May 21—JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville State volleyball team has added a high school signee and a Division I transfer.
JSU is adding Zoe Gonzales, a 6-foot-3 middle blocker and outside hitter who spent the past two seasons at Wake Forest. She started 12 of WFU's 16 matches this spring, hitting .273 with 30 kills. As a freshman, she started eight matches and played in 50 sets.
"Zoe is someone that we are really excited about," JSU coach Todd Garvey said in a news release. "She is a versatile hitter who can do a lot of different things offensively and is a very good blocker. She brings a lot of experience playing the past two years in the ACC against great competition.
"Zoe is very athletic and a player who we feel will keep getting better and better. We loved her personality and getting to know her during this process and are excited to get her here to Jacksonville."
JSU also is adding Taylor Thomas, a 6-0 freshman from Denton (Texas) High School. Following 21 losses as a freshman, her high school team lost only 19 matches her final three seasons going 35-5, 36-10 and 20-4 while winning three straight district championships. Thomas was tabbed all-district all four years and twice named District 8 5A MVP.
Thomas finished her prep career with 1,341 kills, 1,482 digs and 587 assists. In 2020-21, she was named all-region by the American Volleyball Coaches Association and made the AVCA Under Armour All-American Watch List.
"We are excited to add Taylor to the 2021 class," Garvey said. "Taylor is someone who we recently found out about, but we loved what we saw on film and what her coaches all say. When we talked to them we kept hearing the same things, hard-working, competitive, high character, which are all things we look for during the recruiting process.
"Taylor is a good outside hitter and at serve receive, and will fit in perfectly with our 2021 class."
The two-time Ohio Valley Conference champions already return 11 players from last season's team. In addition, the Gamecocks have three previous signees, including freshmen Brooklyn Schiffli (defensive specialist), Logan Smith (setter/DS) and Swedish middle/outside Paulina Lindberg.