June 16, 2017
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After an impressive 2016 season that included a trip to the Sweet 16 round and the program's highest regional seed in program history, the University of Michigan volleyball program and head coach Mark Rosen have announced the addition of two freshmen to join the Wolverines' three-person freshman class for the 2017 season.
Newcomers Jacqueline DiSanto and Natalie Smith will join the incoming class already made up of signee Kiara Shannon, who was announced last November.
DiSanto, a 5-5 libero from Portola Valley, California, just finished her senior year at Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, California. A four-year varsity letterwinner, DiSanto helped guide her team to four Pacific Athletic League Championships and two CIF California State runner-up titles. Serving in both the outside hitter and defensive specialist roles, her team captured the Central Coast Section championship three times and the CIF NorCal title twice. DiSanto was also named to the All-Mercury News first and second teams, while earning the Pacific Athletic League All-MVP award as a senior.
"We're fired up about Jacqueline as a volleyball player because she has a very high volleyball IQ," said Rosen. "As a smaller defensive player, she actually plays front row for her club team, which competes at a really high level, because she's just a really good all-around player. For us, she'll be more in a defensive specialist or libero role but she has a great skill set and is going to be really fun to watch because of her experience."
A 5-7 libero from Weatherford, Texas, Smith just wrapped up her senior season at Boswell High School in Fort Worth, Texas. Smith is a four-year varsity letterwinner and a four-time 6-5A First Team All-District selection. As the team's libero, Smith guided her team to Area and Regional championship titles during her junior and senior seasons. She was also selected to the Star Telegram Newspaper All-Region team and named the 6-5A Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. Smith also competed with the Tejas Volleyball Club, which captured the 2013 national title and finished in 5th place at the USA National Championships in 2016.
"We're excited to have Natalie join us because she brings such a high level of energy," said Rosen. "Her parents were both collegiate athletes at Texas so she comes from a very competitive athletic family, and she's a multi-sport athlete herself. She just goes so hard and has a great level of energy and enthusiasm that will be a great fit for our program because she's just a fun, hard-working player."
Michigan recently graduated three seniors at the close of winter term. The Wolverines are set to announce their 2017 schedule in the coming weeks.
Communications Contact: Katie Gwinn