May 29, 2013
BALTIMORE - Four student-athletes have joined the Loyola University Maryland volleyball program's Class of 2017, bringing the total of incoming players to five for the fall, Head Coach Jake Lawrence announced today.
The quartet of Micah Duzey (Cary, Ill./Cary-Grove High School), Emma Falk (Rochester, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy High School), Kelly McShea (Montgomery Village, Md./Covenant Life School) and Lauren Youngblood (Euclid, Ohio/Beaumont School) join Jane Lukas (Stockertown, Pa./Nazareth Area High School) to form the Greyhounds' incoming class.
Three of the new players are coming off their final high school seasons that included state championships in their respective states: Falk, McShea and Youngblood.
Duzey comes to Baltimore from Illinois where she helped Cary-Grove High School reach the state final in 2011. She finished tops on her high school team in digs for each of the last two seasons and led the Trojans in aces and serve-receive percentage during 2011. She was also a member of the school's high honor roll all four years.
The libero played club volleyball for Sky High and was part of a team that finished second at the AAU Nationals in 2012 and fifth in 2011.
"We're building our program around ball control and great floor defense, and Micah has both in abundance," Lawrence said. "More importantly, she's shown to be a leader and a winner in both her high school and club programs. Her positive attitude and competitiveness is really going to energize our gym. Micah really fits the mold we're looking for in a libero. I expect she'll come in and compete for playing time immediately."
Falk will enter her freshman season at Loyola after completing her high school career at Our Lady of Mercy High School in Rochester, N.Y. A setter, she helped the Monarchs win the New York State Class AA Championship as a senior in 2012. Falk earned All-Section V Honorable Mention in 2010 and 2012. She also was a four-year letter winner of the school's softball team that has reached the Section V finals for three years in a row; Falk was a member of Mercy's honor and scholarship rolls throughout her high school career, and she took first-place in the state's DECA Business competition. She played club volleyball for Xtreme Volleyball.
"Emma is going to bolster our setting position and add some real competition there," said Lawrence. :She led her team to a state championship last volleyball season and currently is competing for another in softball this month. She's extremely tough and has a ton of room to grow as a player. I know she's going to be a good teammate and her best years of volleyball are ahead of her."
McShea joins the Greyhounds from nearby Montgomery County where she helped Covenant Life School win its first-ever Maryland Christian School Tournament (MCST) in the fall of 2012, earning All-Tournament Team honors in the process. A setter, McShea was named to the All-Potomac Valley Athletic Conference First Team in 2011 and 2012, and she garnered All-County Second Team honors from the Montgomery Gazette in 2012 and honorable mention in 2011. She was a captain of the team her junior and senior years and helped the Cougars win the PVAC title all four seasons she played.
In club volleyball, McShea set for the Metro American Volleyball Club 18 Travel squad, helping the side win the CHRVA Regional Championship in 2013 and the MAPL title. At Covenant Life, McShea was a two-year member of the National Honor Society and the editor-in-chief of the yearbook.
"Kelly has wanted to be a Greyhound from day one, and that passion is going to be a big addition to the program," Lawrence said. "She sets one of the top club teams in the nation and that level of daily competition is going to prepare her well for the Patriot League. She is humble, a relentless worker and a great teammate, all things we value at the setter position. Add in the fact she puts up an incredibly hittable ball for her attackers, and I'm excited to see her in our gym this August."
Youngblood brings recent success as a state champion at Beaumont School in Euclid, Ohio, where she helped the Bluestreaks win the 2012 state crown, the school's first-ever title. A National Honor Society member, Youngblood was a captain of the volleyball team and earned All-Tournament Team honors.
In club action, Youngblood played for Academy Volleyball Cleveland, helping her team qualify for nationals. The squad won the Power League title for three years and was second in the Philadelphia Qualifier.
"The first thing that stands out about Lauren is her physicality. She's going to step in and bring a high level of athleticism," Lawrence said. "Once you watch her play for a while, her intensity really impresses you. She's spent the last year making the transition from middle blocker to outside hitter, so there will continue to be an adjustment period once she gets into our gym. With a lot of hard work and quick learning, she'll have an impact on the outside."