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April 26, 2010
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - After a season in which two USC Upstate volleyball players earned Atlantic Sun Conference All-Freshman Team honors, the Spartans have restocked with four players eligible for the award in 2010 under 15th-year head coach Jennifer Calloway, as Amanda Carroll (Lake In The Hills, Ill./Huntley), a 5-8 setter, Cori Harris (Champaign, Ill./Centennial), a 5-10 outside hitter, Morgan Page (Woodstock, Ga./Sequoyah), a 5-6 defensive specialist and Skylar Gillespie (Spartanburg, S.C./Oakbrook Prep), a setter, have signed to play at Upstate in the fall.
"We are very excited about our recruiting class," Calloway said. "This group is a well-rounded bunch of athletes and they have the ability to really solidify our lineup, both defensively and offensively. They also will help us carry on our great tradition of academic excellence, as all four are outstanding students."
Amanda Carroll, a 5-8 setter from Lake In The Hills, Ill., was a three-year starter at Huntley High School and a two-time Daily-Herald All-Area selection. She helped the Red Raiders post a 29-10 record as a senior, finishing the regular season with 585 assists, 63 kills, 39 aces and 140 digs. She also earned second team all-area honors from the Northwest Herald. As a junior, Carroll helped Huntley to the Class 4A sectional finals, posting 642 assists, 51 aces, 114 digs, 19 solo blocks and a .391 hitting percentage. Carroll has also been involved with the prestigious Sky High Volleyball Club since she turned 13.
Cori Harris, a 5-10 outside hitter from Champaign, Ill., is a dynamic personality that helped Centennial High School to 101 wins in her three years on the squad and she also helped the team to two Elite Eight berths. As a senior, she was the team leader in kills (258) and aces (school-record 99) and ranked second in digs (159), helping her earn News-Gazette Area Player of the Year, All-Area First Team and first team all-state accolades. As a junior, the left-handed hitter earned News-Gazette All-Area after posting 212 kills and 56 blocks to help lead the Chargers to the super-sectionals and a school-record 34 wins. A two-time All-Big 12 Conference First Team selection, she finished her career with 659 career kills, the third most in school history. In February, she was also named to the News-Gazette's Area Prep Volleyball All-Decade Team.
She also played club volleyball with the Illini Heat, part of the Illini Elite program run out of Bloomington. Also very active off the court, Harris ranked among the top 5 percent academically in a class with more than 300 students, and she wants to pursue a career in pharmacology. She was also Centennial's homecoming queen and senior class president. She also was a Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle leader.
Morgan Page, a 5-6 defensive specialist from Woodstock, Ga., earned four letters at Sequoyah High School, leading the school to its 15th Cherokee County Championship in the last 19 years in 2009. She also led the team to an Area 7-AAAA title and earned all-area honors in the process, helping the Chiefs to a final ranking of fifth in the state. Also involved in club volleyball, Page played with the A5 Pure Volleyball club program.
Skylar Gillespie, a setter from Spartanburg, S.C., capped her career at Oakbrook Prep by leading the team to its finest season in school history, as the Knights finished third at the SCISA State Volleyball Tournament. Gillespie led the team, earning both SCISA All-State honors and a spot with the South squad at the SCISA Volleyball A-AA All-Star game. Also a member of Oakbrook's girls' soccer team, Gillespie led the Knights to a region title as a sophomore.
The Spartans finished 8-22 overall in 2009, but were paced by two players that earned A-Sun All-Freshman Team honors is setter Emily Sanders and outside hitter M