COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M volleyball head coach Bird Kuhn announced a stellar four-member recruiting class that will strengthen an already experienced squad when the Aggies take the court next fall.
“We are excited about this 2020 class as they will each bring their own unique experiences that will add to this returning team and everything they have earned thus far,” said head volleyball coach Bird Kuhn. “It is always fun to mesh new personalities, and these four will be just as entertaining to watch on and off the court.”
NAME POS. HT. HOMETOWN HIGH SCHOOL
Claire Jeter MB 6-3 Missouri City, Texas Ridge Point
Hanna Larson MB 6-1 Abilene, Texas Midlothian Heritage
Erica Lowery DS/L 5-6 Cypress, Texas Langham Creek
Melissa Walden S 5-11 Aurora, Ill. Waubonsie Valley
Claire Jeter, a 6-3 middle blocker from Missouri City, Texas is No. 92 in PrepVolleyball.com’s Senior Aces, a list of the top recruits in the nation. A four-year starter at Ridge Point High School, Jeter led her team to a perfect 14-0 record and first in district the last three years. As a senior, Jeter was named an All-American by PrepVolleyball.com, named to the Under Armour All-Region team and the Under Armour All-American Second Team. As a junior, Jeter amassed many honors, including being named to the AVCA Pre-Season Phenom List, being named the MVP of the 6A District and earning All-American honors by PrepVolleyball.com, among many others.
Jeter played three years of club volleyball for Houston Skyline Juniors and led her team to a National Championship at the USAV National Level in 2016. She helped her team place in the top-10 at the USAV open level, while placing third at the Triple Crown, as well as earning back-to-back titles at the national qualifier in Spokane, Wash.
“Claire Jeter has the ability to be a terminal point scorer for us,” Kuhn said. “She has been competing and training against high level competition throughout her high school and club career here in Texas. Claire’s personality and comedy relief will add to this groups’ signature energy. We are looking forward to having her big arm and attack mode mentality in our gym.”
Hanna Larson, was a four-year varsity letterwinner at Midlothian Heritage High School. Larson led her team to back-to-back district championships. In 2018, she helped her team to a state semi-final appearance. Larson is No. 60 in PrepVolleyball.com’s Senior Aces and an Under Armour All-American Honorable Mention. As a junior, she was named to PrepVolleyball.com’s Top 100 Juniors, while being named to the Region 3 All-Tournament Team and the District 8-4A Hitter of the Year.
Larson played club volleyball for Texas Image and helped her team to a second place finish at the AAU Nationals, where she was named to the AAU Junior Nationals 15 & Under All-Tournament Team.
“We are excited to get Hanna’s outwork you attitude in our gym,” said Kuhn. “The sky is the limit given her inner drive and potential as a dominant SEC middle. It is obvious how contagious her intensity and smile are when watching her compete with her teammates. She continues to develop in her game and strives to be an impact player as an Aggie.
Erica Lowery, was a four-year starting libero at Langham Creek High School. After leading her team to three Cy-Fair District titles, Lowery was a three-time All-District First Team honoree and a three-time defensive player of the year at Langham Creek. She was named to the AVCA’s Phenom List for two straight years, which is a pre-season players to watch list and was the team’s MVP in high school.
Lowery played six years of club volleyball for Houston Juniors and was a member of the 14 National USAV Champion Team, while placing second in the 15 Open at Lone Star Classic.
“Erica’s athleticism meshed with her IQ of the game will continue to increase the competitive nature within our team,” “Kuhn said. “Her natural quickness and touch on the ball are skills that you cannot teach and make her one of the top liberos in the country. As a staff, we look forward to working with Erica as we continue to elevate the level in our gym.”
Melissa Walden, a setter from Aurora, Ill. completes the Texas A&M recruiting class. Walden was named Waubonsie Valley High School’s Team MVP, the Beacon-News Player of the Year and the DVC Player of the Year, all while earning Academic All-Conference honors for four consecutive years. As a senior, she led her team to a conference championship and earned All-Conference Special Mention as a junior and sophomore.
Walden played club for Sports Performance Volleyball and is a three-time AAU All-American. In 2018, she led her team to a first place finish at AAU Nationals and at the Ultra Ankle Bluegrass Qualifier, both in premier. Walden helped her team place first at the JVA World Challenge in 2017 and a third place finish at the JCA World Challenge in 2016.
“Melissa is the definition of a gym rat,” said Kuhn. “Her commitment and dedication to her own development breeds a competitive mindset to those around her. She analyzes and studies the game more than most players. Our staff looks forward to cultivating Melissa’s game and leadership as an Aggie.”