Nov. 12, 2011
by Koby Padgett
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina head volleyball coach Scott Swanson announced today that he had signed three players to national letters of intent for the 2012 season. The trio of Jenna Allen, Sarah Blomgren and Darian Dozier all completed their paperwork with the Gamecocks.
"We're very excited about this class," Swanson stated. "We worked really hard to find some good players who were still available who can definitely come in and help us. We're really pleased, and we're excited for the future."
A 6-0 outside hitter, Allen hails from Lewisville, Texas, where she lettered four years at Hebron High School in both volleyball and track. The Hawks have advanced to the regional quarterfinals this year behind Allen, who leads the team with a 5.2 kills-per-set average while also averaging 2.8 digs per set. She's a former state high jump champion as well. Playing with the Texas Advantage Volleyball club, she helped her team win the 15 open title.
"Jenna is a very good athlete," said Swanson. "She's a six-rotation player who can play all over. She's a good blocker who jumps off the floor quickly and hits the ball at the top of her jump most of the time. That's what we're looking for to help us improve in this conference."
From Canyon Country, Calif., Sarah Blomgren has twice been named the Saugus High School top defensive player. A two-time All-Foothills League selection, the 5-11 outside hitter broke a school record for blocks in a season. The Centurions went a perfect 10-0 in Foothills League play this season to take the title. Blomgren leads the team with her 51 aces and has a 3.4 kills average. She also made it to the CIF state track meet as a junior in the high jump. Off the court, Blomgren has been nominated for the Saugus SAMMY award for both academic and athletic excellence and could attend a youth leadership conference on collegiate success and on medicine. She plays with the Legacy Volleyball Club under coach Tony Ker.
"Sarah's a very good all-around volleyball player," Swanson commented. "She has experience playing middle and can play left or right as well. She is a scrappy defensive player. She has great awareness in the back row and reads the game well. She can come in and raise the level in our gym right away."
Darian Dozier hails from Sandy Spring, Md., and the 6-1 outside hitter has earned All-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference honors three times, including a first-team nod in 2011. In her senior year, she averaged 4.94 kills per set, while as a junior, she posted 3.68 kills and 4.54 digs per set. Twice, her Cadet teams have finished second in the WCAC. Dozier played club with the Metro American group coached by Silvia Johnson. And Dozier comes from a line of athletes, as her two sisters Jourdan (George Mason) and Kristen (Ohio State) both played Division I volleyball, following in the footsteps of their father Eric, who played basketball at Tulane and earned Metro Conference All-Freshman Team accolades in his playing days.
"Darian's a smooth athlete," remarked Swanson. "She can play six rotations but also has experience in the middle. She has a little more size and athleticism to help us get a little more physical at the net."
South Carolina plays on Sunday at LSU, with first serve set for 1:30 p.m. CST.
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