The 2013 St. Mary's volleyball signing class. (Courtesy Photos)
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SAN ANTONIO — St. Mary’s head volleyball coach Jenny Warmack-Chipman has shown a knack for signing young talent, and she has done so once again by inking three highly regarded additions for the 2013 season.
The Rattlers’ three signees for next season are all freshmen, including middle blocker Lauren Slaughter (San Antonio), middle blocker Megan Isbell (New Braunfels, Texas) and setter Rachel Scicchitano (McKinney, Texas).
“We’re very excited about this freshmen class so far,” says Warmack-Chipman, who has produced a pair of Heartland Conference Freshman of the Year players the past two seasons. “Each of these young ladies has the ability to come in and play right away.”
Slaughter will step in and contribute at middle blocker, gaining plenty of experience from her four years of varsity experience at Madison High School. Slaughter received numerous honors for her high-school, play including being named All-District Second Team her junior year and a slew of honors as a senior, including All-District First Team, 5A All-State Team and All-Star Team Alternate. Slaughter also was honored as an All-Tournament NEISD Tournament and All-Tournament Smithson Valley Tournament selection her senior year.
“Lauren (Slaughter) is a solid middle who has excellent blocking skills as well as hitting,” says Warmack-Chipman, who led the Rattlers to their second straight winning season last season with a 17-12 record. “She was a High Performance member, so she has seen volleyball at a high level already. Her work ethic and court sense will fit in well with our middle-driven system.”
Slaughter is also high-performance in the classroom, earning the National Scholar-Athlete award and being named a member of the All-Athletic Academic Team her junior year. As a senior, the future Rattler was Academic All-State.
The Rattlers will receive another middle-blocker addition in Isbell. The three-year lettermen will enter the St. Mary’s system from Canyon High School, where she was the district leader in blocks, achieved in her junior season. Isbell was a two-time All-District First Team honoree her junior and senior years and was All-District Honorable Mention her sophomore year. The 6-foot-2 soon-to-be freshman was also named to two All-Tournament Teams, the Seguin High School Tournament team her junior year and the Fraulein Volleyfest Tournament team her senior year, and was named Academic All-District and Academic All-American her junior season. With her numerous accolades, Isbell is expected to do big things for the Rattlers next season.
“Megan (Isbell) reminds me a lot of two-time All-Conference Player Stephanie Proske,” says Warmack-Chipman, referring to one of St. Mary’s best hitters in program history. “She already touches 9’11”. She obviously is an excellent (blocker), but also moves well laterally. We’re going to look to utilize her similarly to Proske in our fast-tempo offense.”
Scicchitano will also be expected to fill a big role for the Rattlers, stepping in to help replace another leader in the record books, former setter Allie Murray, who ended her four-year Rattler career in the 2012 season. Scicchitano will team with sophomore setter Mikayla Bass (Coppell, Texas) to help fill that void.
Scicchitano will come ready compete for the role, coming in with three All-District selections from Prosper High School. The setter earned First Team selections her junior and senior seasons while earning a Second Team selection her sophomore year. Scicchitano is not one-dimensional, however, as she was a three-time All-District All Academic selection her sophomore, junior and senior years. And it is this asset, along with her skills on the court, that will assist the Rattlers next season.
“Rachel (Scicchitano) is another intelligent setter from the Dallas area,” says Warmack-Chipman, who will be trying to take her team to the conference tournament in the 2013 season for the second time in her career. “She has the softest touch on the ball and the intellect to make the right setting decisions. We’re excited to bring her in and continue our 6-2 offense.”
With three new Rattlers already added to the 2013 roster, Warmack-Chipman is advancing toward a successful season in what will be her fourth year as head coach.
St. Mary’s University, as a Catholic Marianist University, fosters the formation of people in faith and educates leaders for the common good through community service, integrated liberal arts and professional education, and academic excellence. The University has six athletic national titles: men’s basketball (1989–NAIA), baseball (2001–NCAA Div. II), softball (1986–NAIA and 2002–NCAA Div. II) and an individual national champion in men’s golf (2006–NCAA Div. II) and a national academic championship in men’s golf (2009–NCAA Div. II). St. Mary’s also had more than 40 percent of its athletes named to conference, regional and/or national honor rolls this past year. St. Mary’s student–athletes graduation rate is 65 percent, higher than the NCAA Division II average of 55 percent. To learn more about St. Mary's, visit www.stmarytx.edu/athletics.