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Nov. 28, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Head coach Scott Swanson announced three newcomers to the South Carolina volleyball team for 2013, signing Dessaa Legros (Acworth, Ga.) and Katlyn McDaniel (Blythewood, S.C.) to national letters of intent and accepting the transfer of Kellie McNeil (Lakeville, Minn.).

Legros played for four years at Allatoona High School for coach Aimee Howard, helping the Lady Buccaneers take the 6AAA area title in 2010 and 2011 and win the team’s first two postseason matches in history during Legros’ sophomore year. Before settling on volleyball, the 5-10 Legros earned letters in basketball and track, finishing in the top eight last year in the high jump and triple jump at the state championships.

“Dessaa is an elite athlete with incredible jumping ability and pure speed,” said Swanson. “Dessaa has a magnetic personality that will make her a great college teammate, and we can’t wait to get her in our gym to teach her how to become an SEC-level volleyball player.”

McDaniel, a 5-11 middle blocker, earned all-state honors from the South Carolina Coaches Association for Women’s Sports this year at Spring Valley under coach Deanna Rudnik. She averaged 1.7 blocks per set this fall after posting a 1.0 blocks average as a junior. McDaniel also plays with the Magnum Volleyball Club in the Midlands.

“Kate is an incredibly fast athlete that jumps off the floor quickly and moves laterally very well as a middle blocker,” commented Swanson. “She is a hard worker that will always strive to improve on her game, and we are excited to help her transition into the SEC.”

McNeil comes to Columbia after sitting out this fall at Minnesota. During her freshman year, McNeil played in 17 matches, averaging 6.15 assists per frame to go with 0.25 aces per set. The 5-11 setter helped Minnesota to a 20-12 record in 2011, as the Golden Gophers advanced into the NCAA Tournament. The nation’s top-ranked setter in the class of 2011 by, McNeil was the 2010 Minneapolis Star Tribute Metro Player of the Year at Lakeville North High School. McNeil will have three years of eligibility remaining when she arrives at South Carolina.

“Kellie is a fast-jumping setter that can affect the match with her blocking ability and athleticism,” Swanson remarked. “Kellie comes to us already having some Big Ten volleyball experience, which we think will help raise the level in our gym. We are looking forward to having a great athlete like Kellie setting for us this spring and in the next three seasons.”

The Gamecocks finished 2012 with an 18-14 overall record, the program’s second winning season in a decade in the second year under Swanson. Junior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin earned second-team All-SEC honors under Swanson’s tutelage.