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Nov. 11, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina volleyball program announced four signees for the 2016 season Wednesday, adding Claire Edwards, Courtney Koehler, Mikayla Shields and Alicia Starr.

“We’re all really excited about our bright future. The development and maturity of our returning players, added with a very talented recruiting class, is going to elevate the quality of our practices and make us a better team,” head coach Scott Swanson said. “Of all the classes I’ve recruited, this is probably the most talented and skilled class we’ve had so far.”

Class of 2016 South Carolina Volleyball Signees
Claire Edwards – 6-2 – MB/OH — River Bluff High School — Columbia, S.C.
Parents: J. Renz and Karen Edwards

• Coached by former Gamecock and All-SEC honoree Cindy Robarge-Esposito at River Bluff.
• Played club volleyball for Magnum and S.C. Midlands for coaches David Tiffner and Glen Dimapan.
• 2015-2016 UNDER ARMOUR Honorable Mention All-American.
• Won the 2015 Mizuno Challenge 1st Place Gold with her club team.
• Led River Bluff to the 2014 and 2015 5-4A Regional Championship.
• Three-time USAV Select A1 Team member.
• 2014 and 2015 SCCAW (S.C. Coaches Association of Women’s Sports) All State honoree.
• Played varsity volleyball for five years; also lettered in basketball.
• Plans to major in Sports and Entertainment Management.

Courtney Koehler – 5-11 – Setter — A.C. Reynolds High School — Asheville, N.C.
Parents: Tim and Joanie Koehler

• Played club volleyball for head coach Kevin Wentzel at Upward Stars.
• Lettered for four years at A.C. Reynolds under head coach Lori Ledford, serving as team captain.
• Won the AAU National Championship with Upward Stars in 2015.
• Recently clinched the Mountain Athletic Conference with Reynolds.
• Recorded her 1500th assist earlier this season.
• 2014 MAC All-Conference First Team, Citizen-Times All WNC First Team.
• Brother played football at Presbyterian College and older sister Kerstin played volleyball at College of Charleston.
• Plans to major in Sports and Entertainment Management.

Mikayla Shields – 6-0 – RS/OH — Lake Nona High School — Orlando, Fla.
Parents: Brett and Najuma Shields

• Played club volleyball for head coach Danny Eleutiza at OVA/TBVA 17 Asics Red.
• Ranked 36th in the 2015 Max Preps Senior Aces Top 100.
• 2014 Class 7A Player of the Year.
• Led her team to the 2015 East Metro Championship.
• Recently led her high school team to the 7A regional championship.
• Earned the AP Scholar Award for academics at Lake Nona.
• Also competed in track and field for four years, taking after her parents who each competed in track and field at the University of Pittsburgh. Father Brett is part of the school-record-holding Sprint Hurdle Relay team. Mother Najuma holds the indoor and outdoor high jump records, as well as the pentathlon and heptathlon records.
• Plans to major in Biological Sciences.

Alicia Starr – 6-1 – RS/OH — Blue Springs High School — Blue Springs, Mo.
Parents: Brett and Julie Starr

• Played club volleyball for head coach Mark Ethridge at Invasion 18 Black, was teammates with current Gamecock Emma Lock.
• 2015-2016 UNDER ARMOUR Honorable Mention All-American.
• Has led Blue Springs to conference and district championships so far this season, averaging 6.5 kills per set with a .450 hitting percentage. Will play in the MO-KAN All-Star match.
• In the state record book, she ranks second in career attacks, seventh in kills, seventh in single-season hitting percentage and ninth in single-season kills.
• An All-Missouri honoree in both volleyball and track and field. Finished second at the 2015 state outdoor meet in the triple jump.
• Played at USAV Nationals for five years with her club program. The team has also earned first place at the Show-me National Qualifier for three straight seasons
• Father played football, basketball and track at Oregon State, mother was a gymnast for the University of Vermont. Sister Brianna currently plays volleyball for the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
• Member of National Honor Society and is in the top five percent of her graduating class.
• Plans to major in Pre-Medicine.