Kansas Volleyball Announces Four New Additions to 2010 Team

May 27, 2010


Kansas volleyball head coach Ray Bechard announced the addition of four new players on Friday. Transfer Taylor Manning along with incoming freshmen Jamie Mathieu, Erin McNorton and Brianne Riley will join the Jayhawk volleyball team beginning in the 2010-11 academic year.

“We are very excited about their level of volleyball IQ and the influence of added ball control,” Bechard said of the group of newcomers. “They will contribute to the defensive culture we have established throughout the spring.”

Manning, the daughter of Kansas assistant basketball coach Danny Manning, transfers to KU after spending one year at Division II Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla. Manning, a 6-0 middle blocker/right side, helped the Tritons to a 20-12 record as a starter in 2009 averaging 2.13 kps along with nearly one block per set. A native of Lawrence, Kan., where she attended Free State High School, Manning was a two-time all-Sunflower League selection for the Firebirds as well as a team captain from 2007 until 2009.

“Taylor will bring valuable experience having played at the college level last season,” Bechard said. “We are excited to have her back in Lawrence. She has a great passion for the University of Kansas.”

A 5-9 setter from Plano West High School, McNorton was named district setter of the year during her senior season when the Wolves were bi-district champions. She was also a team captain and named team MVP in 2009. In 2008, McNorton helped lead the Wolves to the regional quarterfinals after the team went a perfect 10-0 in district play. A native of Plano, Texas, McNorton played club ball for the Texas Advantage.

“Erin played multiple positions in high school which gives her a very high volleyball IQ,” said Bechard. “She has a great skill set and we’re excited that she will add depth to the setter position.”

Mathieu comes to Kansas after a successful campaign at Nerinx Hall High School in St. Louis, Mo. A defensive specialist, Mathieu led the Markers in digs and service reception during her last two seasons to earn her the team’s defensive MVP as a junior and a senior. She was also twice named an all-district first-team selection as well as an all-region first team member in 2009.

“Jamie will bring a high level of energy and enthusiasm to the team,” Bechard said. “She has a great defensive mindset that will quickly influence the culture in our gym.”

A native of Naperville, Ill., Riley was selected an all-state player by several media outlets as a senior at Benet Academy and was named volleyball player of the year by the Naperville Sun after helping her team to the sectional championship. She also garnered ESPN Rise Volleyball player of the week accolades during the season. In 2008, her back court skills landed her a spot on PrepVolleyball.com’s defensive dandies list. The Redwings were the state runner-up her junior year.

“Brianne has great court presence and an aggressive style of play,” said Bechard. “She possesses great defensive skills and we have high expectations for her ball control.”

Manning, McNorton, Mathieu and Riley join a group of four NLI signees that announced their commitments last November. Those players are Jessie Allen (Aurora, Neb.), Marianne Beal (Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Amy Wehrs (Hampshire, Ill.) and Kara Wehrs (Hampshire, Ill.).

The Jayhawks open the 2010 season at the Creighton Tournament in Omaha, Neb., Aug. 27-28.