Two players with Arizona All-State accolades and a player who set a record at his high school will continue their volleyball careers with McKendree.
Bearcats coach Nickie Sanlin announced Tuesday that high school seniors Kirk Jackson, Tommy McGarth and Patrick Ross each have committed to play for McKendree beginning in 2018.
Ross, a 6-foot-5 outside attacker from Anthem, Arizona, earned second-team all-state honors after finishing his junior season with a state-best 455 kills on a .425 attack percentage. In addition, Ross with his high school won the 2016 state championship, and then in the summer he helped his club team win the silver-medal division at the USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships.
McGarth, a 6-foot-8 middle attacker from Paradise Valley, Arizona, finished his junior high school season with 192 kills on a .378 attack percentage and added 59 blocks. The middle attacker also earned first-team all-conference honors and was an all-state honorable mention.
Both McGarth and Ross will be the first players from Arizona to play for the Bearcats in the program’s four-year history.
Jackson, a 6-foot-7 middle attacker from O’Fallon, Missouri, despite not starting to play high-level volleyball until recently set his high school’s single-season record with 248 kills last season and was an all-conference selection. With his club team, Jackson helped the team earn a top-five finish at the 2016 National Championships.
McKendree finished last season winning its first postseason match in program history and advanced to the MIVA Tournament semifinals. The third-year MIVA program returns a majority of starters for the upcoming season, including three 2016 All-MIVA honorable mentions.