LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech head volleyball coach Tony Graystone announced Wednesday, Nov. 13, the receipt of three National Letters of Intent from a trio of talented Texans that will be joining the Red Raiders for the 2020 season.
Lone Star State natives Mackenzie Morgan, Maddie O'Brien and Reese Rhodes come to Tech after impressive careers at their respective high schools. All front-row players, Morgan, O'Brien and Rhodes will immediately be in the hunt for spots in Tech's starting rotation.
O'Brien is set to graduate this December and will join the Red Raiders as an early graduate in January.
"This is a highly decorated class that gives us three players we're very excited about," Graystone expressed. "This group instantly improves our team and I can't wait to see their impact on Red Raider Volleyball."
– Outside Hitter · 6'3" · Bellville HS · Bellville, Texas –
A four-year letterwinner at Bellville High School, Morgan will join the Red Raiders after a standout high school campaign. She garnered District 25-4A Newcomer of the Year recognition as a freshman in 2016, as well as First Team Academic All-District and TAVC All-State recognition. To top off an impressive first year, Morgan was honored as a 2019 Prep Volleyball – FROSH 59 – Highest Honorable Mention player. Her accolades only continued as a sophomore in 2017 as she earned First Team All-District, Academic All-District, TAVC All-State and TGCA All-State recognition. Making her mark on the national scale, she also picked up 2017 Prep Volleyball – SOPH 79 – Highest Honorable Mention laurels. She one-upped her district honors as junior and was named the District 25-4A Most Valuable Player at the conclusion of the 2018 season. She earned her third Academic All-District First-Team nod and was placed on the TAVC and TGCA All-State First Teams yet again. She participated in the TGCA All-Star Game as a junior and earned All-Tournament nods at the Katy/CFISD, Bastrop Invitational and Lamar CISD tournaments. Named to the GFVCA Preseason Team at the start of her senior year, Morgan collected Katy/CFISD and Bastrop Invitational All-Tournament honors and was named the MVP of the Lamar CISD Tournament. Helping Bellville through another successful season, Morgan was named a 2019 AVCA High School All-Region honoree and she was named an Under Armour All-American to cap off a stellar senior season.
Born on Dec. 2, 2001, Morgan is the daughter of Kimberly Morgan and she has two sisters – Emily (30) and Madison (15). Since 2018, Morgan has been a member of the Bellville High School National Honor Society.
Coach Graystone on Morgan:
"Mack is a strong outside hitter with great ball control and the ability to play six-rotations. She also has size and length that will give us a physical presence at the net. Mack has a big future ahead of her and is a perfect fit for our system."
– Outside Hitter · 6'2" · Cinco Ranch HS · Katy, Texas –
O'Brien is set to join Tech after a strong four-year career at Cinco Ranch High School. She began her prep career with All-District Honorable Mention laurels in 2016 before picking up All-District Second-Team honors as a sophomore in 2017. O'Brien raked in a trio of awards as a junior and was honored on the All-District First Team, All-Vype Second Team and GHVCA Postseason Second Teams. Finishing her high school career in the Texas 6A Regional Quarterfinals, the outside hitter leaves Cinco Ranch High School as a 2019 AVCA All-Region Honoree, Under Armour All-American, GHVCA Postseason Team member and Prep Volleyball Senior Ace. O'Brien also played on the Cinco Ranch basketball team.
Born on October 23, 2001, O'Brien is the daughter of Jennifer and Clay O'Brien and she has two sisters – Courtney (15) and Kassie (12). Her cousin, Kevin O'Brien, played football at UIW and Colorado State and another cousin, Abigail Hayes, is a current member of the Centenary College golf team.
Coach Graystone on O'Brien:
"Maddie is a dynamic front row player and can play all three hitter positions. She's spent most of her time as a middle blocker/right side, but I think she's got a great future on the left side. She'll be an early graduate and will join us in January. We're excited to get started with her."
– Setter · 6'1" · Midway HS · Waco, Texas –
A four-year letterwinner at Midway High School, Rhodes comes to Tech after a solid career with the Panthers. She began her high school career with a district championship in 2016 for head coach Ryan Porter. Picking up Academic All-District honors in her first three seasons, Rhodes was also named a First Team All-District, First Team Super Centex honoree, as well as the District Setter of the Year as a sophomore in 2017. Rhodes powered Midway to another district title in her junior season and she earned First Team All-District and First Team Super Centex honors again to go along with her District MVP title. Additionally, Rhodes earned TCGA All-Star status at the end of her junior season. Rhodes was named a Prep Volleyball Senior Ace and led the Panthers to a 24-19 overall record and a 14-1 mark in district play as a senior in 2019. Named the District 12-6A Most Valuable Player, she guided the Panthers to the area round of the 6A Region II playoffs. In addition to her volleyball efforts, Rhodes was a member of the varsity basketball team in 2017 where she was named an Academic All-District and All-District First-Team selection. Rhodes was also a skilled soccer player as she played alongside the best players in the state of Texas on one of USA Soccer's 12U teams.
Born on Sept. 13, 2001, Rhodes is the daughter of Ginger and Ricky Rhodes and has three siblings – Avery (21), Derrick (14) and Allen (14). Her father, Ricky, played five years of minor league baseball while her uncle, Arthur Rhodes, played in the MLB for 20 years and was a member of the World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals in 2011.
Coach Graystone on Rhodes:
"Reese is a real game-changer for us. She's an outstanding setter who can also hit on the right side and has the ability to impact a match in many ways. She's also got superior leadership skills and is ultra-competitive. Reese is going to make us better right away."
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