Aird Announces Incoming Volleyball Class

Maryland Athletics
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland volleyball head coach Steve Aird has announced the incoming class for the 2014 season, including four freshmen and a sophomore transfer.

Sophomore Carlotta Oggioni, a transfer from Oregon State, will be joined by freshmen Samantha Higginbothem, Jaelyn Jackson, Caroline Knooihuizen, and Hailey Murray as part of Aird’s inaugural class at Maryland.

The Terrapins open the season on Aug. 28 against Elon and take on Illinois in Champagne, Ill. for their first official Big Ten Conference competition. The schedule also includes a road trip to Seattle, Wash. for a pair of matches against nationally-ranked Washington and USC.

Carlotta Oggioni – Soph.

  • 5-8 – Setter
  • Rome, Italy
  • Previous School: Oregon State

Aird on Oggioni: “Carlotta is a mature athlete that has played the game at a very high level.  Her international experience, coupled with her year in the Pac-12 will prepare her well for the challenges of the B1G Ten.  It will take her some time to get used to how we go about our business, but I expect her to be eager and hungry to prove she can compete at this level.”

Samantha Higginbothem – Fr.

  • 5-2 – L/DS
  • Middletown, Md.
  • Middletown High School
  • Club: Metro American

Aird on Higginbothem: “I feel very fortunate to have Sam on our roster.  My program will be built with players that play hard and demand the best of everyone around them.  Sam will push everyone in the gym to compete day in and day out..  I recruited her to play and I hope she embraces the opportunity to compete in one of the best volleyball conferences in the country.  There is no doubt in my mind that she will be a valuable part of our roster.”

Jaelyn Jackson – Fr.

  • 6-3 – MB/OH
  • Chesterfield, Va.
  • Matoaca High School
  • Club: USPAV Volleyball

Aird on Jackson: “Jaelyn is a dynamic athlete who has a great deal to learn about the game.  She has some physical gifts that will allow her to compete at the highest level as long as she works hard every day and takes her game seriously.  I am excited to see how she develops.”

Caroline Knooihuizen – Fr.

  • 5-10 – DS/Libero
  • East Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • East Grand Rapids High School
  • Club: Michigan Volleyball Academy

Aird on Knooihuizen: “Caroline has a very good feel for the game and will help our program in a variety of ways.  She has played the outside hitter position but I believe her serving and passing game will help our program the most.  She is a great teammate and a player that really wanted to be at Maryland.  That was really important to me as she wants to be part of the building process.”

Hailey Murray – Fr.

  • 6-1 – MB
  • Washington, D.C.
  • National Cathedral School
  • Club: Metro American

Aird on Murray: “Hailey is a strong and athletic kid who competes hard and is a great teammate.  She has competed against the nation’s best coming into college and that will give her an advantage.  My hope is that she is ready to compete for a starting position from day one and that she will add value to our lineup at the net.