Three Athletes Join BYU Volleyball

Middle blocker Nicole Warner is one of three athletes who have signed national letters of intent to join the BYU women's volleyball program in the fall.

PROVO -- Three highly regarded high school athletes have signed national letters of intent to join the BYU women's volleyball program for the 2008 season.

The class includes setter Markelle Malone, a four-year all-conference honoree out of Durango High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Malia Marquardt, a highly decorated rightside from Vista High School in Vista, Calif., and middle blocker Nicole Warner, a first-team all-state selection at Rigby High School in Rigby, Idaho.

The trio will be joining a Cougar team that finished last season ranked No. 12 nationally after a run to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. Malone will be a welcome addition at the setter spot after the loss of last year's starter, Amy Schlauder, while Warner complements an already talented front line for BYU consisting of All-American Rachel Dyer and Ashton Hansen and Marquardt could compete for time in the rightside position vacated by senior Erica Lott.

"We are extremely pleased with the quality of athletes that will be joining us on the court this fall," said BYU head coach Shay Goulding. "Without a doubt, this class of outstanding young ladies will make significant contributions right away. Their commitment will help up build on the wonderful traditions already established with BYU women's volleyball and achieve new goals and even higher standards of performance."

The following are complete biographical sketches of BYU's 2008 signees.

Markelle Malone

5-11 Setter

Las Vegas, Nev.

BEFORE BYU:

Club: Played for the Nevada Juniors volleyball club under head coach Robert Kelly ... also played on the USA Volleyball High Performance A2 Team for three years and on the SCVA High Performance team last summer, traveling to Italy and Croatia ... her team won the silver medal at the Global Challenge in Croatia.

High School: Four-year letterwinner at Durango High School in Las Vegas, Nev., under head coach Robert Kelly where former BYU setter Amy Schlauder (2004-07) also played ... was the starting varsity setter all four years, earning Sunset Division All-Conference all four seasons ... tallied 1,847 career assists and 153 career service aces ... three-time Athlete of the Month (Sept. '04, Nov. '05 and Oct. '06) ... named the team captain as a junior and senior while helping her team win the league in 2007 and finish second at the state tournament ... also named to the Las Vegas High School Invitational All-Tournament team in 2007 ... a prepvolleyball.com Top 50 Freshman and Top 100 Sophomore while earning High Mentions as a junior ... active in student government, serving as a student government Representative during her junior year and the Student Body Vice President as a senior ... also volunteered as a peer mediator.

PERSONAL:

Parents are Mark and Melody Malone ... has four sisters ... sister Morgan also plays volleyball at Durango High School ... attended former BYU setter and Hall of Fame Inductee Charlene Johnson's Setter's Camp ... sports hero is Steve Young ... also recruited by Nebraska, USC, Washington, Texas, Hawaii, Florida, SMU, Tennessee, California, Cal Poly, UNLV, Nevada, North Carolina, Duke, TCU, Georgetown, Gonzaga and Missouri... undeclared major.

Malia Marquardt

6-1 Rightside

Vista, Calif.

BEFORE BYU:

Club: Played for the Epic Volleyball club under coach Ozhan Behrambeygui ... team posted six top-three finishes over the last four years ... also played on the SVCA High Performance team for two years and on the USA HP2 team for two years ... played on the USA Youth A2 team in 2006 and 2007.

High School: Four-year letterwinner at Vista High School under coach Tina Kinkead ... named All-CIF and All-North County Times in her last three seasons as well as being a four-year All-Avocado League honoree ... played on the 2007 San Diego All-Star Senior Team ... three-year team captain ... played on varsity as a freshman, earning the Most Improved award ... three-time all-tournament team selection ... also earned San Diego Union Tribune All-Academic accolades for three seasons ... named to the Honor Roll all four years ... also involved in the Pacific Islander Club and in student government as a student outreach coordinator and senator ... one of three School Ambassadors, voted on by teachers to serve as role models and peer counselors.

PERSONAL:

Parents are Peter and Betty Ann Marquardt ... has four brothers ... brother Brian played football at Weber State and brothers Daniel and Michael played football at BYU ... Michael is currently signed with the Cincinnati Bengals ... brothers are her sports heroes for their hard work and diligence ... enjoys Polynesian dancing, surfing and beach volleyball ... also recruited by UCLA, USC, Texas, California, Arizona State and Georgia Tech ... undeclared major.

Nicole Warner

6-2 Middle Blocker

Rigby, Idaho

BEFORE BYU:

Club: Played for the Idaho Falls Juniors under coaches Teresa Anderson and Dave Cousins ... hit .543 while averaging 1.3 blocks per game in 2007 ... qualified for Nationals in 2007 during High Performance at the IVA.

High School: Two-year letterwinner at Rigby High School in Rigby, Idaho, under head coach Jeff Selditz ... named first-team all-state as a senior in 2007 after posting 332 kills and 197 blocks ... also received 4A All-Area First Team and High Country All-Conference honors following her senior campaign ... helped her team finish second in the district and fourth in the state ... earned MVP recognition at the Wood River Invitational ... also a two-year letterwinner and all-conference honoree in basketball ... participated in the America's Junior Miss pageant, earning third runner-up ... high honor roll all four years of high school.

PERSONAL:

Parents are Roger and Kris Warner ... has an older sister and two younger brothers ... enjoys playing the piano, basketball and reading ... favorite foods are Italian and her mom's French toast ... began playing volleyball in the eighth grade ... also recruited by Colorado State, Utah State, Utah, Wyoming, Eastern Washington, Cal Poly, California, Idaho State and Southern Utah ... undeclared major.