UAlbany Volleyball Signs Three Players for 2013 Season

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The University at Albany volleyball program has signed three players for the 2013 season, as announced by head coach MJ Engstrom on Wednesday, Dec. 12. The Great Danes will welcome middle hitter Chavi St. Hill, opposite hitter Olivia Schonewise, and outside hitter Laini Leindecker to the program in the fall.

St. Hill is 6-foot-2 native of West Orange, N.J., and will look to make an immediate impact on the Great Danes' front row next season. St. Hill recorded 137 kills, 56 blocks, 47 digs, and 23 service aces as a senior, en route to being named to the All-American Division First Team and the team MVP. A senior captain, St. Hill was named one of the best volleyball players in the region by USA NY this past fall, after earning two straight MVP awards for the Mountaineers. She recorded 358 kills and 193 blocks in her four-year career at West Orange High School, where she was also an all-conference member of the track and field program. The daughter of Randy St. Hill and Dawn Christian, she was also a member of the French Club and the Student Council.

A 6-foot-0 opposite side hitter, Schonewise is a native of Papillion, Nebraska, and helped lead Papillion-LaVista South High School to a 123-1 record over her three years as a letterwinner. Schonewise, who is currently ranked first nationally by Prepvolleyball.com, and fourth by Maxpreps.com, guided the Titans to the state championship for three consecutive seasons. Papillion-LaVista also claimed the ESPN Rise and MaxPreps National Championship in those three seasons, including 2010, when the squad was named the Omaha Sportswomen of the Year. A senior captain, Schonewise was named All-State Honorable Mention as a senior, and was also a member of the USA High Performance Continental Team. Schonewise is continuing a family tradition of collegiate student-athletes, as her father, Quintin, was a football player at Kansas and her mother, Karen, played volleyball for Nebraska, while her older sister, Lillian, is a sophomore middle hitter at California.

Leindecker, the final signee for the 2013 season, is a 5-foot-10 native of New Philadelphia, Ohio. As an outside hitter, Leindecker led the Quakers to back-to-back 20-win seasons and sectional and district championships. She was a four-time East Central Ohio League First Team member, as well as earning First Team District 5 honors all four years of her career. As a captain during her junior and senior seasons, Leindecker was named First Team All-Ohio, after earning Third Team and Honorable Mention accolades earlier in her career. During her senior season in which she produced 432 kills, 293 digs, 70 blocks, and 57 aces, Leindecker was named the East Central Ohio League and District 5 Player of the Year. She finished with 1479 kills, 1085 digs, 198 blocks, and 207 aces in four years at New Philadelphia High School. The daughter of Eric and Kristi Leindecker, she plans to major in human biology, and was a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council, and served as her Class Vice President.