University of Evansville head volleyball coach Manolo Concepcion has announced the addition of three student-athletes to the Purple Aces squad for the 2017 campaign. His latest class includes three Indiana products - Lauren Murray, Cassie Brooks, and Adeline Payne.
Adeline Payne comes to Evansville from Nineveh, Indiana, where she is a right side hitter at Franklin Community High School. She has been a part of three conference championship teams in her high school career along with one sectional championship. In 2014, she helped her junior varsity team to an undefeated campaign.
“Her presence in our program will add versatility and athleticism to our roster. Addie can play all three attacking positions, and is someone with the right attitude to improve and focus on long term development,” Aces head coach Manolo Concepcion said. “She will fit perfectly with our fast pace offensive system. She has unique raw potential that we look forward to work with.”
A member of the National Honor Society, Payne was an AB honor roll player in all four seasons and accumulated four academic letters. She has received a Medal of Excellence in anatomy, French, psychology, and economics. Payne has excelled in her studies throughout her entire time in school, being named to the Honor Roll since middle school. She plans on majoring in Pre-Med at Evansville.
Cassie Brooks and Lauren Murray are each natives of Indianapolis. Brooks is a defensive specialist at Cathedral High School where she was named to the PrepVolleyball Defensive Dandies list. A member of the AVCA Under Armour Watch List, she was one of just 19 in the nation to be named to PrepVolleyball’s Indispensable DS List.
“She has the potential to become one of the best defensive players in the Conference. Coming from such a high level high school program, and playing around some of the best in-state players out there, has taking her to new heights,” Concepcion commented. “We strongly feel that Cassie is capable of enhancing our ball control right away. Aside from her volleyball skills, she has an incredible winning attitude that would be immensely beneficial for our locker room and gym culture.”
On the court, Brooks helped her team win the 2015 and 2016 4-A State High School Championship. Her 2015 squad was also the High School National Champion. She was a 2015 All-City honoree for her efforts. In the classroom, Brooks is an equally impressive performer. An Academic All-State student-athlete, Brooks’ 2015 team won the AVCA High School Team Academic Award. Her intended major at UE is business.
Lauren Murray makes her way to southwest Indiana from Tindley Accelerated School. A 2-time 1-A Sectional Champion, Murray was an All-City Honorable Mention. Murray is a versatile player who led her team in digs, aces, and receptions in all four years of high school. She was part of the 2013 AVCA Phenom List and served as a libero for Team Indiana Volleyball Club. She looks forward to arriving on campus where she will major in physical therapy.
“An emotionally intelligent person on and off the court who represents the type of high academic student athlete that all coaches aspire to have in a team environment,” Concepcion explained. “Her speed and first contact ability will provide depth to our back row play. It will be great to see Lauren transfer her commitment and dedication from the classroom to the gym, in order to become a student of the game.”
With other signees expected during the regular signing period in early 2017, the Aces are looking at an incoming class of 5-7 student-athletes.