Volleyball Signs Goehner, Louis, Benda and Rosenthal
Nov. 15, 2013
MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women's volleyball program and head coach Bond Shymansky have announced the signing of a talented four-person recruiting class to National Letters of Intent, led by 2013-14 Under Armour Girls High School First Team All-American Alyssa Goehner.
All four student-athletes will have four years of eligibility when they arrive on campus in the fall of 2014.
"This class may be the highest ranked class in the history of our program," Shymansky said. "It will be crucial that we work hard as a staff to help them realize their potential and goals. I believe that they can help our team to a higher level of success in the near term and the long term. We have great young players on our team now, and adding these newcomers will strengthen us even more as we look to dominate the BIG EAST Conference for years to come."
Goehner, the PrepVolleyball.com National Player of the Year for the class of 2014 as both a sophomore and junior, is joined by fellow outside hitter Taylor Louis, setter Gabby Benda and middle hitter Jenna Rosenthal. Benda was named a 2013-14 Under Armour Honorable Mention All-America, while Louis (No. 43) joins Goehner (No. 37) on PrepVolleyball.com's Top 50 Senior Aces list.
"Alyssa is one of the most gifted, intelligent, instinctual and gritty players I have ever seen," Shymansky said. "She is a tremendous front row and back row player and will add even more dimension to our line-up. Fans of our team will draw quick comparisons between Alyssa and Autumn Bailey. Most importantly, Alyssa is a winner. She has won at every level in many different events, and has always been the anchor of her team. I expect Alyssa to have a storied career at Marquette."
A 5-foot-10 outside hitter, Goehner comes to the Golden Eagles after an accolade-filled career in Minnesota at Lakeville North High School and with Northern Lights Junior Volleyball. She is a three-time first team all-state selection, two-time state player of the year and was selected as Minnesota Ms. Volleyball as a senior in 2013 while playing for legendary coach Walt Weaver.
Despite falling in the Minnesota 3A sectional final in 2013, Goehner amassed 631 kills (7.42 per set) and 354 digs (4.16 per set) as a senior while hitting .379. The Lakeville, Minn., native is regarded as one of the most high-profile volleyball players the state has ever produced, leading Northern Lights to a U.S. Junior Olympic national title in 2012 and becoming a five-time junior All-American with the program.
Goehner was one of just four high school players to compete in the 2013 European Global Challenge with the USA Women's Junior A1 International Team and was the only American to earn all-tournament honors. The six-rotation outside hitter has a 35-inch vertical leap with the ability touch over 10 feet.
Louis joins the Golden Eagles as the second-highest ranked signee (No. 43) and at 6-foot-2 will add great length and athleticism to MU's hitting corps. The Skokie, Ill., native played at Niles North High School, competed the last few years in club volleyball with Wildcat Juniors and has the ability to play on both sides.
"Taylor is known to her friends as `Lou,'" Shymansky said. "She is long, lean, explosive and determined. One of the most athletic outside hitters in the nation, Taylor will help us play even higher above the net. She has developed more back row skills in the past year as well, so she has tons of upside and a bright future in our program. I expect `Lou' to be a big-time hitter in the BIG EAST for years to come."
The 5-foot-11 Benda, who joined Goehner as an Under Armour All-American, will compete for time at setter with the graduation of AVCA All-American Elizabeth Koberstein. The Raleigh, N.C., native attends the same high school, Wakefield, as former Marquette men's basketball All-American Darius Johnson-Odom and helped her squad to its first North Carolina Class AAAA state title in 2013.
"Gabby has silky-smooth hands, and the heart of a lion on the court," Shymansky said. "She is a gutsy setter with great skills, keen senses and a strong will. She will quickly adapt to our fast-paced system and continue our trend of elite level setting. One of her best traits is her ability to win. We expect Gabby to come to Marquette and help us achieve many new firsts for our program."
Benda was named Cap-8 Conference Co-Player of the Year as a senior, while leading the Wolverines with 979 assists for an average of 10.50 per set. She led the squad to an overall record of 92-12 in four years as a starter at setter and right-side hitter and amassed 2,158 assists in her career. A three-time all-conference performer, Benda also competed with Triangle Volleyball in juniors.
Rosenthal, a 6-foot-5 middle hitter from Fond du Lac, Wis., is the lone Wisconsin product to sign with the Golden Eagles this year. Rosenthal hit .422 as a senior while earning first team all-conference honors and averaging almost four kills and just over one block per set. Rosenthal is a member of the National Honor Society with a near perfect grade point average and is also an all-conference performer in track and field in the high jump and discus.
"Jenna is one of the biggest secrets in Wisconsin and at 6-foot-5 she will give us more size and strength at the net," Shymansky said. "She has been steadily improving her attacking ability during the past two years and will be a great asset to our system. Not many coaches got the chance to see her until it was too late. Jenna committed to play with us more than a year ago, and she embodies everything that a coach could want in a student-athlete."
She competes with the West Bend Power Volleyball Club for head coach B.J. Royes and holds the Fond du Lac High School career blocks record (264) as well as single season blocks (138) and kills (457) marks.