Volleyball Signs Three Prep Stars to NLIs
Dec. 6, 2017
SAN DIEGO -- San Diego State volleyball head coach Deitre Collins-Parker has announced the signing of three high school standouts to National Letters of Intent for the 2018 season.
The trio of signees includes Alexis Ratliff from Atlanta, Georgia, Kiana Gonsalves from Chandler, Arizona, and Tori O'Sullivan from El Sobrante, California.
"This is a very talented recruiting class that will contribute greatly to the future success of our volleyball program," Collins-Parker said. "These three student-athletes will help increase our dominance at the net and continue our strong defensive game. We are fortunate to welcome Alexis, Kiana and Tori to the Aztec family."
Ratliff prepped at Saint Francis School in Alpharetta, Georgia, where she received all-state recognition and was a Georgia Volleyball Coaches Association Area Player of the Year honoree and all-area selection. In addition, the 6-6 middle blocker landed a spot on the GVCA senior all-star team. This past season, she hit .609 while averaging 4.50 kills and 2.50 blocks per set, according to MaxPreps.
Ratliff also competed for the prestigious A5 Volleyball Club, leading her 16-1 team to a national championship. She brings a strong athletic background with her to Montezuma Mesa, as her father, Theo Ratliff, played 16 seasons in the NBA, while her mother competed in high school volleyball and basketball as well.
"We add a great deal of size to our roster with Alexis, who can really dominate the net," Collins-Parker said. "She comes from a high-level volleyball club that is accustomed to success. We couldn't be happier to have an athlete with her skills and potential in our program."
Complementing Ratliff in the back row will be Gonsalves, a 5-2 defensive specialist who twice earned first-team all-conference honors at Basha High School, where she was named Chandler Unified School District's Libero of the Year as a senior and was a first-team all-Premier Region selection. In addition, Gonsalves was named to the all-tournament team at the prestigious Westwood Tournament of Champions, helping the Bears to a second-place finish. During the 2017 campaign, she averaged a team-best 6.8 digs per set to go with 73 assists and 31 service aces, according to MaxPreps.
Gonsalves has excelled in prep beach volleyball as well, receiving first-team all-league distinction in 2016.
"Kiana comes from a talented volleyball family and has high volleyball IQ," Collins-Parker said. "She will compete with Sam McGrath and Loren Teter next year to fill the void left by the graduation of Devyn Pritchard."
The Aztecs have also added a dynamic all-round athlete in O'Sullivan, who garnered first-team all-conference accolades on two occasions at Saint Mary's College High School in Berkeley. As a junior, the 6-foot middle blocker was named the Tri-County Athletic League's Most Valuable Player after leading the Panthers to a conference title in 2016.
Additionally, O'Sullivan was a three-year member of the Beach Vibes Volleyball Club and competed in the AAU nationals in 2015 and 2017. She also earned varsity letters on the SMC High School track and field team as a sprinter and a member of several relay teams. Her sister Alexandra O'Sullivan also plays Division I volleyball as a middle blocker at Saint Mary's College.
"Tori has experience playing middle and right side attacker and is a skilled blocker," Collins-Parker said. "Her versatility will allow us to use her in multiple positions. I expect Tori to be a major impact athlete in our program."
San Diego State completed another successful campaign in 2017, tying for third in the Mountain West with a 10-8 record.
Following the season, four Aztecs garnered all-MW accolades, including Deja Harris and Devyn Pritchard, who both earned spots on the all-conference team, while Alexis Cage and Baylee Little received honorable mention.