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Gordon Brings in Four in His First Full Recruiting Class, some Texas Advantage volleyball club players

By Robert B.

Morehead State women's volleyball head coach Jaime Gordon announced this afternoon that he has signed four individuals to national letters-of-intent for his 2004 recruiting class. That group includes 6-0 middle blocker Jessica Ayodele (Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie HS), 5-11 outside hitter Melinda Humen (Bedford, Texas/Bedford HS), 5-8 setter Amy Johnson (Louisville, Ky./Assumption HS) and 6-0 outside hitter Kelsey Cronin (Fairfield, Ohio/Fairfield HS). All four members of the class are expected to be eligible as freshmen this fall.

It is the first full recruiting class for Gordon, the 2003 Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year. Gordon, who will be entering his second season at MSU this fall, signed one recruit, outside hitter Laura Cox, after he was hired last spring.

Due to the size and talent in this class, I anticipate this group will have an immediate impact on our program, said Gordon. We graduated a great senior class, so this group has some big shoes to fill. They are all outstanding athletes which will bring a great deal of excitement to our fans. Complementing what we have returning, I am very excited about the direction our program is headed.

This recruiting class brings a combination of elite-level experience and a presence of athleticism, he added. With two of the signees possessing a vertical reach of over 10 feet, we are truly adding a new dimension to the team. The Eagles are coming off a 22-10 campaign in which they won the OVC regular-season title with a school-record 14 conference wins (14-2 league record). Morehead State is expected to return seven letterwinners for next year.

Ayodele should be one of the most athletic individuals in the conference next fall. She was named first-team all-district in each of the last two years. In her senior season, she also was the team's Offensive Player of the Year and its MVP. She led the district in kills and was named the Fort Worth Telegram Player of the Week three times. She has played club volleyball for the North Dallas Juniors and the Texas Advantage volleyball club, while participating in many volleyball camps in Texas to build her skills

Jessica is a phenomenal athlete, said Gordon. I had a wonderful time working with her in some camps last summer. She soaks up everything and gives her all every moment on the floor. Touching 10'3, she has a very high ceiling and will be a great addition to our middle. I decided to come to Morehead State because I really liked the campus, the team, the coach and everyone made me feel welcome, said Ayodele.

Humen was a three-time all-district selection and an academic all-state recipient in 2003. She was the MVP at Bedford High School as a senior and currently plays for the Texas Advantage volleyball club team. The standout helped lead BHS to the regional quarterfinals in 2002.

Mel is a great athlete that is getting better and better each time she steps on the floor, said Gordon. She is very competitive and committed to getting the job done. She can play at a very high level above the net, and I am looking forward to having her in the gym.

I chose MSU because I think working with Coach Gordon will make me a better player, said Humen.

Johnson comes from one of the most successful club and high school programs in the country. At Assumption High School, she won two state titles. As a member of the Kentucky-Indiana Volleyball Academy (KIVA), Johnson helped lead her team to the AAU national championship and was named as an All-American.

Amy is such an experienced setter and has competed at the highest levels, said Gordon. She has a great feel for the game and makes the players around her better. She will continue a strong tradition of great setters at Morehead State.

Cronin has been a four-year varsity starter and a two-year captain for Fairfield High School. She earned first-team all-conference honors in each of her last two years and was a second-team all-city choice as a senior. She also has received the conference's Academic Award three years in a row. Cronin has played for Team Z and the Cincy Classics volleyball clubs.

Kelsey is a very versatile player, said Gordon. She puts so much energy and excitement into everything she does. Kelsey cannot wait to get on campus, and I am really looking forward to having her in the Blue and Gold. I was very excited about Morehead State after my first visit, Cronin said. The people were very friendly and I felt comfortable with the campus size and class size. I am excited to compete in the OVC as an Eagle, and the team and coaching staff feel like family. I am looking forward to continuing my athletic and academic career at MSU.

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