PHILADELPHIA - After an upper-tier finish in the Ivy League this past season, Head Coach Kerry Carr returns 11 letterwinners - including three players who earned All-Ivy recognition - to the team for 2013 as the Quakers look to reclaim the league title. Though the Red and Blue lose a pair of seniors who earned All-Ivy recognition in their time at Penn in Lauren Martin and Amanda Pacheco, a three-member recruiting class has joined the program as the Class of 2017 to help offset those departures.
Rachel Baader - Outside Hitter, 5'11", Kildeer, Ill. (Stevenson/Sky High)
Rachel Baader joins Penn after a successful run as a member of Lincolnshire Stevenson and the Chicago-area Sky High club team. Joining her program's varsity team as a freshman, Baader was an All-Conference and Lake County All-Area selection in each of her first three years playing for the Patriots. In 2011, Stevenson advanced to the quarterfinals of the Illinois 4A state tournament and Baader was recognized that season as an All-State honorable mention pick, while also making an appearance in the
Chicago Tribune as one of the city's top performers. A captain of both her high school and club teams the past two seasons, she looks to make a return to the court with her club this spring after an injury that forced her to miss her senior season at Stevenson.
Lexi Slotkoff - Middle Blocker, 6'2", McLean, Va. (McLean/Virginia Elite)
Alexa (Lexi) Slotkoff could be viewed as the most intriguing of the three newcomers, as she didn't begin playing volleyball until 2010. A star basketball player as well, Slotkoff made an immediate impact at the middle blocker position, being named honorable mention All-District as a sophomore and second team All-Northern Region as a junior. Going into her senior season at McLean, she was put on the Under Armour High School All-American Watch List and ended her prep career by being named first team All-Liberty, second team All-Northern Region and honorable mention All-Met for the last two years running. Though missing a few games to injury this year, she still collected 170 kills and 45 blocks (25 solo).
Arielle Winfield - Middle Blocker, 5'10", Los Angeles, Calif. (Harvard-Westlake/Sunshine)
Arielle Winfield is the latest Los Angeles-area product to come through the pipeline and join the Red and Blue. Six members of last year's team were from surrounding areas of Los Angeles, and four (Winfield included) will be on next year's squad. After a prep career that began with a team MVP honor as a freshman, Winfield capped her four years with Harvard-Westlake by winning the Mission League in 2012. Her totals of 200 kills and 19 blocks on the season landed her a spot on the
L.A. Daily News All-Area honorable mention team. Winfield will spend her last few months before coming to Penn by playing on the Sunshine 18s club team, the same club that has produced current All-Ivy roster members Dani Shepherd and Emma White.
"This small but highly-talented recruiting class will challenge for specific spots on our experienced roster," said Carr. "Returning most starters from last year, our right side and middle blocker losses to graduation will be highly competitive positions boosted by Lexi's and Arielle's tenacity and athleticism. Rachel has always been the core 6-rotation player for every team she has ever played on, and I expect her positive leadership and ability to see the complete game will continue to shine through to her new teammates. I can't wait to add these players to our returning roster and see how far they can grow Penn Volleyball together."