Kansas Volleyball Signs Four Players for 2010-11

Nov. 16, 2009


Kansas Volleyball signed four players to National Letters of Intent, including a top-50 prospect and the top player in the Kansas City area, it was announced by KU volleyball coach Ray Bechard. Marianne Beal, Jessie Allen and Kara and Amy Wehrs will all begin their college volleyball careers with the Jayhawks during the 2010-11 academic year.

Beal, a 6-foot middle blocker from Lee’s Summit North High School in Lee’s Summit, Mo., won the 2009 Evelyn Gates award, given to the top female volleyball player in the Kansas City area. PrepVolleyball.com ranks her No. 91 nationally in the 2010 recruiting class. Beal is a four-time all-conference and all-district selection at LSN and earned All-State First Team accolades her senior season after guiding the Broncos to a district championship. Beal will leave LSN as the school’s all-time leader in kills and the first Bronco to reach 1,000 career kills.

“Marianne had predominately played middle through her high school and club career, but we envision her being very effective on the right side as well,” Bechard said. “She has the potential to be an outstanding six-rotation contributor, impacting our program in a number of technical areas, and she competes with great enthusiasm and intensity.”

Kara Wehrs is a 5-10 setter ranked No. 44 in the 2010 recruiting class, according to PrepVolleyball.com. She was a three-time all-conference selection at Hampshire (Ill.) H.S., and was named to the Courier News All-Area team all four years. She played on Hampshire’s runner-up team at the 2007 state championship. Kara will leave the Whippurs’ volleyball program with the school’s career assists and aces records.

“We think Kara has the chance to compete and contribute at a very high level in the setting position. When you combine her quickness and physical presence and good delivery, you’ve got a young lady who has a chance to have a very good career in our league,” Bechard said.

Allen is a three-sport athlete from Aurora High School in Aurora, Neb. The school’s all-time leader in blocks, Allen was named all-state honorable mention and all-conference second team in 2008. PrepVolleyball.com named Allen a senior ace, a label given to the country’s top 250 recruits. At Aurora H.S. Allen helped the Huskies continue their 12-year streak of state appearances and 12 consecutive district championships. Aurora finished fourth at the 2008 state tournament.

“Jessie is a prototype Big 12 middle,” Bechard said. “She has good length, very good lateral quickness and she is capable of attacking in front of and behind the setter. She will also be a physical presence at the net defensively. With the loss of Paige Mazour and Brittany Williams, she is a very valuable addition to our roster.”

Amy Wehrs, twin sister of Kara Wehrs, is a 5-10 outside hitter. Amy was named all-state honorable mention twice at Hampshire High School and was selected to the all-conference team three consecutive years. She also helped Hampshire High to a runner-up finish at the 2007 state championship, and guided the Whippurs to the regional title in 2006 and 2008. Amy will leave Hampshire as the school’s all-time kills leader, and the single-season record holder for kills and aces.

“Amy is an outstanding competitor,” Bechard said. “She will add instant value to our program in a number of areas. She can influence the match with her attacking skills and also make an impact with her backcourt skills. She is a six-rotation player with a high volleyball IQ.”

“The class of 2010 has been successful at every level of volleyball and have all excelled in the classroom,” Bechard said. “We are delighted they will be joining our program next fall, and we expect that success on the volleyball court and in the classroom to continue.”