LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State volleyball head coach Mike Jordan announced the recent signing of three student-athletes that will play and attend school at NM State next fall, Saturday, Nov. 19.
Nathalie Castellanos of Anthony, New Mexico, Alexis Wick of Leander, Texas and Taylor Livoti of Humble, Texas all signed National Letters of Intent to play under Jordan starting in the fall of 2012.
"This is an outstanding group of student-athletes we have signed," Jordan said. "I want thank everyone involved in the recruiting process and especially my staff."
Jordan envisioned her as a setter when he originally recruited her but Castellanos was an outside hitter in high school and wasn't able to practice as a setter with her club team last year because of an injury. She is athletic enough and with her left-handed skill she can either play on the right-side or at the libero position.
"Nathalie [Castellanos] is a gifted athlete and the best player in the state of New Mexico." Jordan said. "She's quick, jumps well and is a great competitor. She's been great at everything she's ever done athletically. She's athletic enough to play three different positions and has tremendous potential."
Wick, a 6-1 middle hitter, comes to NM State from Rouse High School and is the first student-athlete in Rouse High School history to make a division I commitment for volleyball. She was named first team all-district from 2009-11, and earned academic all-district honors from 2009-11. Wick also earned first team All Central Texas honors from 2010-11 and was the team MVP those same years.
"Lexi [Wick] has the length and arm speed you want in the middle," Jordan said. "She's a competitor and is just starting to scratch the surface of her potential."
Livoti, a 5-7 setter, is a native of Houston, Texas, where she was a four-year letter winner at Atascocita High School. She helped the Lady Eagles to four consecutive playoff appearances and was a first team all-district selection all four years. She was named the district (19-5A) MVP setter after her freshman season and was named United States Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete Award after her junior year.
"I've been looking at colleges for a while," Livoti said in a recent article in a Houston newspaper. "I was really picky."
Livoti was one of six setters from Texas to be on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Under Armour Girls' High School All-American Watch list this year and was a 2011 All-Texas honorable mention honoree. Livoti has played club volleyball since she was 10, starting with The Woodlands-based Texas Team and moving on to TCA-Kingwood. She is entering her third year with Texas Alliance. Just recently, she returned from the AAU Junior Nationals in Orlando, Fla., where the Alliance 18's Fusion took ninth place in a tournament with more than 100 teams.
"Taylor [Livoti] is a great athlete is a fiery competitor," Jordan said. "She's all about winning and loves to compete. Every athlete should have her attitude."
The Aggies look forward to the student-athletes joining the team in the fall of 2012, but will need to take care of business first at the 2011 WAC Tournament in Las Vegas, Nov. 21-23. The Aggies face No. 6 seed San Jose State in the quarterfinals, Nov. 21. For all you updated information on the NM State volleyball team go on-line to www.NMStateSports.com.