunity to earn a great education and still be close to home."
"This class is going to make an immediate impact on our program," Hudson said. "We are graduating an exceptional senior class this year, and these signees are all winners and experienced. They all come here with a competitive mindset that they will be able to help us right away. I am very much looking forward to the future."