• July 10, 2020

COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL: UTPB confident in new recruits - Odessa American: Sports

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COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL: UTPB confident in new recruits

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Posted: Friday, May 1, 2020 3:43 pm

Coming off a successful 2019 season, the UTPB volleyball team hopes to continue building for the future.

Head coach Tim Loesch is confident that the Falcons will do that next season with his newest class of recruits.

The Falcons signed four players — Karli Stanley, Lexi Long, Lillie Scantlan and Devin Alcoser — during the offseason, all of who will be incoming freshmen.

While COVID-19 has made recruiting slightly more challenging for Loesch and other coaches around the country, he’s thankful the Falcons were able to sign their recruits before the virus spread but added that they hope to add two to three more players before the 2020 season begins.

“Fortunately, we got most of our recruiting done before COVID-19,” Loesch said. “For this upcoming season, I’m really happy with the players that we have coming back in and we are still recruiting players for that class.”

Like with most other coaches, Loesch had to do video interviews with players since in-person recruiting visits have been ruled out.

“It’s been challenging trying to recruit players through video and talking to coaches and just talking to players over the phone and FaceTime,” Loesch said. “It’s been a little bit of a struggle but we’re working hard and trying to wrap that up in the next couple of weeks.”

Stanley and Alcoser are both setters.

Stanley is from Sanger High School where she was named Newcomer of the Year and First Team All-District her junior and senior years.

Stanley helped Sanger on a historic playoff run to the state regional finals in 2018 and played club volleyball for the Frisco Flyers.

Alcoser, who comes in from Mayde Creek High School in Houston, was a four-time varsity team player, earning multiple honors including Second Team All-District three times. She was also active in club volleyball, playing at Club Kaboom for 10 years.

“(Stanley and Alcoser) are both high-level players,” Loesch said. “They helped their high schools do well. I really identified them through club volleyball. We had them come to our summer camps and we got to see them play a little bit.”

With Analise Lucio about to enter her junior year at UTPB, Loesch said that both Stanley and Alcoser can step up in the coming years.

“I really like their athleticism,” Loesch said. “They’ll both compete for playing time and they are the future of our setting now that Analise will be a junior.

“We’re going to have to look for players who will be able to work with her but also replace her once she’s gone.”

Long is a 6-foot-3 middle hitter who played for three years at Justin Northwest High School.

Long led the district in hitting percentage her junior year when she earned First Team All-District honors.

Her junior and senior years saw her being named All-Tournament at the annual Ragin’ Ratler Tournament and she was also active in club volleyball.

“Lexi brings some nice size to our team and athleticism,” Loesch said.

Scantlan, a two-year letter winner and 2019 captain for Plano East Senior High School, has received multiple district and club accolades during her volleyball career.

“Lillie is an outside hitter who can play either left side or right side and can play all the way around,” Loesch said. “She has big arms.

“We can expect her to compete for playing time. I think both Long and Scantlan have a chance to be all-conference in the future.”

While the Falcons continue to look to bring in a few more players, Loesch stressed the importance of bringing in the right players.

“We want to bring in players that are the right students and are good teammates,” Loesch said. “It’s not just positions or the number of players. We want to bring in players that will fit in, be successful, help the program and graduate.”

UTPB is coming off one of its best seasons, going 20-9, the program’s first 20-win season since 2008.

“We’re excited,” Loesch said. “We’re hoping for another good season. But there are a lot of unknowns. A lot of coaches are worried about what players are doing right now during the spring season when we’re normally training them. But we’re eager to come back and do even better.”

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