STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton volleyball head coach Mary Schindler announced Tuesday the addition of two student-athletes to the 2023 Texan volleyball roster.
Rajini Fitzmaurice, a 5-8 outside hitter from Liberty University, and Rylie Morrison, a 5-11 outside hitter/right side from Evangel University are now Tarleton Texans.
“I am excited to add this duo of leadership and talent to our roster,” said Schindler. “We as a staff believe these student-athletes will help our team grow in all the right ways.”
Fitzmaurice hails from Lake Mary, Florida, and spent the previous four seasons with the Liberty Flames in the A-SUN conference. She was a part of the 2022 Flames squad that won the conference outright, finishing with a 14-2 league record. They advanced to the National Invitational Volleyball Championship for postseason play.
When asked why she chose to play and study at Tarleton, Fitzmaurice mentioned how much the coaching staff cares.
“I decided to come to Tarleton because right off the bat I felt a sense of home and the coaching staff cared more about me as a person rather than just as an athlete,” said Fitzmaurice. “They truly wanted my best interest whether that was at Tarleton or somewhere else and for that I instantly knew this was where I was supposed to be!”
The outside hitter played in 100 sets and 31 matches in 2019, her freshman campaign, totaling 163 kills, 201 digs, 49 blocks and 18 aces. She showed off her ability on offense as well as defense, recording three double-digit kill matches and six double-digit dig contests.
In the spring 2021 season, Fitzmaurice started all 14 matches at outside hitter. She was named a VaSID All-State second team member after recording 10 double-digit kill matches and finished with two double-doubles. In the fall 2021 season she started 17 matches and recorded 145 kills, 156 digs and 20 blocks on the season. She had seven double-digit kill matches as well as four double-doubles.
“Rajini has experience at the Division 1 level and will be a huge asset defensively,” said Schindler. “She has a growth mindset and I’m looking forward to coaching her.
Fitzmaurice graduated from Lake Mary High School and was a two-time team MVP. She will be studying applied psychology at Tarleton and has one season to play as a graduate student.
Morrison makes her way to Stephenville after playing two seasons at NAIA Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri.
“Rylie is one of those players that has huge upside, and you just really enjoy being around her,” said Schindler. “She is a leader and very self-aware. I am excited about her size and ability to score from everywhere.”
Morrison played in 33 matches and 112 sets in the 2022 season. She totaled 242 kills, with 2.16 kills per set. She also finished with 52 digs, 65 total blocks and 2.5 points per set. She landed the second most points on the team for the season (278.0), as well as the second most kills (242).
In her true freshman season in 2021, Morrison played in 11 matches landing 31 kills to go with eight digs and six blocks.
She will pursue a degree in psychology with a minor in communications at Tarleton.
Morrison noted that she had Texas ties when speaking about why she chose Tarleton as her transfer destination.
“I was born in Texas, so coming back to play in Texas was a major priority for me,” said Morrison. “More than that though, I was looking for a program on the rise with a coaching staff I could trust.”
Both student-athletes will begin classes this semester at Tarleton.