Arizona beach volleyball adds five new recruits to 2019 roster
Arizona beach volleyball announced three more recruits for its 2019 roster. Earlier this year, in the fall, the team announced its first two recruits for next year: Dana Parker and Sarah Blacker. This week, the Sand Cats added Jasmine Safar, Madison Rigdon and Ainise Havili to their list of new commits.
Safar is a native of Burlington, Ontario, which is home to many current NHL players, including Josh Anderson (Columbus Blue Jackets), Cory Conacher (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Josh Jooris (Calgary Flames).
In high school, she played on the 18U Team Ontario for beach volleyball. In addition, Safar doubled in court volleyball in high school, competing as a setter for her club team.
Many current athletes on the team this season have played doubled in court and beach volleyball, including freshman Makenna Martin and seniors Stephany Purdue and Kacey Nady.
“[Safar] played at a really high level of indoor and beach volleyball [in high school]. The first time I had the chance to see her play, she was super well-skilled, especially for being a sophomore in high school. Given her talents coupled with her work ethic, it was a no-brainer for me,” said head coach Steve Walker.
Current high school senior Dana Parker also committed to Arizona in November 2017. Parker is a senior at Coconino High School in Flagstaff, Ariz. and is looking to make a big impact in Tucson next year.
“[Parker] is an elite-level athlete that can cover a lot of sand. She stands around five feet seven and plays as a defender but can definitely block if she needs to. I expect her to come in and challenge the game right away,” said Walker.
Parker has been coming to Walker’s beach volleyball camps since she was around 11 or 12 years old.
“She’s a great listener, super coachable and became so much more athletic in and out of high school seasons,” said Walker.
Blacker, Rigdon and Havili
Current high school senior Sarah Blacker is a current high school senior who signed with Arizona back in the fall.
Madison Rigdon and Ainise Havili are current volleyball players at the University of Kansas who will be eligible to play under Walker as a fifth-year senior come 2019.
“They have played under extreme conditions for handling pressure, so I’m excited to have them,” said Walker.
With five seniors on the current roster, these new recruits will have to fill in their shoes for a current No. 14 Arizona beach volleyball team.
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