NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Head coach Debbie Humphreys announced Wednesday that Leslie Jackson and Monica Pannone have each signed National Letters of Intent to continue their volleyball careers at Stephen F. Austin.
The pair of outside hitters will join an SFA squad that advanced to the Southland Conference Tournament finals a year ago and only bid farewell to a trio of seniors at the conclusion of the season and return eight letter winners. But Humphreys feels as though each player has the skills and intangibles necessary to add to the program immediately.
"We are really excited about this signing class," Humphreys said. "We have addressed some very specific needs of our program as this class brings a lot of experience with it, as well as a high volleyball IQ and ball control. Beyond what they bring to the court, we feel that they are great people that have a lot to offer and will each be tremendous assets to the Ladyjack volleyball program."
Jackson is a 6-1 outside hitter from Arlington, Texas, who will graduate from Mansfield Legacy High School as the all-time leader in kills, blocks and hitting percentage. A first team all-district selection, she led the Broncos to a district title and a berth in the regional semi-finals last season.
In addition to playing her club volleyball for the TAV club, Jackson was an academic all-state selection while being involved in FCA being named Athletic Council vice president during her time at LHS.
"Leslie is a very mature and goal-oriented individual," Humphreys said. " I have no doubt that she will accomplish great things throughout her collegiate career. She has all the tools that will allow her to improve quickly and she will do whatever necessary to help her team be successful."
Pannone is a 5-10 outside hitter who was the MVP for her Pflugerville High School team a year ago in leading the Panthers to the Class 5A state playoffs. She was also a key part in helping lead the Austin Juniors Volleyball Club to a third-place finish at the Junior Olympics in 2009.
"Ball control comes naturally to Monica," Humphreys said. "She makes it look easy & effortless and ball control is something your team can never have enough of. Solid passers and defenders always seem to find their way onto the court. We are looking forward to Monica making a quick adjustment to the college game."