Stetson Volleyball Head Coach Tim Loesch is proud to announce the signing of two high school state champions, McKenna Foster (Ocala, Fla.) of Vanguard High School and Madison Akins (Brooks, Ga.) of Whitewater High School to National Letters-of-Intent.
"We are excited to have McKenna and Madison join our program," Loesch said. "Signing a pair of state champions that hit on the left and right sides will help our team immediately, and for years to come.
"Besides being excellent hitters, these two young ladies share some other qualities that are important to the future of Stetson volleyball. They are athletic, smart, and aggressive. They are leaders, and, most importantly, they are winners. Finding two highly skilled players with all of these attributes fits perfectly with the culture we are building within our program."
Foster, a 5-10 outside hitter, recently led Class 6A Vanguard to a 20-9 record and its first Florida State Championship. She recorded 32 kills and 27 digs in the semifinal win over Fort Myers, then posted 34 kills and 13 digs in the championship game against St. Augustine. The Knights became the first volleyball team in Marion County to win a state championship.
After earning All-State honors as a sophomore, Foster compiled 573 kills (5.8 per set), 300 digs, 65 aces, 33 blocks, and an attack percentage of .479 her junior year. She also helped lead the Ocala Power to a third-place finish in the AAU Girls Championship 17 Club division.
"McKenna has increased her skills and vertical jump dramatically over the past couple of years," Loesch said. "She is self motivated, very coachable and also a great teammate. But what I like best about McKenna is her competitive spirit. She always finds a way to be successful even in adversity, and her resolve rubs off on her teammates. McKenna is a relentless fighter on the court."
Akins, a 6-0 opposite hitter, recently helped lead Whitewater to a 54-3 record and the Georgia Class 5A State Championship. She was a first-team All-State and first-team all-county selection after recording 330 kills, 85 aces, and 68 blocks for the Wildcats. She earned all-area honors for the second straight year and was a senior all-star.
In 2011 Akins helped guide the Tsunami Volleyball Club to a third-place finish at the USA Girls Championships in the 16 National division.
"Madison has developed from a role player into a dominant force over the past couple seasons," Loesch said. "She is a motivator, bringing out the best in her peers with positive encouragement and calm confidence. Madison can play multiple positions, she will carry a team offensively when needed, she is a feared blocker, she can set when needed and she is also a good digger. However, what I like best about Madison is her determination. She outworks opponents on the court and her former coaches say she is the same way in practice. Madison does whatever it takes to win."
Foster and Akins will join the Hatters for the 2013 season.