Upstate Announces Signings of Two Players for 2017 Season

Upstate Announces Signings of Two Players for 2017 Season

Spartanburg, S.C. – USC Upstate head volleyball coach Jennifer Calloway has announced today that two players will be joining the Spartan program for the upcoming 2017 season.

The two additions in the signing class are Lily Dempsey and McKenna Kirkpatrick. The signees hail from the states of South Carolina and Nebraska.

"We are absolutely thrilled with the addition of Lily and McKenna to our Upstate Volleyball family," said Calloway. "These two bring an insurmountable wealth of athleticism, competiveness and both are winners.  Both girls won state championships playing high caliber high school volleyball.  These two will be expected to make an immediate positive impact. I see them contributing to what our team built last season.  We are returning a core of our team and adding these two will help take us to the next level."

Dempsey is a 6-0 right side from nearby Moore, S.C. and attends Dorman High School in Spartanburg. She is a four-year letterwinner in volleyball. Dempsey is a three-time All-Region and two-time All-State selection, while also being recognized by the High School Sports Report on its All-Rookie Team. She has played on a state championship team in 2016 and also finished runner-up in the 2015 state finals. Dempsey played club volleyball for Upward Stars, and was both an AAU National All-American and won a national championship. She was named one of the Best Volleyball Players of AAU and an AVCA Phenom three times.

"We have had our eye on Lily for a while," said Calloway. "We absolutely love adding a local athlete to our team. More than that, Lily is coming from a volleyball dynasty at Dorman High School. Her volleyball career thus far has been playing at a high level surrounded by top notch, competitive athletes at both Dorman and Upward Stars. I am completely confident Lily will be ready to come in and compete for a starting role in the fall. I love her even keel demeanor while being dominant at the net. She will definitely be a player to watch."

Kirkpatrick is a 6-0 middle blocker from Omaha, Nebraska where she is set to graduate from V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School. She has earned varsity letters in three sports including volleyball, basketball and swimming. She was part of back-to-back state championship teams in 2015 and 2016, and finished runner-up in the state finals in 2014. Kirkpatrick earned three straight All-State honors as well as Academic All-Conference during her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. Her teams were ranked in the top three nationally by PrepVolleyball.com, MaxPreps and USA Today, and was named the Small Team of the Year by MaxPreps. She played club volleyball for Premier Nebraska Volleyball and received "Dream Team" Player of the Week recognition.

"McKenna has had a wealth of volleyball experience and success," Calloway added. "I love her mindset and coachability. As a middle, McKenna has a very strong volleyball IQ and will add different attacking options to our offense."

The Spartans graduate two seniors from the 2016 team in outside hitter Alexa Lagaly and middle blocker Emily Koelling.

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