The Dons indoor volleyball team has already shown great improvement over last season, having more than doubled their win total with most of the season ahead of them. A large piece of this rebuilding program is the freshman class. Head Coach Frank Lavishra recruited players from across the country to fit the culture he wants to establish for the team. “We want a program full of players who work hard and aim to achieve,” Lavishra said.
#2 Ally Wada
Wada comes to Coach Lavishra’s team from Hawai‘i Baptist Academy on the island of O‘ahu, where she was a triple-sport star for the Eagles. She won two Interscholastic League of Honolulu titles and one Division II state title for the girls’ varsity basketball team at HBA. As the starting setter for the volleyball team, she racked up three more ILH titles and another state championship. She also ran the 100m, the 200m and the 4x100m relay for the track and field team. Outside of school, she also played club volleyball for Ku‘ikahi Volleyball. She has already become a regular player in Lavishra’s 6-2 system, recording 204 assists and 12 aces in 12 matches for the Dons.
#4 Tanner Shayne Pemberton
Pemberton has been playing volleyball since she was in the fourth grade. The libero graduated as valedictorian at Calaveras High School in San Andreas, Calif., where she also played outside hitter, recording 813 digs, 174 kills and 67 aces for Calaveras. Pemberton is a walk-on to the program, meaning she does not have an athletic scholarship, but is hoping to earn one. She will also be playing for the Dons beach volleyball team. She made the all-league first team in both her junior and senior years of high school and was the captain of her team. On the beach, Pemberton placed first at the California Beach Volleyball Association Championships in July 2017.
#6 Katie Wagstaff
Standing at six feet tall, Wagstaff is a right-handed middle blocker who played on the volleyball team throughout all four years at Grant High School in Portland, Ore. She also played for the Oregon Juniors Volleyball Academy club team for three years. Coach Lavishra has called Wagstaff “one of the quickest middles I’ve ever seen.” She pairs her speed with a 10’5” approach touch. In nine matches for the Dons so far this year, she has recorded 23 blocks and is hitting .271 with 20 kills.
#11 Sophie Sydenham
Sydenham can play as either pin hitter or as a setter for the Dons. She put this versatility on display during her four years as a varsity star and captain at Notre Dame Preparatory Academy in Scottsdale, Ariz., where she boasted a prolific career statline of 916 kills, 92 blocks, 819 digs, 151 aces and 517 assists. She was praised by her high school coaching staff for her great leadership on and off the court. She played club volleyball for seven years with Spiral Volleyball Club, where she was the setter for the 2017-18 season. She has recorded 71 kills, 5 assists, 21 digs and 9 blocks so far for the Dons.
#13 Moana To‘oto‘o
To‘oto‘o was the captain of the indoor volleyball team at Maryknoll School in Honolulu, Hawai‘i where she was an outside hitter and a libero. She played beach volleyball for Outrigger Canoe Club, where she and her partner won a pair of AVCA National Qualifiers. On the court, To‘oto‘o has the athleticism and quickness to cover just about anywhere on defense. She will also play for the beach volleyball team this spring. In two appearances for the Dons this season, she has recorded three digs.
#16 Victoria Grace Rodgers
Rogers is a 6 foot tall outside hitter who played for McAllen High School in Edinburg, Texas, where she won three district championships in four years. She also played tennis for the Bulldogs and played club volleyball with Valley Venom Volleyball Club in 2017. She possesses great passing ability to play in the back row, as well as the hitting range to attack every part of the court from either pin. She has made one appearance for the Dons, in which she recorded two kills on seven attacks and added a dig.
#17 McKenna Marshall
Marshall is a 6-foot-1-inch outside hitter from Ramona, Calif. In four years playing for Ramona High School, she recorded 730 kills, 50 blocks, 526 digs and 125 aces. She played club volleyball at San Diego Volleyball Club for six seasons before joining the Dons. In her senior year, she was the league MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. She spent some of her free time in high school coaching middle school players. Marshall can attack from all across the front row, but will primarily play outside hitter for Coach Lavishra. In seven matches for the Dons, she has 62 kills but has also recorded 34 hitting errors.
#20 Saige Madden
Madden played volleyball and softball at Santa Catalina High School in Monterey, Calif. The six footer is an outside hitter who played club volleyball at Vision Volleyball Club. In last week’s match against the Broncos of Santa Clara University, Madden came face-to-face with two former Vision teammates: Kamrin Caoili and Alex Anthony. In her senior year, Madden recorded 301 kills for Santa Catalina. She has yet to appear for the Dons this year.