University of Delaware Volleyball Team Adds Five High School Standouts; Welcomes Virginia Tech Transfer Alexa Swann
NEWARK, Del. -- University of Delaware volleyball head coach Bonnie Kenny has announced that five high school standouts will join the Blue Hens in the fall of 2014, while the program has added Virginia Tech transfer Alexa Swann as well.
Taylor Bennett, Jessica Chakonis, Raven Luckett, Daria Robinson, Sheridan Wood, and Swann will begin playing for the Blue Hens during the upcoming fall season.
Bennett, a native of Bethlehem, Pa., is a 6-0 middle hitter who was a Lehigh Valley Conference All-Star while playing at Bethlehem Catholic High School. An All-District team selection and Morning Call & Express Times All-Star, Bennett led her school to a pair of district championships.
A first honors student who plans on majoring in nursing at Delaware, Bennett also was a two-year member of the track team at Bethlehem Catholic.
“Taylor will provide us with more options as a middle, right side or outside hitter,” Kenny said. “She has the versatility to play anywhere along the net.”
Chakonis, a native of Paramus, N.J., was a first team Group 3 All-State selection last fall at Paramus High School. Chakonis, a 5-5 defensive specialist/libero, also earned first team All-Bergen County and first team All-North Jersey honors as a senior. Additionally she was selected to the 2013 New Jersey All-Star Team, and was named first team All-League Freedom Division during her final two seasons.
A high honor roll student, Chakonis is a member of the National Honor Society and World Language (Italian) National Honor Society. She is planning on majoring in criminal justice or sociology at Delaware.
“Jess is a feisty DS/L with the heart of a lion,” Kenny remarked. “She is tough and works very hard. She will bring a lot of emotion and intensity to the program.”
Luckett, a Smyrna, Del. native, was named the Smyrna High School Most Valuable Player as a junior and senior. A 5-9 outside hitter, Luckett earned All-State track honors in 2013 and 2014, and was selected as her team’s MVP. She was the indoor state champion in the 200 meters, long jump and high jump this winter.
An outstanding student planning on majoring in communications, Luckett is a member of the National Honor Society and has earned Academic Excellence honors during all four years of high school.
“Raven is an exceptional athlete,” Kenny stated. “She is an accomplished competitor in track and field. She is rather new to the sport of volleyball, but has the potential to be special.”
Robinson, a Durham, N.C. native, was a PAC-6 All-Conference selection during all four years at Hillside High School. A 6-0 middle hitter, Robinson was a three-year captain of the volleyball team and was a two-time All-State honoree in the high jump.
Robinson, who plans on majoring in neuroscience, is a tremendous student who has been the top-ranked student in her class during all four years. A member of the National Honor Society, Robinson earned the Superintendent’s Award for all A’s and is a member of the Beta Club.
“Daria is someone who can come here and contribute immediately,” Kenny noted. “She is a very good mid-sized middle with a lot of experience.”
Wood, a native of Clinton Township, Mich., was a Class A All-Region, All-Conference and All-County selection during her final two seasons at Chippewa Valley High School. A 5-3 defensive specialist/libero, Wood was named Chippewa Valley’s Most Valuable Player as a junior and senior.
Wood, who plans on majoring in math, is ranked second out of 648 students in her class and is a Distinguished Scholar recipient for UD.
“Sheridan is a feisty DS/L who will bring a lot of intensity with her,” Kenny said. “She is a determined and relentless defender.”
Swann, a 6-2 middle blocker, is a native of Mertztown, Pa. who attended Brandywine Area High School. She was named Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year following her senior season, when she led Brandywine Area to the state championship. She redshirted the 2012 season at Virginia Tech, before appearing in four matches last fall while posting seven kills for the Hokies.
Swann, who had five kills and four blocks during her collegiate debut against St. Francis (Pa.), will major in business at Delaware.
“Alexa is a terrific addition to our program,” Kenny stated. “She is a very good student. She succeeds at everything she puts her mind to. Her desire to play and contribute is second to none.”