BOISE, Idaho - Boise State volleyball coach Shawn Garus released the names of four high school recruits that signed National Letters of Intent to play volleyball for the Broncos in 2013. The newest Broncos are Maddy O'Donnell (Irvine, Calif.), Laney Hayes (Bend, Ore.), Izzy Miller (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Kaitlyn Oliver (Helena, Mont.). The class of prep stars will bring athleticism, size and skill to the program as the Broncos make the move up to the Big West Conference, one of the top five leagues nationally, next fall.
"This is a talented class that will have an immediate impact on this program," said Garus. "This group has the size and athleticism we need to compete at a higher level. I like how this class compliments our talented returners. Our fans will enjoy watching them in the years to come."
Maddy O'Donnell is a senior at Irvine High School in Irvine, Calif. The six-foot middle blocker is a four-year starter for the Vaqueros varsity team. She has averaged 20 kills, six blocks, five aces and 22 digs per match as a senior. O'Donnell is a two-time first-team All-Pacific Coast League honoree as a junior and senior. In addition to serving as a team captain the last two years she was named the team's MVP as well, playing under head coach Mark Mednick. O'Donnell also lettered in basketball earning first-team all-conference recognition the last two years. She played her club ball for Saddleback Valley Volleyball Club of Lake Forest, Calif., where she was coached by Kelli Mulvany and Ki Yi, who also coached current Bronco Liz Harden.
"Maddy has the ability to play fast which is a big part of our offense," said Garus. "She hits off one foot extremely well but also has a good passing and defensive touch."
Kaitlyn Oliver is a 6-3 middle blocker from Helena, Mont., where she is finishing her senior year at Helena High School. Coached by Tiffany Hofer she was a four-year starter and two-time team captain for the Bengals' varsity team. Oliver averaged 4.27 kills, 1.04 blocks, .186 services aces and .57 digs per set this year. She just finished her senior campaign having been named a two-time all-state and All-Western Conference First Team honoree, as well as being selected for the Montana All-Star game. As a junior Oliver was named a Montana Super State Selection which is the top-10 players in the state from all classifications. The senior has also been named the team's offensive MVP three times (twice as a co-MVP). Oliver also lettered in basketball and track where she has earned all-state recognition in both. She plays her club ball for the Montana Elite out of Great Falls, Mont., and is coached by Heather Johnson, a Boise State alum. Oliver has also played for the Capital City Volleyball Club in Helena where she was coached by Siobahn Heines.
"Kaitlyn is a tall player that moves well on the court," commented Garus. "She has the physical tools to be a dominant blocker and attacker. I look forward to seeing what Kaitlyn can do when she focuses on volleyball full time."
Izzy Miller is completing her senior year at Arcadia High School in Phoenix, Ariz. The 6-2 outside hitter is a four-time starter for the Titans playing for coach Josh Olshan. Miller averaged a state-high 5.3 kills, .5 service aces and 2.5 digs per set this fall as a senior. Her honors include: three-time all-state and all-region, four-time all-conference and league MVP as a sophomore. Outside of Miller's Arcadia High team she played for the USA Regional Team as a freshman; sophomore year she was a member of the USA National Continental Team; and during her junior season she was invited to the USA National Team tryouts. Miller plays club ball for the East Valley Juniors of Chandler, Ariz., where she is coached by Jamie Rhome and Sean Callahan.
"Izzy is a strong physical player that can play six rotations as an outside hitter," said Garus. "Her size and jumping ability make her a threat at the net, while her passing and defensive skills allow her to be a complete player."
Laney Hayes is a 5-11 middle blocker and team captain from Bend, Ore., where she is a senior at Summit High School. Hayes is a three-year starter for the Storm's varsity team playing for coach Jill Waskom. She helped SHS to the 2011 Oregon State Championship, two Inter Mountain Conference titles and a runner-up finish. Her honors include: two-time all-state tournament team making the first team this fall, three-time all-conference first team and league player of the year as a senior. She is also a letterwinner in track where she placed third at state in the high jump and fourth in the triple jump. Laney plays club ball for the Rimrock Volleyball Club of Prineville, Ore., where her coach is Joel Kent.
"Laney plays the game with a lot of energy," commented Garus. "She is an aggressive blocker and versatile attacker with years of good club volleyball experience."
The class joins a Boise State program that is on the move to the Big West Conference in 2013, a league that is highly regarded and perennially ranked among the top-five conferences nationally. Coach Garus has the program moving forward in talent and competitiveness in his fourth season in charge. The team returns the bulk of this year's squad that is closing out its final season of the Mountain West era on a solid roll winning nine of its last 13 contests.
This Saturday night the Broncos close the regular season home schedule when they host the conference's powerhouse the Colorado State Rams at 7:00 p.m. in Bronco Gym. Anyone who presents a football ticket from the afternoon's game will gain free admission to the volleyball match.