Nov. 17, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -
The Stanford men's volleyball program has signed three top recruits to letters of intent this week during the early signing period, coach John Kosty announced.
Arriving at Stanford for the 2014 season will be setter Cole Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.)/Palos Verdes High School), outside hitter Clay Jones (La Jolla, Calif./La Jolla HS), and middle blocker Kevin Rakestraw (Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Harbor HS).
"I'm very excited to have these three wonderful young men join our Stanford family," Kosty said. "They all bring their unique talents to the court, but are typical of the great citizens that we have representing our team. Without a doubt, these scholar-athletes will leave their mark on the program during their Stanford careers, not only on the court, but also in the classroom."
Fiers is considered to be one of the top setting recruits in the nation. He is a multiple national champion - winning two gold medals at the U.S. Junior National Championships with his Southern California Volleyball Club teams. In 2010, he led SCVC to the title in the 15 Open Division and, in 2012, he was named tournament MVP while winning at the 17 Open level. At 6-foot-4, he has a good presence at the net and runs a very quick and dynamic offense. At Palos Verdes High, Fiers was honored as the Bay League's Most Outstanding Player as a junior.
"Cole has tremendous experience in running a very fast, college-style offense," Kosty said. "He is very consistent in delivering the ball to his hitters, but more importantly has wonderful command of his team. Not only does he put up great sets, but he also plays with intelligence and courage. Everything in his history says he is a winner."
Possessing tremendous versatility, Jones has played almost every position and flourished. At Stanford, Jones will be looked to fill the role of an outside hitter. He is a prototypical Mountain Pacific Sports Federation player with good size (6-7) and strong athleticism. He is a physical figure at the net and carries a big load for both his high school and club teams. At La Jolla High, Jones was a first-team All-CIF San Diego Section Division III selection in 2012. He led his team to a runner-up finish in CIF-SDS Division III tournament. For his club, he was one of the key figures for his Shorebreak team that won the SCVA Boys Classic in 2011 and the NCVA Far Westerns National Qualifier in 2012. Jones' squad also had a strong run at the 2012 U.S. Junior National Championships, finishing in 10th place. With Shorebreak, Jones was a source of great production from the left, middle, and right side of the net.
"We are thrilled to add an athlete like Clay to our team," Kosty said. "Clay will bring size and athleticism to our outside hitting position. He is a solid point producer with strong hitting and blocking. We also expect him to further develop his backcourt game to give us a significant six-rotation threat. The sky's the limit for Clay."
Many consider Rakestraw the top middle prospect in the nation for his class. He was a silver medalist with the Balboa Bay 17 team at the 2012 U.S. Junior National Championships and earned all-tournament honors. He also played for the USA Youth National White team at the 2012 U.S. High Performance Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, and won silver at that event as well. During the H.P. Championships, Rakestraw competed against not only the best athletes from the U.S., but also from some outstanding international squads. Standing 7-foot, Rakestraw will be the tallest player to don a Cardinal volleyball jersey. What makes him unique is his fluid coordination and athleticism. He also possesses volleyball skills that are uncommon for someone that tall.
"Kevin's presence will be huge for our team," Kosty said. "There have been some very tall collegiate volleyball athletes but I believe that Kevin is unique. He has the skill set and movement of a much smaller player, yet he has the ability to just outsize people at the net. He has a good arm and a very high contact point. The scary part is that he will get much stronger with our tremendous strength and conditioning staff. We can't wait to get Kevin, Clay and Cole enrolled and into the process."