Volleyball Announces 2017 Incoming Class

Holy Cross Athletics   03-02-2017

WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross volleyball head coach Melissa Batie-Smoose has announced the freshman class for the 2017 season. Kathleen Philo (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.), Renée LeBlanc (Fairport, N.Y.), Emmerson Smith (Oregon City, Ore.), Clare Honan (Wauwatosa, Wis.), Sophie VanSeveren (Davenport, Iowa), Shannon Dwyer (El Dorado Hills, Calif.), Gabriella Kalb (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Katie Kerins (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) will join the Crusaders in the upcoming fall.

 

“We’re extremely excited and worked hard for this recruiting class,” said Batie-Smoose. “Some of the elements this class brings is athleticism expressed through being multi-sport athletes, high volleyball I.Q. and experience. I think we touched on all those areas, and each of our incomers either have a combination of these features or shine in at least one of them. We’re adding many constructive dynamics to our current roster and are looking forward to moving this program further. Our incoming class knows they are going to make an immediate impact, so they are expecting to be a part of something big.”


KATHLEEN PHILO

Position: Setter
Height:
5’7”
Hometown:
Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
High School:
Santa Fe Christian School

Coach Batie-Smoose: “Kathleen brings a competitive edge, confidence and overall personality to the court. She has all things tangible that you’d want in your setter. She has an ability to spread her confidence to each player around her, while thriving under pressure and is capable of rising to the challenge. She loves the game and is passionate about it.”

Before Holy Cross:

  • A three-year member of the Santa Fe Christian School’s varsity volleyball team under head coach Amanda Miles
  • Named to the All-Academic team (2014 and 2015)
  • Also was a member of the Wave Volleyball club team under head coach Mike Placek

Personal:

  • Daughter of Len and Jennifer
  • Her mother played softball at Loyola Marymount University
  • Has one brother (Steven)


RENÉE LEBLANC

Position: Outside Hitter/Right Side
Height:
5’9”
Hometown:
Fairport, N.Y.
High School:
Fairport High School

Coach Batie-Smoose: “Renée is  going to be taking reps on the right side and middle. She will continue to develop her skills with us with a huge upside in her athleticism, which is through the roof. She really sets off the floor so quick and will continue to grow as a player.”

Before Holy Cross:

  • A four-year member of the varsity volleyball team at Fairport High School under head coach Dave Hosenfeld, serving as team captain her senior year
  • Named first team All-Conference and All-Star in 2015
  • Also played for the VolleyFX club team under head coach Lindsey Schlegel, helping her team to winning a bid to the U.S. Junior Nationals in 2016

Personal:

  • Daughter of Mike and Marcia
  • Her father was a member of Northeastern’s track and field team, graduating in 1987
  • Has two brothers (Cole and Jacob) and one sister (Brooke)


EMMERSON SMITH

Position: Outside Hitter
Height:
5’10”
Hometown:
Oregon City, Ore.
High School:
La Salle Catholic Prep

Coach Batie-Smoose: “Losing a couple outside hitters, Emmerson brings a lot of depth to our roster. Coming in, she will have an outstanding and immediate impact on that outside position.”

Before Holy Cross:

  • A three-year member of the varsity volleyball team at La Salle Catholic Prep, serving as team captain her senior year
  • Earned the team’s MVP award in 2014 and 2015
  • Named first team All-Conference in 2015, second team All-Conference (2015) and second team All-State (2015)
  • Selected as the OSAA State Championship Player of the Game
  • Helped her team in finishing second in the state in 2014 and 2015
  • Notched 203 kills for a .355 hitting percentage, while amassing 149 digs and 22 service aces in 2016
  • Also played for the Portland Volleyball Club under head coach Carl Neuberger, serving as team captain from 2009-2016
  • Earned the Directors Award in 2009, helping her team to two league championships (2010 and 2011), as well as two Junior Nationals qualifiers (2010 and 2011)

Personal:

  • Daughter of Dennis (Deceased) and Christine Smith, and Patrick Bray
  • Her father, Dennis, played football for Oregon State, class of 1987, while her mother played volleyball for Linfield College, class of class of 1993
  • Has two brothers (Keeston and Tyler) and two sisters (Emily and Natalie)
  • Her brother Keeston plays basketball for Army West Point, class of 2020


CLARE HONAN

Position: Middle Blocker
Height: 6’1”
Hometown:
Wauwatosa, Wis.
High School:
Wauwatosa West High School

Coach Batie-Smoose: “Clare covers a lot of area when it comes to blocking and can deliver a heavy hit. Right away, she will come in and make an impact in the role as a middle.”

Before Holy Cross:

  • A four-year member of the varsity volleyball team at Wauwatosa West under head coach Kelly Dwyer, serving as team captain in 2015 and 2016
  • Named team’s Best Offensive Player in 2014 and 2016, earning team MVP recognition in 2015 and 2016
  • Named conference Player of the Year (2016)
  • Named first team All-Woodland Conference and All-State honorable mention in 2016 after being selected as conference honorable mention in 2014
  • Helped her team to three-straight regional final appearances, setting the single-season blocking record at school with 125 stuffs in 2015. She holds the career blocking record at her school with 368 blocks
  • Tallied 421 kills with a .330 hitting percentage, 98 blocks and 237 digs in 2016
  • Finished career with 1,159 kills, 513 digs and 368 blocks 
  • Also played for the Wisconsin Volleyball Academy under head coach Rocky Koenig
  • Team finished first place at the Badger Regional Championship and fifth place at the AAU Nationals in 2016
  • A member of the National Honor Society

Personal:

  • Daughter of David and Stephanie
  • Has one brother (Sean)


SOPHIE VANSEVEREN

Position: Libero/Defensive Specialist
Height:
5’7”
Hometown:
Davenport, Iowa
High School:
Assumption High School

Coach Batie-Smoose: “Sophie is very athletic and reads the game well. She is one of those players who will be in the spot before the ball is even there. She shows so much work ethic in her play.”

Before Holy Cross:

  • A three-year member of the varsity volleyball team at Assumption High School under head coach Bre Scherler, serving as captain in 2016
  • Earned the team’s Defensive Player award in 2015 and was named All-Metro and All-Conference that year
  • Her team won the Regional Final in 2015 and 2016
  • Totaled 849 digs (3.54 digs per set) and 111 service aces (0.46 aces per set) in her career
  • Additionally played volleyball for Platform Elite under head coach Melissa Kurth, serving as the team’s libero and helping her side to the 2016 Nationals
  • Served as a member of the National Honor Society

Personal:

  • Daughter of Eric and Heather VanSeveren
  • Has one brother (Joshua) and two sisters (Emma and Lily)


SHANNON DWYER

Position: Setter
Height:
5’9”
Hometown:
El Dorado Hills, Calif.
High School:
Oak Ridge High School

Coach Batie-Smoose: “With Shannon, we have more options with our line-up. At her level, she is playing the best every day, so she has a strong volleyball I.Q. with a concrete foundation of experience. She brings that dynamic to the court.”

Before Holy Cross:

  • A two-year member of the varsity volleyball team at Oak Ridge High School under head coach Patrick Sanders, serving as captain in 2016
  • Two-time San-Joaquin Foothill conference champion (2015, 2016), helping her team go undefeated in league play in 2016
  • Also played for Rage Volleyball Club under head coach Greg Soliz, helping her squad to the Junior Nationals for four-straight years (2013-2016)
  • A member of the National Honor Society

Personal:

  • Daughter of Matthew and Patricia Dwyer
  • Her father played football at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is a member of the football Hall of Fame
  • Has one brother (Sean) and one sister (Erin)
  • Her relatives Daniel Dwyer (Class of 1978) played baseball for Holy Cross and Thomas Dwyer (Class of 1969) played lacrosse for the Crusaders
  • Has three other relatives who attended Holy Cross: Roberta Dwyer (Class of 1978), Mark Dwyer (Class of 2007) and Thomas Dwyer (Class of 1931)


GABRIELLA KALB

Position: Libero/Defensive Specialist
Height:
5’9”
Hometown:
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
High School:
Westminster Academy

Coach Batie-Smoose: “Gabriella joins our team with a dimension of personality and is capable of filling many different roles on the court. She is a defensive specialist who can attack out the back. She has setting experience and a serve that will help us tremendously. She will make a splash right away from a defensive standpoint.”

Before Holy Cross:

  • A three-year member of the Westminster Academy varsity volleyball team under head coach Eric Rivera
  • Finished first place in districts and second in regionals (2015-2016), while helping her team to a second-place finish in regionals during the 2016-2017 season
  • Her senior year, she played in 53 sets, recording 3.70 digs per set and 197 digs
  • Played club volleyball for the Florida Suns 18 Black under head coach Quan Scott, helping her squad to a bid to the 2015-2016 Nationals
  • A member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars

Personal:

  • Daughter of Gary and Cynthia Kalb
  • Her father played football for Central Washington State
  • Has one sister (Gillianna)


KATIE KERINS

Position: Middle/Outside Hitter
Height:
6’0”
Hometown:
Laguna Niguel, Calif.
High School:
Aliso Niguel High School

Coach Batie-Smoose: “Katie is a great athlete who can play anywhere in the front row. She joins our squad with all the facets we’re looking for. The competition she plays with at her club level are at the top of the nation. She is getting that experience, while also playing at a strong high school program. She comes from a volleyball family and has that volleyball I.Q., which will help our program.”

Before Holy Cross:

  • A three-year member of the varsity volleyball team at Aliso Niguel High School under head coach Peter Butler
  • Named Scholar Athlete (2014, 2015 and 2016)
  • Selected as second team South Coast League in 2016
  • Helped team to a CIF Championship in 2014, Sea View title in 2014-2015 and CIF quarterfinal in 2015
  • Tallied 405 kills and 111 blocks in her career
  • A member of the Laguna Beach Volleyball Club under head coach Michael Soylular, which ranked second overall in the state in 2015. Saw time at outside hitter and as a middle blocker
  • A member of the National Honor Society

Personal:

  • Daughter of Mark and Gabrielle Kerins
  • Her father played volleyball for Long Beach State and is a member of its athletics Hall of Fame and volleyball Wall of Honor. He played for the 1990 USA National team and was an NCAA All-American
  • Has one sister (Summer), who plays volleyball at California State Fullerton


There are numerous ways to stay connected with the Holy Cross volleyball team. Follow the Crusaders on Twitter @HCrossVB, on Facebook and on Instagram. You can also get the latest news and results on the team sent directly to your e-mail. To sign up for e-mail alerts go here.

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