SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo University head volleyball coach Sam Cibrone announced four newcomers to his 2010 conference championship-defending team. Joining the Lions in the fall will be four national letter of intent signees Molly Alexander, Celeste Bonter, Jaclyn Mailoto and Jordan Sisson along with two walk-ons that will complete Cibrone’s 2010 recruiting class. These six will fill the voids left with the graduation of the Lions’ three seniors in Chelsea Armer, Brittany Fuhr and four-time All-America setter Michelle Nogueras, and will also add some more depth to the Lions’ lineup, something Cibrone finds as a new luxury.
"In my career here at Saint Leo, we have never been as deep as we will be this season,” Coach Cibrone said. “Our roster will be large with 18 players, so team chemistry will be the biggest challenge. However, we will have daily competition to earn a starting position and great inter-squad scrimmages during practices."
"Our setting position is going to be a key to our success (after the loss of Nogueras). Luckily, our new recruits will provide us with so many more hitters which should make the setting job easier for our new setter. Also, our new recruits will enhance our defense as well. Most of these recruits have played front and back row for their teams which increases my flexibility with our line up, giving me many options for offensive and defensive systems."
The 2009 Saint Leo volleyball team became the first squad on the female side in both Saint Leo University and College history to capture a Sunshine State Conference regular season championship after they put together a 15-1 conference record and went 30-4 overall. Behind Nogueras, the Lions advanced to the South Region Championship Match and finished with a #10 national ranking in the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
5’10”, Middle Blocker
Jensen Beach, Fla.
Jensen Beach High School/ Treasure Coast Volleyball Club
Coach Cibrone’s Thoughts – "Molly is a player that we recruited because she is a solid passer and can hit many positions in the front row. Her versatility will be an asset to this team and we are looking for a great future for her here at Saint Leo as an outside hitter. In addition, she has a great jump serve and plays good defense. She is a team player and will enhance team chemistry."
6’ 0”, Outside Hitter
Madoc, Ontario, Canada
Centre Hastings Secondary/ DRVC Volleyball Club
Coach Cibrone’s Thoughts – "Celeste was recruited because of her powerful hitting. She will be a strong hitting weapon for us and will immediately make an impact on our offense. She is very confident on the court and determined to win. Her junior college experience in the National Championships will prove to be valuable in tough matches."
5’ 8”, Setter
Niceville Senior High School/ Gulf Coast Select Volleyball Club
Coach Cibrone’s Thoughts – "Jaclyn is a great setter. She runs a fast offense which requires great setting location. Her ability to put the ball anywhere she wants will allow us to run a very complex offense. Her father played volleyball in the Army. He and her older sister Jenna were her coaches so she is used to being coached very tough. This experience has prepared her to be mentally ready to play right away. She is a solid defender which is important in her position. If she performs at the level she is capable, she can contribute this year."
6’ 0”, Middle Blocker
Broomfield High School/ Juggernaut 18-1 Volleyball Club
Coach Cibrone’s Thoughts – "Jordan is a very active player. She is very quick hitting off one foot which gives us depth at the M1 position. Another strength she has is that she is a vocal leader and always communicating with her teammates. Her club training was very tough so she will be ready to come and make an impact this season. Jordan is a strong defender for a middle blocker too. Many middle blockers can’t play defense but she does it well so she may be able to play in the back row too in the future."
Coach Cibrone’s Thoughts on his other additions – "Two walk-ons are not allowed to be listed by name according to NCAA rules. Each of these players will provide something different for the team. One will help us with blocking and the other has the potential to be one of the best defenders to play at Saint Leo."
The four signees, along with the two walk-ons will begin their Saint Leo careers when they report to campus for the 2010 Fall Semester and the start of the volleyball season at the Saint Leo Lion Classic on September 2nd.