BYU Women's Volleyball Welcomes Two for 2010

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- BYU head coach Shay Goulding announced that Bingham High School volleyball standout Taeja Afalava has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Cougars in the 2010 season. She also announced that rightside hitter Jennifer Hamson who signed an NLI to play basketball for BYU will also play volleyball as a multi-sport athlete.

“As a staff and team we are very excited to welcome both Jen Hamson and Taeja Afalava to our program next year,” BYU head volleyball coach Shay Goulding said. “Both were outstanding leaders and top point scorers on their respective high school teams.”

Afalava comes from South Jordan, Utah where she has resided for the past two years after moving from Kahuku, Hawaii. She has led the Bingham High School volleyball squad under the tutelage of head coach Melissa Glasker.

Named to the Region Team I, All-State second team and team MVP in 2008, Afalava has been a welcome addition to the Miners. In 2009 she was named Region MVP and team MVP. She has participated on Club 801 in Utah and Club Hawai’i in Kahuku.

“Taeja is a fierce competitor with a very sound mind for the game,” said Goulding. “She is an all-around volleyball player that is capable of filling many roles during her time here at BYU.”

Hamson hails from Pleasant Grove, Utah, to play both basketball and volleyball for the Cougars. Her mother, Tresa Spaulding Hamson played basketball for BYU and was a seven-time All-American who still holds several school records.

Most Valuable Player of the Pleasant Grove High School volleyball team, Hamson helped her team to a state championship in 2009 while recording 307 kills on .483 hitting for the season. She was named to the Academic All-State team and the All-State team while playing for Pleasant Grove.

“Jen is just coming off a state championship at Pleasant Grove and will enter our program with a great deal of experience competing at high levels,” said Goulding. “We are thrilled that she will add an enormous amount of depth to our team and raise our level both offensively and defensively on the right side. I look forward to her having a tremendous career as a Cougar.”

“We expect both of these outstanding young ladies to contribute to our success right away,” said Goulding.

Below is a breakdown of biographical information:

Taeja Afalava

Outside Hitter

5-11

South Jordan, Utah / Bingham HS

Before BYU

Club: Played for Club 801 of Utah and Club Hawai’i in Kahuku, Hawaii.

High School: Moved to Utah her junior year of high school, playing for the Bingham High School Miners under head coach Melissa Glasker ... awarded Region Team I, All-State second team, team leadership award and team MVP in 2008 ... named region MVP, team MVP and to the All-Tournament team in 2009 ... also participated in basketball where she was named to the All-State second team and All-Region first team.

Personal

Parents are Kesi and Kay Afalava ... has three brothers and two sisters ... father, Kesi, played football for the University of Hawaii and professionally in Canada ... enjoys spending time with her family and friends and working out.

Jennifer Hamson

Rightside Hitter

6-6

Pleasant Grove, UT / Pleasant Grove HS

Before BYU

High School: MVP of the Pleasant Grove High School volleyball team under head coach Jamie Schapper ... team won state in 2009 ... recorded 307 total kills for a .483 hitting percentage and 22 assists in 2009 ... Academic All-State, Senior All Star, All-State team, All-Tournament team ... she will play both volleyball and basketball while attending BYU ... 5A honorable mention who averaged 16.5 points last season for the Vikings ... garnered Academic All-State honors as a sophomore and junior for basketball.

Club: Played on the Utah Elite Chaos team under head coach and former BYU volleyball player Mike Burke.

Personal

Parents are David and Tresa Hamson ... has two brothers and two sisters ... mother Tresa Spaulding Hamson played basketball for BYU, seven-time All-American who still holds several school records ... Aunt Britt Hamson Kelly played volleyball for BYU ... Aunt Lisa Hamson Hele played volleyball for Boise State and on BYU’s spring team ... Uncle Ben Hamson played BYU club volleyball.