Nov. 15, 2012
Baylor volleyball head coach Jim Barnes announced the addition three high school standouts for the 2013-14 season on Wednesday.
Each member of the class, all from the state of Texas, was named to PrepVolleyball.com's Senior Aces list and include: Omotola Itiola (Oh-muh-tole-uh It-ee-ole-uh) from Carrollton Christian Academy, Katie Staiger from Prestonwood Christian Academy and Morgan Reed from Reagan High School.
"Once again, we are blessed to add one of top classes in the country to our team," Barnes said. "Tola, Katie and Morgan will continue to add great talent to our team as well as strong character. Their competitive nature will help us compete for Big 12 titles and at a national level."
By position, the class includes a middle blocker, an outside hitter and a setter.
Omotola Itiola, 6-2, Middle Blocker, Carrollton, Texas (Carrollton Christian Academy)
Itiola is ranked No. 29 nationally by Prepvolleyball.com, making her the highest ranked recruit under Barnes and second highest in Baylor program history behind Stevie Nicholas, who was No. 2 nationally in 2000. Itiola, who can touch 10-7 on approach, burst on to the scene in 2012. Ranked No. 1 in her class academically, she was named 2011-12 TAPPS Academic All-State. As a junior at CCA, Itiola was named first-team all-district and TAPPS 3-3A district blocker and player of the year. Itiola garnered honorable mention all-district honors in 2009 and 2010. She is a member of Skyline Juniors Volleyball Club that took second place at the 2012 USA Volleyball Junior National Championships. Itiola was heavily recruited by Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas.
"Tola is a special athlete," Barnes said. "She creates problems for opposing teams because of her ability to hit over the block. She has as much upside as I've seen in a player. Tola is also very intelligent and is an outstanding student. A perfect fit for our team and Baylor."
Katie Staiger, 6-1, Outside Hitter, Lewisville, Texas (Prestonwood Christian Academy)
Staiger, an outside hitter, is a two-time first-team all-state member from Prestonwood Christian Academy who recently led her team to a runner-up finish at the TAPPS 5A 2012 state tournament. After helping guide the Lions to a co-district title, Staiger earned first-team all-district and District MVP honors, averaging 6.4 kills/set to lead all classifications in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. A top 150 Senior Ace by Prepvolleyball.com , she was named 2011 district most valuable offensive player and was PCA team MVP. As just a sophomore, Staiger earned first-team all-district honors and was 2010 honorable mention all-state. Staiger plays for Skyline Juniors Volleyball Club, which took second place at the 2012 USA Volleyball Junior National Championships.
"Katie's offensive skills are outstanding," Barnes said. "She can terminate from anywhere on the floor and she has a great understanding of how to get to the ball and see the court. "With over six kills per game in high school she is a prolific attacker. Katie is an outstanding student and a perfect fit for our team and Baylor."
Morgan Reed, 6-0, Setter, San Antonio, Texas (Reagan HS)
Reed, an accomplished setter from San Antonio, Texas, is a top 150 Senior Ace by Prepvolleyball.com and has been nominated for Under Armour All-American team. In 2011 she was named all state, first-team all-district and all-area by the San Antonio Express News. During her sophomore year of 2010, Reed garnered first-team all-district honors and was San Antonio Express News' Newcomer of the Year. Also successful in the classroom, Reed earned academic all-district honors twice. Reed plays for the Alamo Volleyball Association.
"Morgan has a great combination of talent, skill, and poise," Barnes said. "She's a smooth setter with good size and ability to run a diverse offense. She has strong leadership ability and she knows how to communicate with her hitters and make them better. Morgan is also an outstanding student and a perfect fit for our team and Baylor."