Feb. 11, 2013
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF volleyball announced Monday that the program will be welcoming Missouri transfer Jade Hayes for the 2013 season. Head coach Todd Dagenais believes Hayes' knowledge of the game in addition to her experience on the court will not only benefit the Knights on defense, but also from a leadership standpoint.
"Jade will bring a wealth of knowledge to our volleyball program. Her mom is a terrific volleyball coach in Missouri so Jade grew up with a volleyball in her hands," Dagenais said. "Her experience as a player in the USA Olympic pipeline will add a unique dimension to our defense and serve-receive game."
Hayes joins the Knights as a junior after two successful seasons as a libero/defensive specialist with Mizzou. She accumulated 450 digs, 74 assists and 35 service aces in 65 matches (21 starts) with the Tigers. She was named Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year as a high school senior in 2010, earned AVCA/Under Armour High School All-America honors and was named National Player of the Year after Ozark High School's MSHSAA Class 4A State Championship.
UCF's Dagenais and Hayes are familiar with one another as the pair developed quite a rapport during Dagenais' time coaching Hayes in the USA Volleyball Junior National program.
"I'm very excited to get to play for Todd again," said Hayes. "I have a lot confidence and trust in the coaching staff. I know that I can help UCF succeed, but I also know the UCF staff and players will help me grow as an athlete and person, too."
While Hayes' play will speak for itself, Dagenais is most thrilled for her opportunity to the lead the Knights on and off the court.
"Above her skill and court savvy, we are most looking forward to her leadership, intensity, and fun-loving personality. She is going to fit in very well with the players already on our roster, and that was the most important fact that we considered when we added her to our program."