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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona indoor volleyball signs four

On Monday, Arizona indoor volleyball announced it signed four high schoolers to join the squad in the fall.

Ashley Harris of Petaluma, Calif., McKenzie Jacobson of Fresno, Calif., Jessika Long from Sandy, Utah and Gilbert, Ariz. native Penina Snuka will be Wildcats.

“We needed some size, we got that and we needed some athleticism, we got that,” head coach Dave Rubio said. “We got some kids, who I think, will allow us to take our current team to the next level. You never know until they get here and they’re training everyday but we feel pretty good about the class we have coming in.”

At 6-8, Harris, an outside hitter, will become the tallest player in UA history. She was named Under Armour First-Team All-America and a “Senior Ace” by PrepVolleyball.com.

Harris was also named third-team Mizuno/Volleyball Magazine High School All-American and The Press Democrat’s All-Empire Large School Volleyball Player of the Year. She was co-MVP of the North Bay League.

In three years, Harris had 1,142 kills, 279 digs and 112 blocks and as a senior, she had a 526 kill, 6 kills per set and a .446 hitting percentage to go along with 189 digs, 41 service aces and 31 blocks. Both her parents played basketball at the University of San Francisco and the University of Hawaii.

Jacobson is a 6-6 middle blocker that was second team Under Armour All-American. She was named a top-100 senior by PrepVolleyball.com.

Jacobson was also third-team 2012 Mizuno/Volleyball Magazine High School All-American and on the 2012 U.S. Women’s Junior National A2 team. She was named Fresno Bee Volleyball Player of the Year and Tri-River Athletic Conference co-Player of the Year.

In 2012 Jacobson led Clovis West to its second straight Central Section Division I title and recorded 304 kills to go along with 50 blocks.

“Their size and presence that they will have on the court will be something that we haven’t had in quite some time and maybe ever,” Rubio said about Harris and Jacobson. “Not only are they just tall, it’s one thing to be tall, but it’s another thing to be tall, skilled, and athletic and I think both those players possess those attributes. With that said, I think it’s going to take some time for them to get up to speed with the system and get strong enough to be able to play at the level that I think they will be capable of playing at. I anticipate they will help us actually quite a bit, be impact players for us, hopefully soon.”

Snuka is the granddaughter of former professional wrestling superstar Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. She is a setter, who played her senior season at Kahuku High School in Hawaii after prepping in Arizona for three years.

A volleyball magazine Fab 50 selection, Snuka was also ranked No. 34 by Prepvolleyball.com.

“I feel pretty fortunate to get a player of her skill level, her athleticism and her competitiveness,” Rubio said. “She’s a pretty significant player for us. I feel like she’s got a chance to be in the same category as Dana Burkholder [former UA All-American]. She’s got that type of potential, so we are very excited about her being in the program. She’s a game changer for us. It’s going to take time for her to get used to the speed and the parts of being in college but we feel strongly that she’s going to be a big part of our success.”

Long is a setter and two-time team captain, set the school record for assists with 769 as a sophomore and four-year starter at Sandy, Utah Juan Diego High School. She was all-state, a Utah Gatorade Player of the Year nominee and the Juan Diego Player of the Year.

As a senior, she had 721 assists, eight per set to go along with 223 digs, 114 kills and 81 service aces.

“We recruited Jessika really late, we feel like she’s a terrific athlete, really well skilled kid and feel fortunate to get a player of her level at such a late date,” Rubio said. “She is a player that will be able to help us immediately.”

Arizona (16-15, 8-12 Pac-12) missed the NCAA tournament last season.

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