Albany State volleyball unveils 2022 recruiting class

Courtesy of Dr. Earnest Brown, Albany State University Athletics:

Coach Verniece Graham is excited about the new faces that will be joining the Golden Rams volleyball team during the 2022 season..  The Golden Rams have won the SIAC Eastern Division 3 years in a row.  Last season, the Golden Rams lost to Spring Hill in the SIAC Championship Game.  With the addition of 9 new players, Graham thinks the Golden Rams will be back in the conference championship game.

The 2022 signing class features Molly WilsonJenae ThomasMadisyn Smith, Alia Gomez, Cierra KeysKennedi Wallace, Mary-Katherine Preston, Khamari Trotter and Fallyn Nobles.

Molly Wilson attended Jacksonville High School in Jacksonville, Alabama.  Molly was a 4-year varsity starter and earned Team MVP and All-Calhoun County Team honors all 4 years.  Molly played Club Volleyball for Alabama Performance.  Molly plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in Business while at Albany State University.  “I chose ASU because I love the atmosphere and how normal it felt when I came to visit the campus.  My goal is push myself to be the best teammate and player on and off the court!”  

Jenae Thomas attended North Forney High School in Texas.  Jenae earned both Team MVP and Offensive MVP awards.  Jenae played her Club Volleyball for Rio, Winter Park Volleyball Club, and Dallas Premier.  Jenae received recognition by as one of the nation’s top left-handed hitters in their article titled “Year of the Lefty Rightside”.  Jenae is a transfer from the University of Charleston.  “ASU is family away from Family!  Getting the opportunity to play at the same college as my older sister is a blessing.”  

Madisyn Smith attended Rolesville High School (NC) and graduated with a 3.7 GPA.  Madisyn was a 4-year varsity starter and received the athletic honor of making the All-Conference Team.  Madisyn played 3 years of Club Volleyball for North Carolina Volleyball Academy.  “I choose Albany State because I love the campus and all the girls made me feel like it was home.  I also wanted to attend an HBCU.”  

Alia Gomez attended Dutchtown High School in Hampton, Georgia.  Alia was a 4-year varsity athlete and received awards for All-Region team, Student-Athlete of the year, and was the 2018 Homecoming Queen.  Alia played 7 years of Club Volleyball for Atlanta Boom, KPVA Elites, and Atlanta Elite Volleyball.  As a 3-year collegiate student-athlete, Alia made the Dean’s List at Benedict College, Alabama State University and Middle Georgia State University.  Alia was awarded the Volleyball 4.0 GPA Academic Excellence Award and made the SIAC All-Academic Team, SIAC Commissioner’s All-Academic Team, and SSAC All-Academic Team.  Athletically, Alia has achieved Best Defensive Player during her time with Benedict College, as well as lead the SSAC in Digs/Set with a 5.47 average.  “I am proud to commit to play for Albany State.  Albany State University is an excellent fit for me and I can’t wait to contribute to the future success of the Albany State Golden Rams volleyball team.”  

Cierra Keys is a native of Evans, Georgia where she attended Greenbrier High School.  Cierra led Greenbrier High School volleyball to a GA 5A State Runner-up finish in 2021.  Cierra played Club Volleyball for Savannah Select Volleyball Club.  While at ASU, she will focus on earning a degree in Nursing.  “I have chosen ASU because it is an HBCU and I would love to embrace that and a part of that.  I am thrilled that I have the opportunity to be a part of THE RAM Family as well as being a part of a great volleyball program with amazing girls.” 

Kennedi (Tati) Wallace is a native of Denton, Texas.  Kennedi attended Guyer High School and received Honorable Mention on the court and made the Academic All District Team.  Kennedi played Club Volleyball for Madfrog Volleyball.  Kennedi will be pursuing a degree in Sports Medicine and wants to become and Athletic Trainer.  “The minute I stepped on campus it felt like home.  Everyone was so welcoming and I instantly made a connection with the team.  Everything just fell into place and that is how I knew ASU was going to be my new home.  I want to go far with my new team and come back home with THE trophy!!” 

Mary-Katherine (MK) Preston is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana but attended Manvel High School in Houston, Texas.  MK received awards for District 22 5A Middle of the Year twice, All-VYPE Middle of the Year, and Academic All-District.  MK was also recognized on the GHCVA Pre-Season List, and the AVCA All-American Phenom Senior Watchlist.  MK was also recognized as an Under Armour All-American and the TGCA All-Star Blue Team.  MK played Club Volleyball for USVA Lone Star Houston Juniors and Houston Skyline Juniors.  “I come from an HBCU lineage.  My mother and her family are HBCU alumni and my grandmother has been a professor at Southern University and A&M College for 41 years.  I chose ASU because it offers solid educational programs, competitive sports, diverse learning opportunities.  The coaches, faculty, staff, and students made me feel welcome.  Overall, it is what I am looking for in my college experience.  My goal is to be a successful collegiate athlete by performing at my highest academic and athletic abilities while making life-long friendships and memories.  I want to be the “Game-Changer” at ASU!!!”  #HBCUpride 

Khamari Trotter is from Bonaire, Georgia.  Khamari attended Veterans High School.  Khamari played Club Volleyball for Tsunami and Pro-Style Volleyball Club where she was awarded the 2022 MVP.  During her time with Veterans High School, she was awarded the Offensive Player of the Year with the highest blocking statistics and second highest kills statistic in her senior season as a Middle Hitter.  “I chose ASU because from my first time with the team, I had such an amazing experience and I loved the other players.  Attending an HBCU is a high priority and all-around, ASU offers what I want in a college.  I want to better myself and become the best athlete I can be.  I want to be able to strongly contribute to the success of my team within the SIAC Conference and to win Championships!” 

Fallyn Nobles hails from Pearland, Texas.  Fallyn attended Glenda Dawson High School.  Fallyn played Club Volleyball for Asics Willowbrook in Houston, Texas.  Fallyn will major in Criminology at Albany State University.  Fallyn’s goal is to become a Behavioral Analysist Agent for the Federal Burau of Investigations.  “I chose Albany State University because I loved the fact that they have a strong Criminology Program and can help me achieve my dream of becoming an FBI Agent.  As a player, my goal is to become the best passer and achieve the award of Defensive Player of Year!” 

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