Texan Volleyball adds three high school standouts to first D1 recruiting class

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STEPHENVILLE – Head coach Mary Schindler has announced the addition of three prep standouts to the Tarleton Volleyball program Wednesday afternoon.

“As we transition into Division I and a new season, one of the focuses for us was to improve our defense and serve-receive. I believe we’ve done that with the addition of these recruits,” said Schindler. “I am looking forward to working with them and seeing them excel on the court and in the classroom.”

The newest additions to the 2020 volleyball recruiting class includes two defensive specialists – Isabel Gonzaba (Cedar Park, TX) and Matti Theurer (New Braunfels, TX) – and a setter, Melina Maldonado (Carolina, Puerto Rico).

Melina Maldonado • Setter • Carolina, Puerto Rico • Saint Francis School

After one of the greatest individual seasons in program history at Saint Francis School in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Melina Maldonado is headed to Stephenville to join Tarleton Volleyball this fall.

“Melina can flat play,” said Schindler. “She will be both offensive and defensive for us. She sets a solid ball, runs a fast tempo offense and really understands the game. She has a very high volleyball IQ and will be a great addition to our program.

“Watching her play, she makes the attackers better and understands her leadership role as the setter. She is a great get for us,” Schindler added.

Maldonado played her final high school season at Saint Francis School and led her team to one of the top volleyball championships in the country – the Volleyball Buzzer Beater Championship. Last fall, Maldonado’s team won 10 different tournaments, including the Buzzer Beater and she was awarded as the league’s Best Server and Best Setter.

She was also a two-sport star at Saint Francis, where she helped the Ping Pong team to their third consecutive league tournament.

Isabel Gonzaba • Defensive Specialist • Cedar Park, Texas • Leander HS

An elite defender at Leander High School, Isabel Gonzaba comes to Tarleton after an incredible three-year varsity career for the Lions.

“Isabel has an outstanding court presence and passes nails in serve-receive,” said Schindler. “I am really impressed with her ability to read and defend at a high level. She is going to be someone that people enjoy playing next to and I believe she will help us be better right away. Playing at a top club, she has received great training and experienced high-level competition.”

Gonzaba is a three-time 6A All-District First Team selection and was the 2017 District Newcomer and 2019 Defensive Player of the Year. She was a three-time academic all-district award winner and played seven years of club volleyball for Austin Performance Adidas 18U, where she won the 2018 USAV National Championship.

Matti Theurer • Defensive Specialist • New Braunfels, Texas • Canyon HS

Fresh off back-to-back playoff appearances in the highest level of high school competition offered in the state of Texas, Matti Theurer comes to Tarleton after a three-year varsity career at 6A Canyon High School in New Braunfels.

“Matti is driven and mature beyond her age,” said Schindler. “I’m excited about her commitment and know she will work hard every single day. She is a communicator and a go-getter. She plays with a toughness and I know she will be a great asset to our program.”

Theurer joins the Texans after a two-sport prep career at Canyon where she starred in volleyball and basketball. She was a two-time all-district volleyball selection, including a 2019 first-team award winner. Theurer was a three-time academic all-district and a 2019 academic all-state selection and played five seasons of club volleyball for Alamo Volleyball Association.

Maldonado, Gonzaba and Theurer bring Tarleton’s inaugural Division I recruiting class to seven. The freshman trio joins transfers Courtnie Roberts (Delaware), Hali’a Hogan (Oklahoma), Lorin McNeil (Abilene Christian) and Ana Costas (Western Nebraska CC). Tarleton finished last season 22-12 and will join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and NCAA Division I this fall.


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