TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The Florida State indoor volleyball program added two more essential pieces to its lineup on June 12. Middle blocker Kiara Wright and outside hitter Katie Horton will join the Seminoles for the 2014 season.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances we were really thin this spring with our numbers,” FSU head coach Chris Poole said. “However, we have a lot of great players returning and have added impact players for this fall. Overall, I believe this will be one of the most talented group of players that I have ever coached at one time. The athleticism on this team is going to be outstanding and give us an opportunity to match up physically with any team we play. We had faith that everything would fall into place and expect Katie and Kiara both to help this program immediately.”
A native of Houston, Texas, Wright was a highly touted middle blocker following her graduation from Clearlake High School in 2012, appearing on the ESPN Top 25 list as well as being named as the PrepVolleyball.com No.13 national player.
In addition to her volleyball skills, Wright was an outstanding high-jumper for Clear Lake’s track and field team. In 2011, she jumped 5’10 which was the top jump in Texas and ranked seventh nationally.
Wright spent her first two seasons at Southern California where she helped the Women of Troy to a pair of NCAA Regional Final appearances in 2012 and 2013. She tallied 53 kills and 19 total blocks over the course of 47 sets.
“I'm excited to become a part of the Seminole family and to get a degree from FSU,” Wright said. “I'm very excited to come out, work hard, and enjoy every step of the journey and hopefully help FSU get that championship ring.”
Wright will be admitted as a junior.
“Kiara is clearly one of the most athletic players in the country,” Poole said. “Her jump touch is about 10’7” and she has the lateral speed that will make an impact immediately on the court. She can play any position on the front row, but will be needed in the middle position to give us options early in the season. Kiara has been training with an elite program the last two years and we expect her to bring that level of training to our practices.”
Horton comes to Tallahassee from Westland, Mich., following her rookie season at Ohio University where she was a major asset for the Bobcats. The outside hitter ranked second on the team in both kills (312), averaging 2.56 per set and points (368), while contributing to Ohio’s 10th MAC Championship in 11 seasons.
A product of Wayne Memorial High School, Horton was ranked as the No. 95 player by Prepvolleyball.com in the nation and was more of a soccer player before she switched her focus to volleyball at the age of 15. Since the change, Horton has developed into an all-around player.
“We were really thin this spring with our left side attack options and Katie gives us a player that can be an impact attacking out of the left and right front positions,” Poole said. “She has a tremendous amount of upside, but we expect her to contribute immediately. Katie has started playing sand volleyball and I’m excited to see the impact she makes on our indoor and sand team this year.”
“I'm very excited for this opportunity to play both indoor and sand at FSU,” Horton said. “Everything happened so quickly, but I knew this was a chance I couldn't pass up. The more I thought about it, the more excited I got to hopefully make an impact on both teams and improve myself as well. I'm very happy and thankful for this opportunity.”
Wright and Horton join junior transfers (outside hitter) Karlie Hauer and (middle blocker) Mercedes Vaughn along with freshmen (libero/defensive specialist) Cecile Woie and (outside hitter) Milica Kubura in the 2014 signing class.