PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania’s head volleyball coach Kerry Carr announced the program's incoming 2016 recruiting class on Wednesday, with the Quakers set to bring in five for the upcoming season. The Class of 2020 includes Ariana Wiltjer (Portland, Ore./Jesuit HS) Caroline Furrer (Georgetown, Texas/Georgetown HS), Madison Goldstein (Decatur, Ga./ The Paideia School), Lauren McLeod (Birmingham, Mich./Seaholm HS), and Zoe Macartney (Grand Rapids, Mich./ East Grand Rapids HS).
“I am extremely excited about the five incoming freshmen joining our team next season,” said Coach Carr. “Not only do I think they will be great contributors on the court, but also tremendous ambassadors for the University of Pennsylvania and our volleyball program. With a young roster next year, these five freshmen, along with our returning squad of freshman and sophomores, will have a fantastic opportunity to play together for multiple years establishing great team chemistry.”
Wiltjer, a 6’5’’ middle blocker, comes to Penn after an illustrious career at Jesuit High School in Portland Ore. Most recently, Wiltjer’s high school squad completed their second-consecutive undefeated season (64 wins in a row) en route to winning the Oregon Class 6A State Championship for the second year in a row. Also this past fall, the Crusaders won the Nike Tournament of Championships (Phoenix, Ariz.) -- one of the most prestigious High School tournaments in the country. Their run through the Nike tournament was named PrepVolleyball.com’s “top story” of 2015. After all was said and done, Wiltjer and the Crusaders finished the 2015 season as the No. 2 team in the nation, according to MaxPreps.com. Over the final two years of her career, Wiltjer proved to be extremely efficient, hitting over .450.
Winning at a high level is in Wiltjer’s blood. In fact, her brother Kyle was part of the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team that won the 2012 NCAA National Championship. He is currently a member of the Gonzaga men’s basketball team, where he was named a preseason All-America selection earlier this winter. In addition, her father, Greg, was part of the Canadian Men’s Basketball National Team in the 1980’s and her sister, Jordan Adams-Smith, played for the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA. She is now an assistant women’s basketball coach at Pepperdine.
Furrer is a 6’0’’ outside hitter who made a name for herself at Georgetown High School in Georgetown, Texas. Finishing her career with over 1,200 kills and 1,000 digs, Furrer was a back-to-back District 25-5A first-team All-District performer, as well as a member of back-to-back Class 5A All-State teams. She was twice to the Westwood Invitational All-Tournament team, along with Nike’s Arlington and Frauline Fest All-Tournament team. Most recently, Furrer was named to the TWSA Class 5A All-State team, and named the 2015 District 25-5A Offensive MVP. She leaves Georgetown as the school’s all-time leader in both kills and service aces.
Athletics run in the family for Furrer as well. Her dad, Will Furrer is ranked 3rd on the all-time career passing leaders at Virgina Tech and played for eight years in the NFL for the Chicago Bears.
Furrer plays for the Austin Juniors club team, based out of Austin, Texas.
Goldstein is a 6’0” outside hitter from Decatur, Ga., who enjoyed an outstanding high-school career at The Paideia School. A three-time All-Area performer, she was named the 3A Player of the Year as a sophomore and was named a Soph. 79 Elite Honorable Mention. The PrepVolleyball.com Soph. 79 Elite list recognizes the best varsity-playing sophomores in the country. She was also a member of the same list as a freshman, the Frosh. 59. In addition, she was named an AAU Academic All-American in 2014 and was a three-time District 3-A All-Tournament selection. Goldstein also plays for Tsunami Volleyball out of Atlanta, a club team that has seen 13 student-athletes go on to play Division I volleyball since 2014.
McLeod, a 6’2’’ middle blocker from Birmingham, Mich., put together a highly successful club career for Oakland Elite Volleyball. Last club season, McLeod helped lead Oakland Elite to a third-place finish at AAU Nationals in the 17 Open division. This past fall, she was named to an AAU All-American, put on the 2015 AAU Phenoms’ List and slotted on the Under Armour Watch List. At Seaholm High School, McLeod was equally impressive. She was a three-time All-Region and All-County selection, as well as a third-team All-State honoree as a junior. Most recently as a senior, she was named first-team All-State after leading her squad to a share of the OAA Red championship.
Macartney, a 6’3” middle blocker, is a two-year captain from East Grand Rapids High School in Grand Rapids, Mich. As a junior, she was named first-team All-Conference, first-team All-Region, and second-team All-State. In addition, she was named to PrepVolleyball’s top-60 Juniors’ list. A year later, Macartney was again named first-team All-Region, along with a Michigan Miss Volleyball qualifier. She tallied 391 kills this past fall, with a hitting percentage of .420. Macartney plays her club ball at the Michigan Volleyball Academy in Grand Rapids, Michigan.