BRISTOL, Tenn. – Chris Toomey and the King College Women's Volleyball team have announced the signing of six student-athletes that will join the Lady Tornado for the upcoming 2012 season. King will welcome Lauren Willoughby, Casey Williams, Hannah "Bug" Smyth, Maribeth Kern, Heather Harvey, and Summer Kremer to the program for next season. They add a class of four outside hitters, one defensive specialist, and one setter to increase the size of its incoming class to eight players.
Photo credit: TriCitiesSports.com
Melvin Barbour, TriCitiesSports.com
Photo credit: ETSU Athletics
Buchanan, Va. | James River High
5-8 | Outside Hitter
The Lady Tornado's lone Virginia recruit, Maribeth Kern, is the fourth and final outside hitter to the latest class of additions to the 2012 team. Kern and the James River High School Rapids were crowned district champions and district tournament champions after the 2011 season following an even more incredible 2010 season.
Under high school coach Audrey Easter, the Knights won the 2010 Division 2 State Volleyball Championship backed by Kern's First Team All-State, All-Region, and All-District performances. She was named to the All-State and All-Region teams after her junior and senior seasons and was a 2009 First Team All-District honoree. Over her playing career, Kern was named the Pioneer District Player of the Year, Region C Player of the Year, and placed on the Roanoke All-Timesland First Team.
Kern served as team captain for the Knights as well as her club team, Next Revolution in Volleyball (NVR), where she played for Coach Dewaynne Barger. The Buchanan, Va. native was a member of the National Honor Society, a participant at Girls State as a delegate, and an attendee of the National Student Leadership Conference held in Indianapolis, Ind.
HANNAH "BUG" SMYTH
Arlington, Tenn. | Arlington High
5-9 | Outside Hitter
A native of Arlington, Tenn., Hannah Smyth will add to the pool of talent at the outside hitter position with her experience and list of athletic accolades that define her high school career. She was named to the All-District Team all four years of her career at Arlington High School and was an All-District Tournament Team honoree in her final three years. In 2010, she was named the High School All-District Tournament MVP after she led the team to their second district championship in three years before guiding the team to a regional runner-up finish and sub-state appearance. At four regional tournaments during her tenure, Smyth was named to the All-Tournament and All-Region Team twice (2009, 2010).
In 2010 and 2011, Smyth was named to Commercial Appeal's "Best of the Preps" list and named AHS Team MVP. Going into her senior season, she attended the prestigious Delta Region High Performance Camp.
Smyth was a part of a Tigers team that won two district championships, made four regional tournament appearances with one runner-up finish, and one sub-state tournament showing. She played her club volleyball for the Memphis Juniors Volleyball Club under McKenzie Byrd and Matt Woodward. Smyth graduated from AHS as a member of the National Honor Society, National English, Spanish and Science Honor societies, and was an editor for the school's yearbook staff.
Cary, N.C. | Cardinal Gibbons High
5-9 | Outside Hitter
Lauren Willoughby is a product of a Cardinal Gibbons High School program that earned back-to-back-to-back North Carolina 3A State Championships and four consecutive District and Conference Championships during her tenure.
Willoughby earned a mix of academic and athletic awards while playing under coach Logan Barber for CGHS. In 2011, she was named the Most Improved Player and was an Academic All-Conference honoree. As a junior in 2010, the outside hitter earned All-Conference Honorable Mention honors during the second of three straight state championships. She was named Crusader Camp Most Valuable Player as a freshman in 2008.
Willoughby played club volleyball under Coach Barber for the Triangle Volleyball Club. She is a three-time Honor Roll selection and a two-time National Honors Society member.
Bristol, Tenn. | Sullivan East
5-5 | Defensive Specialist
Local product Casey Williams brings skill and leadership to the Lady Tornado and the defensive specialist position. The Sullivan East High School graduate helped the Patriots to three consecutive second place finishes in the Regional Tournament from 2009 to 2011.
As a junior in 2010, Williams was named to the All-District and All-Region Tournament teams in her first full season with the varsity squad. She repeated both honors as a senior. In both 2010 and 2011, she was named to the Three Rivers All-Conference Team while helping the team to back-to-back runner-up finishes at the Region 1AA Tournament. In 2011, Williams and the Patriots topped the Three Rivers Conference and finished in a tie for first place in 2012 heading into the postseason.
Williams was a three-time captain of high school teams she played on from her freshman to her senior year and captained the varsity team in 2011. She was named to the All-Tournament Team at the NEWK's Blarney Stone Volleyball Tournament during the 2011 season and helped her team to a fifth place finish in the 2010 State Tournament.
At Sullivan East High School, Williams was a three-year member of the Beta Club and a two-year member of the National Honors Society.
Kingsport, Tenn. | Sullivan South
5-8 | Setter
Heather Harvey joins King College from Sullivan South High School where she was a setter for the Rebels volleyball team. The Kingsport, Tenn. native was integral to her team's success which includes a Big 8 District Championship, regional championship, and sectional championship.
Harvey was named to the All-State and All-Big 8 teams during the run and was tabbed the Big 8 co-Player of the Year, Region 1-AAA Tournament Most Valuable Player and was named to the Class AAA All-State team by the Tennessee Sportswriters Association. She was chosen to play in FCA Tennessee-Virginia All-Star Challenge and will play in the East-West Tennessee All-Star Game in Nashville in June.
Hendersonville, N.C. | West Henderson High | East Tennessee State University
5-9 | Outside Hitter
Summer Kremer will join the Lady Tornado after spending her freshman season playing for the East Tennessee State University Lady Bucs. As a freshman in 2010, she played in 15 matches registering 18 kills, six digs, and three block assists in limited time. Kremer did not play in 2011 after spending time at UNC-Ashville and Northeast State Community College and will be eligible to play in 2012 with sophomore status.
Prior to attending ETSU, the Hendersonville, N.C. native was a three-year varsity player at West Henderson High School and was named to the All-Conference, All-Region, and All-State teams in both 2008 and 2009. Kremer was a part of a Falcon program that won a North Carolina State Volleyball Championship in 2008 and were state runners-up in 2007 and 2009.
Kremer played her club volleyball with the Biltmore Volleyball Academy under Tony Fontanelle. She also played varsity basketball for the Falcons for four years and was named to the All-Conference team. In addition, Kremer excelled in the classroom and was named to the Quill and Scroll Honors Society as well as the National Honors Society.
The Tornado now has an incoming class of eight players to join the ranks of a team that finished 2011 with a 23-13 overall and 13-5 in their first season as a member of Conference Carolinas. King signed two Texas-native sisters, Olivia (S) and Grace (MB) Underwood, before the turn of the New Year.
King earned a No. 3 seed in the West Division, fourth overall, at the 2011 Conference Carolinas Tournament. In their tournament opener, King came from two games down to defeat Mount Olive and advance to the semi-final round before falling to eventual champion, Lees-McRae.