GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tusculum University head women's volleyball coach Danielle Marante has announced the signing of six players joining the Pioneers for the 2020 season.
"We are very excited about this incoming class," said Marante. "The caliber of these athletes, as well as students, will make a significant impact to our program immediately. I have nothing but great things to say about this group. They are ready to be a part of the Pioneer Family and equally excited about the 2020 season."
Morgan Smith, a 5-9 right side hitter from Elizabethton, Tenn., is a two-time Most Valuable Player for the Elizabethton High School Cyclones. The 2018 Setter of the Year has maintained a perfect grade-point average in the classroom and holds the career record for assists and kills on the court for the school.
Raven Chance, a 6-1 middle blocker/right side hitter from Leoma, Tenn., was a part of the 2018 State Championship team for the Loretto High School Mustangs. Twice named to the All-Region, Chance was also listed on the 2019 All-District squad. With a spotless GPA, she is ranked in the top-15 in her senior class, alongside being the Beta Club President.
Kyndall Kalb, a 5-9 outside hitter from Ocala, Fla., appeared in three state championships with the Vanguard High School Knights, winning one. The two-year captain also played for Ocala Power United, coached by TU assistant Jason Morris, and the Lightning Volleyball Academy in Orlando. Kalb was selected for the Florida All-Star Game and made the first cut for the All-American Team. Academically, she was dual-enrolled, took AP/IB classes, and will graduate early with the highest honors. Kalb will join the Pioneers in the spring.
Peyton Jackson, a 6-3 middle blocker from Forest City, N.C., racked up numerous honors while playing for the Rutherfordton-Spindale Central High School Hilltoppers and the Upwards Stars Upstate in Spartanburg, S.C. She is a two-time SouthWestern II All-Conference selection and conference Player of the Year. Jackson was a 2018 All-Region first teamer, but improved in 2019. This fall, she was an Under Armour All-America nomination, a NCVBCA All-Region choice, and the top blocker in North Carolina (1A-5A) according to MaxPreps.
Abbie Holt, a 5-8 setter from Weston, Fla., played in four district championships, winning three, for the Cypress Bay High School Lightning. Earning an honorable mention nod for District 9A, she also advanced to the regional finals on three occasions. Holt was named to the All-Tournament Team at a Chaminade tournament this season, while playing for Wildfire Volleyball in her hometown as well.
Jensen Capo, a 5-9 outside hitter from Jupiter, Fla., played six years at the varsity level for the Jupiter High School Warriors. The team captain earned an academic honor, the Order of the Arrow, for her performance in the classroom. Capo also played club volleyball for the Tribe in Deerfield Beach, Fla.
In Marante's inaugural season, the Pioneers finished with their first winning season since 2014 and qualified for the South Atlantic Conference tournament after a tie for fifth in the standings.