Rio Grande Nets Four Volleyball Recruits

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Head coach Billina Donaldson announced the signings of four new recruits for the 2013 season. Miranda Clark, Chandler Brown, Sarah Martin, and Caitlyn Owings all signed their letters of intent to play volleyball for the RedStorm this fall.

Clark and Brown were teammates at Eastern High School in Beaver, Ohio, and will be reacquainted with each other under Donaldson. They led the Eastern Eagles to a record of 27-1 while taking them to the Ohio Division IV state semifinals. The Eagles did not drop a set all season until the regional semifinals.

Clark is a right side hitter recorded a team-high 275 kills for Eastern. She also served up 58 aces. Donaldson said that the signing of Clark is a first for the RedStorm. “Clark is a true right-side hitter,” Donaldson said in an interview with, “something we have not had at Rio since I got here.”

According to the Portsmouth Daily Times, Clark reeled in first team All-Southern Ohio Conference her senior year.

Brown is an outside hitter who was second on the team in digs with 213 and also had a team-high 85 aces. “Chandler reads the other team’s hitters well,” Donaldson said when asked about Brown’s defensive skill set by “She gets to many balls in the back row that other players would tend to let go.”

Brown earned first team All-Southern Ohio Conference along with being named an honorable mention for the All-Ohio team.

Martin was recruited as a setter and right side hitter. Martin hails from Jackson High School in Jackson, Ohio, where she registered 212 kills, 331 assists, 221 digs, 105 blocks (52 of which were solos) along with 37 aces. Martin was a four-year varsity player as well as a two-time All-Southern Ohio Athletic League honoree.

Donaldson is also looking to put Martin on the right side according to the Jackson County Daily. “Your right side is going to be your best blocker,” said Donaldson “Martin is a very good blocker.” Martin’s family has a legacy at Rio Grande as three of her sisters all played volleyball for the RedStorm, one of which, Kelsey Martin, is still there.

Owings is an outside hitter who earned District 13 Division II Player of the Year. She led the Vinton County Lady Vikings in McArthur, Ohio, in kills and blocks for three consecutive seasons and was named to the All-Tri-Valley Conference first team for the second straight year. She was a three-sport athlete in high school playing volleyball, basketball and running track and field. Donaldson expects Owings "to make an immediate impact,” according to Donaldson also said Owings “is a great leader who has qualities that we look for in older returning players.”

The RedStorm look to make a strong case to be conference champions this year after finishing third in the Mid-South Conference with a record of 11-3 last season. They finished behind Georgetown College (Georgetown, Kent.) and Lindsey Wilson College (Columbia, Kent.).