Volleyball inks four during fall 2016 signing period

Third-year head coach Dan Conners welcomes a class of "highly competitive personalities" to the UC Davis women's volleyball program. (Wayne Tilcock, AggiePhoto.com)
Nov. 12, 2016

DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis women’s volleyball secured National Letter of Intent commitments from three prospective student-athletes, head coach Dan Conners announced at the start of the 2016 fall signing period. Alphabetically, the recruiting class comprises Paloma Bowman of Vacaville, California; Alexa Rockas of Gilbert, Arizona; Leonie Strehl of Encino, California; and Mahalia White of Canoga Park, California.

All PSAs are seniors at their respective high schools and expected to enroll at UC Davis for the fall quarter of 2017.

“We are very excited about the UC Davis volleyball signees in the 2017 class,” said Conners. “This class has highly competitive personalities, they come from winning programs and we are excited to see how they are able to come in and fill some roles of the vacating seniors.”

A 5-foot-10 setter for Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento, Bowman has played club ball for current Aggie setter Sophia Mar as a member of the Davis-based Five Starz Volleyball Club. In 2016, she helped her 16s squad capture the USAV Girls Junior National Championships National Division gold medal, earning tournament MVP honors in the process. On the varsity scene, her 27-5 team claimed the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III title Thursday night. Bowman is a three-year All-Capital Valley Conference honoree for CBS, adding Player of the Year distinction in each of the last two seasons.

Rockas, a 6-1 middle blocker, amassed 757 kills, 299 blocks, 110 aces and a .363 hitting average during her varsity career at Gilbert High School. She started all four seasons, helping the Tigers to three 30-win seasons and berths in the Arizona Interscholastic Association tournament each year. As a junior, Rockas totaled 253 kills and 90 blocks to earn All-Section III honorable mention. On the club scene, she earned all-tournament distinction at the Junior Nationals as a member of AZ East Valley Juniors in Tempe. Off the court, she presides over the GHS Sports Medicine Club and serves as an athletic trainer for the basketball and soccer teams.

A 6-4 opposite, Strehl will join current Aggie freshman middle blocker Jackie Graves as the tallest player in program history. She totaled 550 kills with 253 blocks and a .550 average to capture her second consecutive All-Marmonte League nod this fall, helping Calabasas High set program records for single-season wins (24) and farthest Southern Section tournament run (second round). As a junior, Strehl recorded 293 kills to garner third-team All-Marmonte League honors and her team’s Most Improved award. She plays for the same Los Angeles Volleyball Academy South club that provided current UC Davis libero Ally Reyes. Strehl excelled in honors and Advanced Placement courses throughout her academic career, and earned a community service trip to Japan through Education First.

White, a 6-0 outside hitter from Chatsworth Charter High, made the AVCA’s Under Armour Watch List along with Rockas prior to the 2016 season. The two-time All-Los Angeles City Section honoree helped the Chancellors capture the City Section Division 2 title as a junior, thanks to 435 kills and a .325 average. This fall, she improved to 515 kills and a .350 clip to garner West Valley League MVP distinction. CCHS also moved up to the LACS Open Division, and White served notice with a SoCal Prep Legends Athlete of the Week award after totaling 70 kills in matches against Granada Hills and El Camino Real. White, who plays for the Los Angeles squad of Supernova All-Stars VBC, has a cumulative 4.23 grade-point average and ranks among the top four percent in her class.

UC Davis heads into the final weeks of its 2016 season, hosting Hawai’i (Saturday) and UC Irvine (Nov. 19) for its last two home matches.