Signing Day Central

NEWARK, Del. -- University of Delaware head volleyball coach Sara Matthews has announced that six newcomers will join the UD program and begin competing for the Blue Hens this fall.

Matthews, who begins her first season as the Blue Hens head coach this August, will welcome Abby Skryd, a transfer from Western Illinois, to the UD program along with Courtnie Roberts, Elise Jolly, Maddie Judge, Jazmyne Mitchell and Allie DeAbreu.

Skryd, a setter from Naperville, Ill., arrives in Newark after spending two seasons with the Leathernecks and leading the squad with 627 assists and 24 service aces a year ago. She recorded four double-doubles on the year, notched a season-high 49 assists against Drake, and posted a career-best 13 digs vs. McNeese State. She appeared in 24 matches while starting 22, ranking fifth on the squad with 165 digs. Skryd, who saw action in all 31 matches and started 21 as a freshman, notched 764 assists on the year and recorded a double-double in her collegiate debut against Akron. She added a double-double vs. Fort Wayne, handed out a career-high 54 assists in a victory over South Dakota, and again led the squad with 31 aces.

“I knew right away when our staff met Abby that she would be a great addition to our program,” Matthews said. “She comes from a top club program and brings a great deal of experience being a starter at the collegiate level for the past two years. We are looking forward to her coming in and providing some leadership as an upperclassman. Abby has a competitive drive that should push her to make an immediate impact on the court.”

Roberts, a setter from Krum, Texas (Krum HS) who arrived on the UD campus for the spring semester, was named the District Setter of the Year and first team All-State during her two seasons at Krum High School. A 2015 first team All-Area selection and the 2016 All-Area Utility Player of the Year, Krum totaled 626 sets during each of her final two campaigns. She played her first two years at Decatur High School, helping lead the school to a pair of state titles while earning first team All-County and District Server of the Year accolades in 2014. A tremendous student, Roberts is a member of the National Honor Society and was selected to the 2016 Academic All-State team after earning Academic All-District honors her first three years.

“We were really lucky that Courtnie graduated high school early and was able to train with our team this spring,” Matthews commented. “That experience enabled Court to integrate immediately into our team and develop relationships which is so crucial at the setter position. Court is extremely versatile...she's a thinker on the court and plays great defense. She made huge strides this spring as she adjusted to our faster tempo offense. We can't wait to get back in the gym with her; we expect her to pick up right where she left off!”

Jolly, a middle hitter from Nashua, N.H. (Merrimack HS), was a two-time first team All-State selection after earning second team honors as a sophomore. She holds the state blocks record and the Merrimack record for kills, while ranking second in the state in kills. A Senior All-Star selection and Merrimack's team MVP last season, Jolly became just the second player in state history to reach the 1,000-kills mark. An excellent student as well, Jolly is a member of the National Honor Society and served as the school's Vice President.

“Elise is coming in as only one of two players to record 1,000 kills in her high school career in the state of New Hampshire,” Matthews noted. “She's a tall, physical athlete and we are looking forward to her presence at the net and providing us with some depth in the middle.”

Judge, a libero/defensive specialist from Aston, Pa. (Padua [Del.]), was an All-Conference and second team All-State honoree during her final two years at nearby Padua Academy. She led the state with 450 digs for an average of 23 per match as a junior, before averaging 20.2 digs during her senior campaign. Judge helped lead the Pandas to the 2013 state championship, while Padua finished third in the state in 2014 and fourth in 2015.

“Maddie should contribute immediately, providing us with some stability and depth in the back row,” Matthews remarked. “Her serve receive and overall ball control will definitely raise the level in our gym. We are also excited to see how fast she transitions to the speed of the college game...she is a tenacious player and her defensive skill can help our team tremendously.”

Mitchell, a utility player from Bowie, Md. (Eleanor Roosevelt HS), was a three-year starter in high school and was named the team's Best Blocker during all three seasons. A two-year captain, Mitchell helped lead Eleanor Roosevelt to the district championship. An outstanding student, Mitchell is a University of Delaware Eugene DuPont Scholar and earned a National Merit Scholarship Program Letter of Commendation. A Northrop Grumman Engineers Scholar who earned the Prince Georges County Chief Executive Officer's Leadership Award, Mitchell is also a member of the National Honor Society and French Honor Society.

“We are really lucky to have Jazmyne joining our team,” Matthews said. “She is a super high-level academic kid and has an amazing drive to be successful in the classroom and on the volleyball court. Jazmyne is a natural blocker whose height and athleticism should fit in well with our system and provide us some great depth at the pin. Her well-rounded personality is the perfect fit to our team culture.”

DeAbreu, a setter/defensive specialist from West Chester, Pa. (Reed Henderson HS), was a four-year starter who earned first team All-Conference and second team All-District honors as a senior when she averaged 7.6 assists per set. DeAbreu, a second team All-Conference selection in 2015, is a four-year honor roll student and a member of the National Honor Society.

“Allie comes to us after a successful high school campaign starting for all four years,” Matthews commented. “She has played multiple positions and is a versatile player. We are looking forward to getting in the gym with her and seeing where she can contribute to our team.”

MEDIA INFORMATION: Contact Kevin Tritt at: (email) / 302-831-8715 (office) / 302-383-5005 (cell)