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Georgetown College volleyball coach Nick Griffin has announced the addition of three student-athletes to his 2014 recruiting class. Jenny Howell and Gracen Howard will join the Tigers this fall, while Kaysie Massie has already enrolled in classes for the spring semester.
"We are very excited about this class," Griffin said. "Each of them brings something different to the program, but this is without question the most athletic overall class during my time here. The amount of weapons this team will have next year is staggering."
KAYSIE MASSIE (Orem High School/Utah Valley)
Massie is a 6-foot-1 opposite hitter from Orem, Utah, who will have two years of eligibility remaining after transferring from NCAA Division I Utah Valley University.
As a member of the Utah Valley program, the former Kaysie Taylor helped the Wolverines to Great West Conference regular season and tournament championships in 2012 and a third place finish in the Western Athletic Conference this past fall. During her sophomore campaign, she appeared in 10 total sets and contributed six kills, six digs and three blocks.
Before her arrival at Utah Valley, Massie prepped at Orem High School for Natalie Reel and was a two-time Honorable Mention All-State selection and a two-time First Team All-Region and All-Valley Conference honoree. She helped the Golden Tiger place third in the UHSAA Volleyball State Tournament and third in the Region in 2010. The multi-sport athlete also played basketball and ran track at Orem.
"Kaysie is a very physical player that has great velocity to her swing," Griffin said. "Seeing limited playing time at Utah Valley, we know she is coming in here hungry to compete and eager to make her mark. Transferring in at semester has also allowed her time to adjust to our training and from a west coast style of play to our fast-tempo offense."
Massie is the daughter of Rogan and Lynda Taylor and is married to former Georgetown Baseball player K.C. Massie. She will continue to pursue a degree in health sciences. Her two older brothers Kimballl and Mat played volleyball at Hawaii and Brigham-Young respectively.
JENNY HOWELL (Glen Este High School/NKYVC)
Howell is a 6-foot outside hitter from Glen Este High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.
As a four-year starter for Coach Cheryl Korfhagen, Howell made a huge impact for the Trojan program on the court and in the classroom. She accumulated two All-Eastern Cincinnati Conference (ECC) awards, three All-ECC Academic awards, three Scholar Athlete certificates, and was named Second Team All-District 16. Howell was also selected to participate in the District 16 All-Star match following the 2013 season. Her senior year was further punctuated by breaking Glen Este's career kills record (675) and ranking among the leaders in the ECC and entire city of Cincinnati for both kills per game (3.78) and blocks per game (1.24).
While her club volleyball career with NKYVC's top team has only spanned her junior and senior year, Howell was a multi-sport athlete until her senior year and also excelled as a member of the Trojan swim team. She earned three All-ECC awards, three All-ECC Academic awards, and three Scholar Athlete certificates while being named Most Valuable Swimmer and Outstanding Female Meet Performer three times as well.
"Jenny has barely begun to scratch the surface of how good she can be," Griffin said. "She is an explosive athlete that can elevate off the ground quickly and has the ability to terminate from anywhere along the net. She is also a big blocking presence who we feel can continue to develop into a 6-rotation player. A testament to her bright future was recently being named to the 2014 JVA Watch List."
Howell is the daughter of Greg and Cindy Howell and plans to major in biology. Her older sister (Stacy) is a member of the volleyball team at Thomas More University in Northern Kentucky.
GRACEN HOWARD (Lebanon High School/Borderline)
Howard is a 5-9 outside hitter and defensive specialist from Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Ohio.
A three-year letterwinner and starter for Coach Tim Mersch, the Warriors captured three Greater Western Ohio Conference South titles, collected a 61-13 overall record, and rewrote Lebanon's record books by finishing seventh in the state in 2013. For her efforts, Howard was named a two-time All-GWOC honoree along with her achievements as Most Improved and the Warriors Award.
The two-sport athlete was also a standout player for the Warriors basketball team. Howard was four-time All-GWOC, an All-District 15 selection her senior year, and team MVP twice. She leaves Lebanon ranked among the all-time leaders in scoring average (4th), rebounds (2nd) and games played (1st).
"Many were actually surprised that Gracen chose volleyball over basketball, but we couldn't be happier," Griffin said. "Now that she is focusing on just one sport, she will have the opportunity to test her limits, which will only add to our versatility and depth in the backcourt. Gracen is wonderful fit for both our program and the college."
Howard is the daughter of Keith and Pam Howard and is undecided on her major.
Massie, Howell and Howard join the 2014 recruiting class that began with fall signee Caroline Ricks.