DURHAM, N.C. - The 10-time ACC Champion Duke volleyball team has signed three high school seniors to national letters of intent as announced by head coach Jolene Nagel. The incoming freshman class will join the team for the 2013 season.
The Class of 2017 includes 5-9 libero/defensive specialist Sasha Karelov (Raleigh, N.C.), 6-0 middle blocker/rightside hitter Jordan Tucker (Prarie Village, Kan.) and 6-2 middle blocker Alyse Whitaker (Mission Viejo, Calif.).
“We’re thrilled about our incoming 2013 recruiting class,” said head coach Jolene Nagel. “They bring a passion for volleyball and lots of high-level, competitive experience. We look forward to welcoming them to campus.”
Karelov is a four-year letterwinner and Prep Volleyball Senior Ace out of Leesville Road High School in Raleigh, N.C. A 5-9 libero/defensive specialist, Karelov led the Pride to a 27-1 record, Cap Eight conference championship and North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) 4A East Regional title. She also helped guide Leesville Road to the fi rst NCHSAA 4A state fi nals in school history. A standout defender and fierce competitor, Karelov led her high school team in both digs and aces her final three seasons while garnering all-conference recognition. She has played with the Triangle Volleyball Club since 2006, guiding the 2012 18 Black squad to an open bid at the Juniors Nationals this past year.
“We’re extremely excited to have Sasha join us in 2013,” Nagel said. “Her competitiveness, defensive skills and aspirations for greatness make her a special player. Sasha loves playing volleyball and can be found on the court whenever she has the opportunity. We love that she brings that kind of passionand love of the game to our team.”
A four-year letterwinner out of Bishop Miege High School in Roeland, Kan., Tucker led the Stags to three Kansas 5A state championships during her career. A 6-0 middle blocker/rightside hitter, Tucker earned Eastern Kansas League (EKL) MVP recognition as a senior after garnering fi rst team all-league honors as both a sophomore and a junior. She was also a fi nalist for the 2012 Evelyn Gates Award, which recognizes the top volleyball player in the Kansas City area. Tucker, a Prepvolleyball Senior Ace, has played for the Power Volleyball Club, earning MVP honors while helping her team to the 15 Open Junior National Championship.
“Jordan is a talented volleyball player who hits a heavy ball and uses her excellent volleyball IQ to be an effective offensive threat,” Nagel added. “She brings energy to the court along with a lot of personality, which helps everyone have fun and compete hard.”
Whitaker is a four-year letterwinner out of Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta, Calif. A highly skilled front court player, she was tabbed a Senior Ace by Prepvolleyball as well as one of Volleyball Magazine’s 2013 Fab 50. Whitaker led the Broncos to three-straight Southwestern League championships, garnering league MVP honors as a senior. She earned Maxpreps 2012 California All-State Division I Second Team honors after picking up All-California Interscholastic Federation Division 1A fi rst team honors in 2011. Whitaker has also played with the Temecula Viper Volleyball Club.
“Alyse is an excellent middle blocker with nice size and an all-around game,” Nagel said. “She is able to dominate offensively when given the set. Her steadiness, skill and athleticism will help her have a great career at Duke.”
The three incoming freshman join 11 returning letterwinners from last season’s team, including two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year Ali McCurdy and All-ACC Freshman Team selection Elizabeth Campbell and Emily Sklar.
5-9, Libero/Defensive Specialist
Raleigh, N.C. (Leesville Road High School)
High School: Four-year letterwinner at Leesville Road High School in Raleigh, N.C. … Ranked the No. 16 player in the nation and the No. 1 player in North Carolina according to MaxPreps … Listed as Prepvolleyball’s No. 55 Senior Ace, the second-highest ranking for a libero/defensive specialist … Led her high school team to a 27-1 record, Cap Eight conference championship, North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) 4A East Regional title and a runner up fi nish in the NCHSAA 4A state tournament as a senior … Earned Maxpreps/AVCA North Carolina Player of the Week honors Nov. 5, 2012 after leading Leesville Road to a 3-2 win over Hoggard in the NCHSAA 4A East Regional championship … Totaled 17 kills, 15 digs, three aces and a block to lead the Pride to the state finals for the fi rst time in school history … Finished her senior campaign with 315 kills, 330 digs and 74 aces … Led her high school team in digs and aces in each of her fi nal three seasons … Totaled 363 kills and 90 aces to earn Cap Eight Conference Player of the Year honors as junior … Completed her sophomore season with 307 kills, 253 digs and 84 aces to earn team MVP accolades … Named to Prepvolleyball’s Sophomore 79 and Frosh 59 lists in 2011 and 2010, respectively … Played for the Triangle Volleyball Club since 2006 … Led the 2012 18 Black squad to an open bid at the Junior Nationals with a third-place fi nish at the Big South Qualifi er and a fourth-place showing at the Lone Star Qualifier … Guided club team to the Carolina Region championship from 2007-12, earning all-tournament team honors all six years including MVP distinction in 2007 and 2009 … Leesville Road Academic Excellence Award recipient all four years … Member of the Political Club as a senior.
Personal: Born Alexandra Karelov on November 22, 1994 in Brooklyn, N.Y. … Daughter of Evgeni and Marina Karelov … has an older sister, Dasha (Karelov) Kenlan … father was a Military Triathlon individual and team champion in Ukraine (1984-86) … mother played volleyball at the Belarusian State University from 1985-89 and was a member of the Belarusian National Volleyball Team from 1984-86.
6-0, Middle Blocker/Rightside Hitter
Prairie Village, Kan. (Bishop Miege High School)
High School: Four-year letterwinner at Bishop Miege High School in Roeland Park, Kan. … Led the Stags to three Kansas 5A state championships, earning all-tournament team honors … Garnered Eastern Kansas League (EKL) MVP recognition as a senior … Named to the EKL fi rst team in both 2010 and 2011 … Garnered EKL honorable mentions honors as a rookie in 2009 … Served as team captain … Picked up fi rst team all-state distinction as both a junior and senior … Named to the All-City Sun Team in 2010 … Selected a finalist for the Evelyn Gates Award in 2012, which recognizes the top female high school varsity volleyball student-athlete in the Kansas City area … Played for MAVS Volleyball and Invasion Volleyball Club … Guided team to 15 Open Junior National Championship, garnering MVP accolades … Named to the all-tournament team at the 16 Open Junior National Volleyball Championship … Featured in the ‘Faces in the Crowd’ section of Sports Illustrated July 26, 2010 … Named to ESPN’s ‘On the Rise’ top 10 Recruits for 2013 … Served as student council homeroom representative from 2009-11 … Elected student council sophomore class vice president in 2010 and student council executive vice president in 2012 … Four-time All-Academic EKL selection … Four-year member of the Campus Ministry Team … CMT Silver Service Award recipient in 2010 and CMT Gold Service Award selection in 2011 … Served as co-editor of the yearbook and member of Kairos 37 … SMILE team leader in both 2010 and 2011.
Personal: Born Jordan Michelle Tucker on June 20, 1995 in Shawnee Mission, Kan. … Daughter of Michael and Fran Tucker.
6-2, Middle Blocker
Murrieta, Calif. (Vista Murrieta High School)
High School: Four-year letterwinner at Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta, Calif. … Tabbed the No. 43 Senior Ace according to Prepvolleyball.com … Selected as one of Volleyball Magazine’s Fab 50 in 2013 … Led the Broncos to a 27-6 record as a senior, earning Southwestern League MVP accolades her final season … Guided Vista Murrieta to three-straight league championships … Maxpreps 2012 California All-State Division I Second Team selection ... Selected to the All-California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division 1A
fi rst team in 2011 … Picked up Beach Cities Tournament MVP recognition junior and senior year … First team all-league honoree as both a sophomore and a junior … Tabbed top 50 junior recruit … Garnered fi rst team MaxPreps all-state honors as a junior as well as Prepvolleyball All-America distinction … As a sophomore, selected fi rst team all-league and second team All-CIF … Earned second team all-league citation as a freshman … Played with the Temecula Viper Volleyball Club … Picked up MLK SpeakEasyAll-Tournament honors
in the 16s division as sophomore and 17s division MVP accolades as a junior … Four-year Scholar-Athlete … Served on the student senate her final two years.
Personal: Born Alyse Lynne Whitaker on March 23, 1995 in Mission Viego, Calif. … Daughter of Corey Whitaker and Tammy Reisdorph … Has a older brother, Corey … Mother played basketball at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif. … Brother plays football at the University