Volleyball 2017 Incoming Class

Schedule  Roster  Coaches  News


Jackson State University and its volleyball program proudly welcome the following players to the JSU family for the 2017 Volleyball season.   We are grateful that these highly talented young ladies,  athletically, academically, and in so many other ways, have decided to bring their talents to Jackson State University.  We look forward to making sure these players benefit fully from what Jackson State University has to offer … “Challenging Minds and Changing Lives”.

Marina Bianchi is a 6’1” freshman, Middle Blocker, from Sorocaba, Brazil.  Since 2012, Marina has played on teams representing the City of Sorocaba, as well as regional leagues resulting in 1st place victories.  In 2015, was name MVP in the High School Games of Sorocaba.  After moving to Vancouver, Marina’s high school team finished 2nd place in the Vancouver Island Championship, moving on to the High School Provincials, while playing for Woodlands Secondary School.  In 2016, her team placed 3rd in the Vancouver Islands Championship.  She also played club, making it to Club Provincials representing Mariner’s volleyball club.

Marina is a talented middle blocker with the skills level that we hope will provide an immediate impact to our program, both offensively and defensively.  She is also a scholar student athlete with a 3.8 GPA, planning to major in Business/Economics.

Camry Dabney is a 6’0” freshman, Outside and Right Side Hitter from Cypress Ranch High School in Cypress, TX.  In high school she made 1st Team All-District her junior and senior years; two years 1st Team Academic All-District 17-6A; Team Captain; and 4 year letterman.  Her team was a 2015-16 Regional Finalis; and 2016-17 Regional Finalist Runner Up. As a scholar athlete, Camry is a member of the National Honor Society; Math National Honor Society (Mu Alpha Theta); Social Studies National Honor Society (Pho Kappa); and Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

As a member of the Houston Jrs. Volleyball Club, the team made it to the 2013 Junior Nationals (2nd Place-USA); 2014 MEQ Indiana (1st Place-USA); 2014 Junior Nationals-Minneapolis (1st Place); and 2015 Lone Star Qualifier (1st Place). In 2015, Camry was named on the AVCA Phenom List.

Camry is a very versatile and talented player who can play 5-6 positions.  She has a great demeanor on the court consisting of passion, determination, and toughness.  She has a 3.8 GPA, and plans to major in Biology.

Laura Funk is a 5’11” Junior Outside Hitter, from Muenster, Germany, transferring to us from Colby Community College in Kansas.  Before attending Colby, in 2012 Laura participated in the School World Championship in France; and in 2013, was German School Champions.  While at Colby, in 2015, they were Divisional Champions;  Colby was also the 20th ranked team in the NCJAA.  She was also on the All Academic Team, received the NCJAA Superior  Academic Achievement Award in 2015-16 and on the Dean’s Honor Roll.  Laura graduated with her AA and as a member of the NJCAA All Academic 1st Team with a 4.0 GPA.  She plans to major in Psychology.


Terri Irving is a 5’9” freshman, Setter/RS hitter from Arlington, Texas.   Her high school highlights include 4X Varsity Starter; 3X Team Captain; 4X All-District Team;  3X All-Academic Team;  and the 2016 District 4-6A Utility MVP.   She was a member of the ACE Volleyball Club who qualified for the 2017 USAV Girls Junior National Championships.   Terri has a 3.7 GPA and plans to major in Biology.

Terri is an outstanding setter and leader on the court. She gets to the ball quickly and makes very good decisions while getting all of her hitters involved in the offense.  She is also a very good consistent right side hitter and blocker.  We are excited to have Terri  join our team.

Amanda Modesto is a 6’0”, Junior, Outside Hitter from Sorocaba, Brazil transferring from Kansas City Community College where she was used as a five rotation player.  She made the All-Tournament Team at the Onandaga Tournament; All Conference Team; All Conference First Team; All Region III Team; and All Region III First Team.  She has a 3.8 GPA and plans to major in Business-Economics.

Amanda is a very consistent and aggressive hitter who will bring a lot of experience and versatility to the team.  She is very passionate about playing volleyball and it shows on the court.   In addition to her power, Amanda is a five rotation player.

Kanile’a Nomura is a 5’11”, freshman, Middle Blocker from Haiku, Hawaii.  In 2014-15, she was Honorable Mention in the Maui Interscholastic League.  In 2016-17 made 1st Team of the Maui Interscholastic League.  Academically, Kanile’a was on the Principal List from 2010-2015 and the Head Masters’ List in 2016-17; 2016-17 President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement.  Kanile’a was also involved in many community service activities.  She has a GPA of 3.7 and plans to major in Biology.

Kanilea may not be your typical sizable middle blocker, but will make up for it with her quickness and speed, both on offense and defense.  She is a very versatile quick and smart hitter, and possess great timing while blocking.

Tielar Richards is a 6’1”, junior college transfer Outside Hitter from Los Angeles, California, who attended Navarro Jr. College in Texas.  While in high school, she made 1st Team All-Conference her sophomore, junior and senior years.  She made 2nd Team All-Conference her Freshman year with her team going undefeated.  Tielar was a 2X City Champion, making it to the 2nd round of the State Tournament her senior year.   Tielar was MVP of the conference in her senior year.   At Navarro Jr. College, Tielar was nominated for Newcomer of the year losing by a slim margin; and 2nd team All-Conference as a Freshman.   As a Sophomore, was named to the First Team All-Conference, and captain of the team.  Tielar was also on the Board at  Navarro, attending school board meetings.  She has a 3.0 GPA and plans to major in Biology.

Tielar is a passionate volleyball player who is very aggressive at the net, both offense and defensively.  She is fully capable of playing any position at the net.  Tielar will be a great asset to our program.

Sapphire Simpson is a 5’ 8”, freshman , Setter from Decatur High School (DHS)  in Decatur, Georgia.  She is an outstanding volleyball player  with great accomplishment including the Southern Dream Champions-2011; Decatur High School JV MVP-2012; DHS Varsity Rookie of the Year-2013; DHS Varsity MVP-2014; DHS AAA State Tournament Player-2014; DHS Area 2- AAA All Area Team-2014; DHS Player of the Week-2014; DHS Player of the Year-2014; DHS AAA State Tournament Player-2015; DHS Varsity MVP-2015; DHS Dekalb County Tournament Player-2016; DHS AAAA State Tournament Player-2016; and DHS Best Offense Award-2016.   She was Captain of her team from 2014-2016. As a member of the Tsunami Volleyball Club 18-1 Elite – Qualified for USA Junior Nationals-2016-17.

Sapphire is a member of the National Honor Society.  While attending high school Sapphire also attended DeVry and received an AA degree.    What awesome focus and dedication while still finding time to participate in community service activities.   Sapphire has a 3.99 GPA and plans to major in Business/Marketing.

Sapphire is an outstanding setter and right side hitter, who will bring leadership and athleticism to those positions.  I have no doubt that she has the skills necessary to lead this team and run the offense we will ask of her.   She is also a great defender of her position.  Sapphire will be a great addition to our team.

In addition to the signees, we also welcome to the JSU family:


Tayler Reed is a 5’10”, freshman Middle Blocker, who graduated from Puis XI Catholic High School in Milwaukee, WI.  Tayler is very athletic and a very good blocker leading her team during 2015-2016 in solo blocks and total blocks.  The team advanced to the Regional finals.  She was the Captain of her team.

With Tayler’s athleticism, passion and work ethics, I look forward to seeing her growth and development on the team.

Olivia Carter is a 6‘3” first year (JSU Soph.), Middle Blocker, who graduated from De La Salle North Catholic School in Portland, OR.  She was the recipient of league awards and named captain of the varsity team.

Because of her passion and apparent willingness to work hard, I am looking forward to working with Olivia and seeing her development and ultimately her contribution to the team.

Latisha Dolford is a 5’4” first year Defensive Specialist  (JSU Soph.) who attended Seoul American High School in Soeul, South Korea.  She was a 2X All-Conference player (2014-2015); 2015 MVP; 2015 Best Server Award.  She also received the Player’s Choice Award.

Latisha is a very dedicated player who plays with a lot of passion and leadership.  She is a very quick and versatile defensive specialist, who will give the team depth in this position.



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