JONESBORO — With the 2021 campaign on the horizon, Arkansas State volleyball welcomed five newcomers to the fold Monday.
A-State’s 2021 signing class features a pair of high school standouts to go along with a trio of Division-I transfers. The class includes Ilayda Dincer (OH, Ankara, Turkey), Faith Hammontree (MB, Overland Park, Kan.), Elizabeth Phillips (OH/DS, Noblesville, Ind.), Makayla Villarreal (L/DS, Tomball, Texas) and Elise Wilcox (OPP/OH, Fort Wayne, Ind.).
“Our biggest focus with this class was adding more depth,” said head coach Santiago Restrepo, who is entering his third year at the helm of the program. “They all come from strong programs and universities. We’re happy to have them to add more depth to our roster and we’re looking forward to the future.”
Dincer comes to A-State after spending the 2021 spring season at Temple. The Ankara native was one of the top youth players in Turkey before beginning her collegiate career. She played in seven matches for the Owls, recording 32 kills and 30 digs with five blocks.
Hammontree joins the Red Wolves after spending two years at Kansas State. The 6-5 middle blocker bolsters the top blocking unit in the Sun Belt Conference and was a three-time all-league selection in high school.
Phillips is one of two prep standouts joining the fold, as she starred at Heritage Christian High School in the Indianapolis metro area. The three-time all-state honoree totaled 993 kills in her four years with 76 aces. Defensively, she tallied 681 career digs while also knocking down 152 total blocks.
Villarreal comes to Jonesboro after totaling 1,054 digs in her final two high school seasons, including 664 as a junior. The Tomball, Texas, native was a two-time all-district honoree who was her district’s Defensive MVP in her final two seasons.
Wilcox transferred to A-State after three seasons at Toledo, where she was an Academic All-MAC scholar-athlete. The southpaw played in four matches for the Rockets in 2020-21, but was one of the team’s top servers throughout her career, including a career-high six aces in a match in 2019. Wilcox graduated from Toledo in three years and is pursuing her MBA at Arkansas State.
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