Cougars Sign Two Recruits

Hailey Jeppson, a native of Pleasant Grove, Utah, is one of two athletes signed by the Cougars in this year's recruiting class. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

2006 Class Includes Pleasant Grove Native and California Standout

PROVO -- Two highly regarded high school athletes have signed national letters of intent to join the BYU women's volleyball program for the 2006 season.

The class includes outside hitter Hailey Jeppson, who was named the most valuable player in the state of Utah after leading Pleasant Grove High School to the state title as a senior, and setter Kiana Rogers, a Diamond Springs, Calif., native who was listed as one of the top 100 volleyball players in the nation by prepvolleyball.com.

Jeppson will add to BYU's already powerful collection of outside hitters that includes All-Mountain West Conference performers Chelsea Goodman, Erica Lott and Kim Wilson. Rogers brings depth at the setting position for BYU, which recently lost All-American Lauren Richards Evans to graduation.

"As we seek to improve our program, it is important for us to recruit athletes who not only excel on the court but also understand our process and add to our competitive environment," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "Both Hailey and Kiana have embraced the expectations of our team. Their commitment to improving our program will be proven in the years to come."

Named the 5-A State MVP by both the Deseret Morning News and the Salt Lake Tribune in 2005, Jeppson helped her team compete for the state title as a sophomore, junior and senior, bringing home the crown in her final season. She was named first-team All-State as a junior and a senior and second-team All-State in both her freshman and sophomore seasons. The 5-foot-11 outside hitter was also recognized as the 5-A State Tournament MVP in 2005. Jeppson set Pleasant Grove High School records in both kills and aces.

"Hailey has shown tremendous improvement during her high school career," Watson said. "She capped her high school career by winning a state championship. Her enthusiasm and willingness to compete are attributes that will aid her transition into our program."

Rogers was an all-league selection at Union Mine High School all four years, receiving first-team Sierra Valley Conference honors as a junior and senior and second-team honors as a sophomore and freshman while leading her team to the outright league title in 2002 and 2003 and a share of the crown in 2004 and 2005. The Diamondbacks also finished seventh at the California State Volleyball Championships in Rogers' junior and senior seasons while taking second place at the California Interscholastic Federation Volleyball Championships all four years. The 5-foot-11 setter has competed at the USA Junior Olympic Championships four times in addition to playing on the 2002 and 2003 USA High Performance teams.

"Kiana understands and embraces the commitment needed to be successful at the college level," Watson said. "As our staff watched her during the past year we became drawn to her competitive nature. She is a great addition to our program."

The following are complete biographical sketches of BYU's 2006 signees.

Hailey Jeppson

5-11 Outside Hitter

Pleasant Grove, UT

BEFORE BYU:

Club: Played for the Players Volleyball Club under head coach Wayne Wood ... finished fifth in the nation in the 17-1 Elite level ... made the 17-and-under National Club All-Tournament Team ... competed at Nationals five times since beginning her club career at the age of 12.

High School: Four-year starter at Pleasant Grove High School in Pleasant Grove, Utah ... led her team to the 2005 Utah state title and second-place finishes in 2003 and 2004 ... named the 5-A State MVP by both the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune in 2005 as well as being selected the MVP of the state tournament ... first-team All-State in 2004 and 2005 and second-team All-State in 2002 and 2003 ... team finished first in the region during her junior and senior years while tying for first in her sophomore season and finishing second in her freshman year ... set the school record for kills in a season as well as the records for service aces in a career, a season and a match ... received the "Best of Alpine" award in 2005 given to the best athlete in the Alpine School District ... was given her team's "Air" freshman award in 2002, the Best All-Around Player award in 2004 and the Best Offensive Player award in 2005 while being named the team MVP ... Viking Athlete of the Month in November 2005.

PERSONAL:

Born Hailey Marie Jeppson in July 1988 in Provo, Utah ... parents are Wendy and Jack Jeppson ... has one brother: Trent ... enjoys sewing, camping, hiking, fishing and basketball ... sports hero is John Stockton because of his humility and playing ability ... recruited by Pennsylvania, Baylor, New Mexico State, Montana State, Cincinnati, Washington State, Chicago and Western Kentucky ... undecided major.

Kiana Rogers

5-11 Setter

Diamond Springs, CA

BEFORE BYU:

Club: Played for the Gold Cal Juniors Volleyball Club under head coach Ruben Volta ... competed at the USA Junior Olympic Championships in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 ... played on the USA High Performance Team in 2002 and 2003 ... won the Northern California Volleyball Association Power League Championships in 2002 and 2003 while competing on the NCVA Youth National Team in 2004 ... received the "Best Setter" award at the 2003 Inter-Regional USA VolleyClassic.

High School: Four-year letterwinner at Union Mine High School in El Dorado, Calif. ... ranked as one of the top 100 volleyball players in the nation by prepvolleyball.com ... led her team to seventh-place finishes at the 2004 and 2005 State Championships and ninth-place finishes in 2002 and 2003 ... California Interscholastic Federation runners-up all four years ... named All-Metro First Team as a sophomore and junior ... Sierra Valley Conference Co-Champions in 2004 and 2005 and outright champions in 2002 and 2003 ... named first-team all-league as a sophomore, junior and senior while receiving second-team honors as a freshman ... team MVP award in 2004 and outstanding player award in 2003 ... 2004 and 2005 El Dorado County Gold Star Outstanding Student recipient.

PERSONAL:

Born Kiana Leigh Rogers in February 1988 in Bakersfield, Calif. ... parents are Jana and Doug Rogers ... has three sisters: Aulani, Ashlan and Rylee, and one brother: Dallin ... sister Aulani was a setter at Utah Valley State College ... enjoys going to movies, knitting, macramý and sleeping ... sports hero is Rudy from the movie "Rudy" because no matter what his circumstances, he never gave up and always played his hardest ... recruited by Stanford, Florida State, Pacific, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Rice, Utah State and Utah Valley State ... undecided major.