TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State head sand volleyball coach Danalee Corso announced the Seminoles’ outstanding five-member signing class for 2015 on Wednesday.
Alic Eager, Nikki Esposito, Macy Jerger, Brooke Kuhlman and Eva Torruella all signed National Letters of Intent with the Noles and will be freshmen during the 2015-16 season, which is expected to be the first for sand volleyball as an NCAA sport.
“Once again we have brought in a very strong recruiting class for our sand volleyball program,” Corso said. “This class has lots of national team experience and several players who have excelled at the junior level. The most impressive trait that all of these girls have is their work ethics so we excited to continue to develop them. They will blend in very well with our current team next year.”
Eager is currently the third-ranked under-18 player in the nation and has a vast amount of U.S. National Team experience, including competing in Portugal with the USA Beach U19 National Team. She finished second at the 2014 USA Beach Volleyball High Performance Championships in Hermosa Beach, Calif. She has also finished first at the USA Beach U14 National Championships in Chicago and has been a standout indoor volleyball player at Liberty Christian School.
The Southlake, Texas, native was named to the Texas 5A TAPPS All-District Team and was the MVP at the EMISISD Varsity Invitational, while leading the Liberty Christian indoor volleyball team. Eager has competed on club teams: TAV Black, TAV Blue, 692 Beach and USAV A1 High Performance.
“Alic is the first player from the A1 junior national team that we have signed and we are very excited to have her,” Corso said. “She is a hard worker and has a lot of sand experience for her age. She should have an impact on our team right away.”
Esposito finished in the top three in nine USA beach volleyball tournaments this past summer, including first-place at the Dig the Beach Fort Lauderdale event with Torruella and first-place at the USA Volleyball Pompano Beach competition with Kuhlman. Overall, she has captured 35 medals since 2012 at beach tournaments and grabbed gold at seven tournaments. She also captured gold at the U16 USAV Florida High Performance Championship in 2013. She finished the 2014 beach season with the most points in her division. She plays club volleyball for D-Plex Volleyball Academy.
The 5-foot-11 Esposito was the captain of the Pompano Beach High School indoor volleyball team this past fall, leading the squad to a fifth-place finish at the Florida 5A Championships this fall. She was named to the All-Broward County First Team in 2013.
She will become the third Seminole sand player to come from Deerfield Beach, Fla., joining current senior Stephanie Pellitteri and her sister, junior Nina Pellitteri.
“Nikki had the most points of any junior player in Florida this past summer,” Corso said. “She is an outstanding indoor player as well as sand player and she has a huge amount of potential. She has grown up an FSU fan and has always wanted to come here so it’s a perfect fit.”
Jerger is currently ranked the sixth-best under-18 player in the country and has 10 top three finishes at USA Beach Volleyball events over the past two years, including a first-place finish at the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships in Hermosa Beach, Calif., with Kuhlman. She also finished third at the Manhattan Beach Summer Series event in 2014 and placed seventh at the Junior Olympics U19 Division.
The 6-1 Newport Beach, Calif., native now lives in Fort Myers, Fla. where she led the Fort Myers High School indoor team to the regional championships while pacing all Florida preps in hitting percentage (.333) and leading her team in kills (354) and digs (253) en route to being named to the AVCA Phenomenon Watch List for 2013-14.
“Macy continues to develop and improve and we are very excited for her to come to FSU,” Corso said. “She is one of the taller recruits we’ve had here, but she also has great ball control for her height. She works hard, too, and will be a great addition to the Noles.
Kuhlman is currently ranked the ninth-best under-18 player in the country after collecting seven first-place finishes at USAV beach events in 2013-14, including the gold at USA Volleyball High Performance Championships in Hermosa Beach, Calif. with Jerger. The 5-foot-10 Naples, Fla., native competed for two years on the USAV Beach High Performance A2 Team and won the 2013 World Series Beach Volleyball/FIVB Amateur High School Tournament in Long Beach, Calif. She has several top five performances, while competing with Esposito and Jerger
As captain of the Barron Collier High School indoor volleyball team, Kuhlman was named Team MVP and Florida Athletic Conference Coaches Division 6 Player of the Year in in 2014, while setting the school record for kills in a season (375).
“Brooke is a player who has made huge improvements since we first started recruiting here and that’s exciting to see as a coach,” Corso said. “She is another player that has always wanted to come here. We expect she will continue to get better and become a great player for us in the years to come.”
Torruella will come to Tallahassee from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she has blossomed into a top beach volleyball prospect. The 6-foot Torruella has competed on the Puerto Rican National beach team and played at several North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) events in Cuba, Saint Lucia and Puerto Rico. Torruella has many impressive finishes in California and Florida beach volleyball tournaments over the years, as well, winning the 2013 AAU Summer Series in Manhattan Beach and 2013 CBVA Long Beach tournament in the 18U division.
As an indoor volleyball star at Saint John’s High School, she was awarded MVP honors from 2009 to 2014 and played on the Puerto Rico High School Athletic Alliance All-Start Team for four years. She competes for the San Juan Volleyball Club Team.
“I’ve been watching Eva play since she was in eighth grade,” Corso said. “She is the No. 1 player in her class coming out of Puerto Rico and already has tons of international experience from staring on the Puerto Rican national team. We fully expect her to have a great career here at FSU.”