Stockton, Calif. - With the start of the early signing period for high school seniors beginning on Wednesday, November 9, the Pacific women's volleyball team added a pair of top recruits to bolster their ranks for the 2012 season. Announced by head coach Greg Gibbons on Friday, November 11, the Tigers received National Letters of Intent from Kat Schulz (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Kimmy Whitson (Palo Alto, Calif.) to begin his second full recruiting class at the helm of Pacific's program.
"We are bringing in two very skilled athletes who are amongst the best in their positions in the country," stated Gibbons.
A 6-1 opposite from Xavier College Preparatory in Phoenix, Ariz., Shulz will join the Tigers in 2012 after a decorated career at one of the top volleyball high schools in the state of Arizona. Continuing their dominance throughout the state, Schulz led the Gators to the last three big school state championships as Xavier has brought home five of the last six titles entering 2011. In her final season of high school volleyball, Schulz led the Gators to a 41-5 overall record and a perfect mark in league play. She her team with a 3.6 kills per game average, a mark which placed her fifth among all Division 5A I attackers. As a senior in 2011, Schulz opted to focus on beach and club volleyball, sitting out her senior year at Xavier. As a member of Club Red 17-Mizuno, Schulz has picked up a bronze medal at the 2011 USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships. Additionally, Schulz has been a member of the U.S. Girls' Youth National Training Team.
"Kat is an intense competitor and leader who we look to come in and make an immediate impact at the right side for us," said Gibbons. "Her strength and speed combined with her extensive volleyball experience will add to every aspect of our team."
Joining Schulz in 2012 on Pacific's roster is Whitson, a 5-11 setter out of Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, Calif. She will come to the Tigers with volleyball ties to the Big West as her older sister, Ally, is a standout outside hitter for UC Davis. The orchestrator of one of the top teams in the state of California, Whitson guided her Vikings to a nearly flawless record in 2010 as a junior as Palo Alto went 41-1 on the year en route to a California state title. A 2010 All-Santa Clara Valley Athletic League selection as a junior, Whitson averaged 10.7 assists per game while leading the team to a .311 hitting percentage. Defensively, Whitson posted 54 total blocks, second best on the team, and 167 digs, fourth best among Viking players. As a senior, Whitson has led the Vikings to a 30-3 overall mark and a perfect 12-0 record in league play as they look to repeat as California state champs. As a team, the Vikings are hitting an impressive .426 on the year with Whitson at the helm.
In Whitson, Gibbons said, "Kimmy is an extremely physical setter who plays in a system very similar to the one we run here and where she competes and sets on one of the top club teams. Her speed, strength, competitiveness, and composure are what make her the prototypical setter we look for at Pacific."