SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, Va. -- Richard Bland College second-year women's volleyball head coach and acting Director of Athletics Scott Newton has announced his incoming recruiting class of nine student-athletes. They include transfer Cortney Bowen/Blythewood, South Carolina, along with Jada Evans/New Kent, Tabatha Green/Mechanicsville, Sierra Hellebrandt/Providence Forge, Maryia Kienzler/Prince George, Heather Phelps/Moseley, Sydni Presson/Wakefield, Clara Smith/Midlothian and Jordan Walter/Fredericksburg.
"Our 2018 class will bring athleticism, experience and drive to the strong core we have returning from last year's team," said Newton. "I am excited to see these student-athletes come together and compete during training and in matches. Our leadership that has developed in the past year will be a great combination with our incoming class to be very successful this season. This group will send our program in the right direction heading into our first season with eligibility for championship competition."
Bowen, a 5-10 left side hitter, is a transfer from NCAA Division II member Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina. She started 19 of 23 matches while playing in 68 sets at FMU during 2017, posting 97.5 points, 63 blocks, 58 kills, 14 digs and four assists. Bowen was a varsity letter winner at Blythewood High School in Blythewood, South Carolina and played for the SC Midlands Volleyball Club.
Evans, a 5-10 left side hitter, was a four-year varsity letter winner at New Kent High School in New Kent. She earned All-State Second Team and All-Region First Team as a senior team captain and was All-Conference Second Team as a junior. Evans set a NKHS record for career digs (1,075), while earning Team MVP as a senior, Best Defensive Award as a junior and Rookie Award as a freshman. She was selected to the Virginia Volleyball Showcase All-Tournament team three times (2015-17).
Green, a 5-9 left side hitter, was a three-year varsity letter winner at Atlee High School in Mechanicsville. She earned All-Region 5B First Team and All-Metro Second Team as a senior. Green was awarded Atlee's Most Improved as a sophomore and junior. She played five years of club volleyball for the Richmond Volleyball Club (RVC).
Hellebrandt, a 5-4 defensive specialist, was a two-year varsity letter winner at New Kent High School in New Kent. She earned All-Conference Honorable Mention as a senior. Hellebrandt played two years of club volleyball for RVC after previously playing for the New Kent Coyotes Club.
Kienzler, a 5-9 left side hitter, was a two-year varsity letter winner at Prince George High School in Prince George. She served as the varsity team captain as a senior and earned All-Conference Second Team as a junior. Kienzler first played the sport as a freshman and was the junior varsity team captain as a sophomore. She played two years in the Prince George Spring League.
Phelps, a 6-2 middle attacker, was a three-year varsity letter winner at Cosby High School in Midlothian. She earned All-State Second Team, All-Region First Team and All-Conference First Team as a senior. Phelps was awarded Cosby's Most Valuable Player and Scholar-Athlete Award as a senior, as well. She played three years of club volleyball for RVC.
Presson, a 5-5 left side hitter and defensive specialist, was a four-year varsity letter winner at Surry County High School in Dendron. She earned All-Conference First Team as a junior and senior, was Team Most Valuable Player as a junior and was All-Conference Second Team as a sophomore. Presson played two years of club volleyball for the Blackwater Volleyball Club.
Smith, a 6-1 right side hitter, was a three-year varsity letter winner at Clover Hill High School in Midlothian. She earned All-Region First Team and Team Most Valuable Player as a senior. Smith played two years of club volleyball for RVC, one year with MidAtlantic Volleyball Club, two years at 2 Rivers Volleyball Academy and one year at U-Turn Sports Performance Academy Volleyball.
Walter, a 5-8 setter, was a two-year varsity letter winner at Colonial Forge High School in Stafford. She played five years of club volleyball for the Fredericksburg Juniors Volleyball Club (FJVC).
Richard Bland will compete as a member of NJCAA Division I for the first time this fall and will open its campaign against Marshalltown (Iowa) and Brunswick (N.C.) on August 24 at Brunswick Community College in Bolivia, North Carolina.