Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Gold Nuggets announce 10 more in 2016 recruiting class

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana has completed its volleyball recruiting for the 2016 season with the signing of 10 more student-athletes. New to the Gold Nuggets are:
     •  Brittanie Cockrell, a 5-foot-9 outside/right-side hitter from Port Arthur, Texas, and Ozen High School. She's a biology/pre-medical major at Xavier.
     •  Terri Drake, a 5-8 setter/right-side hitter from Baton Rouge, La., and University Lab School. She's a biology/pre-medical major.
     •  Taylor Ducros, a 5-8 outside hitter/defensive specialist from Luling, La., and McGehee School of New Orleans. She is a pre-pharmacy major.
     •  Monet Fontaine, a 5-10 outside/right-side hitter from Upper Marlboro, Md., and Bishop McNamara High School. Fontaine is a transfer from Morgan State University of NCAA Division I. Her major is pre-medical.
     •  Cara Ford, a 5-8 outside hitter/defensive specialist from Birmingham, Ala., and Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School. She's a biology/pre-medical major.
     •  Bria Moore, a 5-10 middle blocker/right-side hitter from Broussard, La., and Comeaux High School. Moore is a chemistry/pre-pharmacy major.
     •  Amanda Perry, a 5-4 libero/defensive specialist from Bolingbrook, Ill., and Bolingbrook High School. She is an accounting and business major.
     •  Tiffany Phillips, a 5-9 setter/defensive specialist from Gardena, Calif., and Bishop Montgomery High School. Phillips is a biology/chemistry/pre-medical major.
     •  Adili Rikondja, a 5-10 right-side/outside hitter from Inglewood, Calif., and Culver City High School. Her major is psychology/pre-medical.
     •  Juliana Tomasoni, a 5-9 outside hitter/defensive specialist from Novo Trento, Brazil, and a transfer from Northeast Oklahoma A&M College, a two-year school. She is a mass communications major.
All are freshmen on the Gold Nuggets' roster except for Fontaine, a sophomore, and Tomasoni, a junior. There are 11 newcomers in all; Hasani Salaam's signing was announced in April.
Cockrell produced 20 aces, 216 kills, 268 digs and 14 blocks for Ozen's Lady Panthers as a senior and was chosen to the Beaumont Enterprise newspaper's Super Gold first team. She was salutatorian of her graduating class, president of the student body her senior year, and she worked approximately 200 service hours in three years.
Drake helped U-High's Lady Cubs reach the round of 16 of the 2015 LHSAA Division IV state playoffs and had 98 kills, 228 assists, 74 aces and 154 digs. She produced a triple-double (10 kills, 16 assists, 10 digs) in a match. She was academic all-state as a senior, first-team all-district twice and produced 180 service hours.
Ducros was a five-year standout for McGehee's Hawks, who were 42-4 and won the LHSAA Division V state championship in 2015. Ducros produced 1,486 kills, 2,560 digs and 286 aces in her career. Ducros was all-state each of her final three seasons and was MVP of District 6-IV in 2014. Ducros is a cousin of NAIA tennis All-America Kyle Montrel, who completed his eligibility with Xavier in May.
Fontaine was second-team all-conference as a prep senior and won Bishop McNamara's St. Andre Award for stellar grades and citizenship. At Morgan State she hit .455 in her final seven matches.
Ford was all-region as a senior and won JCIB's award as a sophomore for best offensive player. She was a three-year starter and a team captain her final two seasons.
Moore was a three-year starter for Comeaux's Lady Spartans. She was academic all-state and first-team all-district in 2015.
Perry was a two-year starter for Bolingbrook's Raiders and team captain her senior year. She also excelled in club with Sports Performance and helped her teams earn a pair of third-place finishes at AAU national tournaments.
Phillips started the past two seasons for Bishop Montgomery's Lady Knights, was student government treasurer as a junior and senior class president. Phillips logged approximately 400 service hours with Bishop Montgomery's Concordia Christian Service Club.
Rikondja was first-team All-Ocean League as a junior for Culver City's Lady Centaurs and second-team all-league twice. She made the honor roll every semester and graduated with a 3.7 GPA. A regional semifinal appearance in 2014 was Culver City's best-ever postseason volleyball finish. Rikondja was a two-year president of her school's Black Student Union, an after-school mentor in all subjects and a dance instructor for four years. She graduated with approximately 80 service hours.
Tomasoni has considerable college experience after playing for NEO in 2015 and NAIA member Langston the year before. Her two-year totals include 667 kills, 659 digs, 64 aces and 60 blocks. She received honorable mention AVCA All-NAIA Mid-South Region in 2014, and she was second-team NJCAA Division II All-America and NJCAA all-tournament in 2015 after leading the Lady Norse to a 10th-place finish at nationals. In Brazil she played for high school teams that finished third in the 2010 world championships and won national championships in 2009 and 2008.
Xavier, a member of the NAIA and the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference, will open its season Friday in San Antonio, Texas, with a pair of matches in the Hotel Indigo at the Alamo Saints Classic. The Gold Nuggets will play Wayland Baptist at 9 a.m. and Our Lady of the Lake at 1 p.m.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director


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