DURHAM- The Duke Volleyball Program and Head Coach Jolene Nagel announced the addition of four players to the 2022 squad as Taylor Atkinson, Kerry Keefe, Millie Muir and Sydney Tomlak will join the Blue Devils in the fall.
Nagel’s incoming class is currently ranked No. 16 in the nation by Prep Volleyball.
“We are thrilled to introduce our newest additions to the Duke volleyball family,” said Nagel. “This new Class of 22 includes excellent students, leaders in their high schools, and talented volleyball players who will all be great ambassadors. We look forward to welcoming them to Duke and know they will all be great contributors.”
Fort Mill, South Carolina | Ford Nation High School | Outside hitter 6-4 | Carolina Juniors
Taylor Atkinson comes to Durham from Fort Mill, SC, where she attends Ford Nation High School and is a member of the Carolina Juniors volleyball club under Zoe Bell.
Selected three times in all regions and twice in all states, Atkinson was named Region 3-5A Player of the Year in both her junior and senior campaigns and was selected to the Northeast All-Star Team. south in 2021. The 6-4 outside hitter registered all four of his high school years and was a two-time South Carolina 5A state champion. Earlier this fall, Atkinson was selected as a second-team high school All-America by the AVCA. She earned all-tournament honors at the Wando Tournament this fall, in a season the Falcons won the 5A-Region 3 title. During her senior campaign, she amassed around 450 eliminations and over 300 recoveries while also serving as a team captain and was eventually named Ford Nation Volleyball Player of the Year. In her career, she boasts over 1,000 wins and was once named to the AVCA All-Region team.
Outside of track and field, Atkinson is a member of the National Honor Society, the Beta Club, was a Junior Marshall (top 10 in the junior class), and received the Olympic award for highest GPA in ninth grade. In October, she was named to the AVCA Best and Brightest First Team for her academic performance.
“Taylor is an exciting addition to our program as she is an all-around athlete with a high ceiling. As a bowler hitter with the ability to attack down the middle, she offers so many options offensively, as well as being a wonderful blocker We are proud to be able to add another student-athlete to our Carolina area program and are excited to see her continue to grow.”
Pacific Palisades, California | Marymount High School | 6-3 Right Side | Sun Volleyball Club
Kerry Keefe comes to Durham from Pacific Palisades, California, where she attends Marymount High School. The No. 19-ranked rookie in the Class of 2022 according to PrepVolleyballshe is a 6-3 right side hitter who also plays for the Sunshine Volleyball Club under Cari Klein.
This fall, Keefe helped Marymount to a perfect 35-0 record, a state title and a national No. 1 ranking. Along the way to their historic finish, Marymount also won the Nike Tournament of Champions Southwest, the GEICO Girls Volleyball Invitational and the prestigious Durango Fall Classic tournament, after which Keefe was named to the All-Tournament Team. This summer, Keefe and her Sunshine Volleyball Club team won the 17 Open Championship at the Junior Girls National Championships in Las Vegas, NV. After an outstanding performance throughout the tournament, she was named to the 17 Open All-Tournament squad. She was also one of 24 high school athletes from across the country selected to train with the U.S. Women’s National U18 Volleyball Team last summer in Anaheim, Calif.
Outside of athletics, Keefe is a Cum Laude nominee and recipient of her high school’s General Achievement Award. She also served on the student council for two years.
Keefe comes from a very athletic family. Her twin sisters, Caitlin and Michaela, played volleyball and graduated from Stanford in 2020, while her brother, James, is currently on the Stanford basketball team. His mother, Kristin, also played volleyball at Stanford and was a member of the 1996 Olympic team while his father, Adam, played basketball at Stanford and the NBA.
“We couldn’t be more delighted that Kerry has chosen to be a Blue Devil. Coming from a family of college athletes, she comes to Durham with an understanding of the student-athlete experience and the demands of sport and academics. in this role that will allow for a smooth transition and contribute to her success. In addition to her elite volleyball abilities, she is also a mature and seasoned leader and will have an impact for us right away. Kerry is a winner proven player who has achieved success at the absolute highest level in both high school and club volleyball and we are thrilled to have her bring that work ethic and experience to our program.”
Stanford, California | Preparation of the Sacred Heart | 6-1 passer | More Volleyball Club
Millie Muir is originally from Stanford, Calif., where she currently attends Sacred Heart Prep. The 6-1 passer also plays for Encore Volleyball Club under Katie Goldhahn.
A four-time club captain, she was a three-time West Bay Athletic League (WBAL) first-team selection and helped lead her high school team to a 23-6 record this year. She was named a WBAL co-MVP with a trip to the CIF NorCal Division I tournament. As the No. 44 ranked rookie in the Class of 2022 according Preparation volleyball, she was also named to the AVCA Phenom list and was selected to the United States U19 practice squad. Throughout her young career, she earned multiple Player of the Week honors from the San Jose Mercury News, San Mateo Daily Journal, and Palo Alto Weekly.
Outside of volleyball, she served as student body president this year after being elected class president twice and served as student council representative (2018-19). Muir was the founding member of the Black Student Union (2020-21) and has won numerous honors including the Honors Convocation Award for Computing, Math, Science, English, Ceramics, AP Computing and social ethics. Additionally, she has won the National Protein Engineering Contest, the Senior Legacy Scholarship Award, and the Sean McLarry Fine Arts Award.
Similar to future teammate Keefe, Muir has a history of college athletics in her blood. His father, Bernard, is the current athletic director at Stanford and he played basketball at Brown. His mother, Liz, played volleyball in North Carolina, was a member of the ACC 50th Anniversary Volleyball Team, and coached volleyball in Auburn, Iowa, and Kansas. His sister, Libby, played lacrosse at Stanford while his uncle played basketball at Northwestern. Finally, his grandfather played football in northern Illinois.
“It feels like it’s been years since Millie committed to being a Blue Devil, and I couldn’t be more thrilled that the time to welcome her to campus has finally arrived. She continued to improving as a setter and hitter under some great coaches and her size, maturity and experience in the older divisions throughout her career will be invaluable in her transition to college play.She grew up surrounded by role models high achievers in class, athletics and leadership which all positively influenced and nurtured those qualities in her as well.”
Oakland, Michigan | Stoney Creek High School | 5-11 Libero/Defensive Specialist | Legacy Volleyball Club
Sydney Tomlak joins the Blue Devil family from Oakland, Michigan where she attends Stoney Creek High School and is a member of the Legacy Volleyball Club under Jennifer Cottrill. She had a very successful high school career under head coach Ross Talbott in addition to her accomplishments with Bryan Lindstrom as part of the club.
For her high school accolades, Tomlak was named one of 10 finalists for Miss Volleyball Michigan 2021, which is awarded to the top high school volleyball player in the state based on a vote by the head coaches of the state. State. A four-time Oakland Athletic Association (OAA) All-Conference first team and All-Region first-team selection, Tomlak was also a two-time All-State second-team winner and is a two-time high school team captain and MVP. Throughout her high school career, she helped Stoney Creek win three district championships, an OAA league championship and two regional finals. She was also named to Michigan’s 2022 Prep Dig Top 10 Class and Prep Dig Division I All-Michigan Team.
In her senior year, she totaled 451 kills (4.1 kills/set) to hit .305, 346 digs (3.2 digs/set) and added 559 service receptions. For her career, she has 1,349 kills, 1,201 digs, 182 aces and 2,110 service receptions.
During her time on the club volleyball scene, she helped Legacy win a bronze medal at the 2018 AAU National Championships as well as a top-10 finish at the 2018 USAV Junior Championships. She was named to the Prep Volleyball Class of 2022 Watch List, Ultra Ankle Junior Volleyball Association (JVA) Watch List and is a three-time AVCA Phenom and three-time AAU Academic All-American. Tomlak helped the West Michigan Beach Volleyball team be crowned the 2020 doubles champion and qualified for the USAV Open Championship three times.
Outside of athletics, Tomlak is a member of the National Honor Society, Stoney Creek Student Council, and Athletic Leadership Council. She was named an OAA district representative in 2022 and has represented her high school at meetings between other schools in the state. She has been active as a liaison team leader where she mentored a group of freshmen, was a member of the UNICEF club, coached young people in her volleyball club and swam. volunteering at soup kitchens, Grace Center of Hope and Kensington Church.
Tomlak also comes from a large athletic family as his brother, sister, mother, and father all played college athletics. His brother, Brady, played hockey at the Air Force Academy and currently plays professional hockey for the ECHL Toledo Walleyes. Her sister, Alexa, played volleyball in Alabama while her mother, Michele, played basketball at the University of Western Ontario. Finally, his father, Mike, played hockey at the University of Western Ontario and played 11 seasons of professional hockey with the Hartford Whalers of the NHL, the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL and in Europe.
“Sydney is an experienced and talented player who has been a leader on every team she has played with, from high school to club. Her ability to control the ball and her speed as a defender will immediately improve our service receiving game. and transition. I love that she is the consummate team player, exudes positivity and thrives under pressure. Her team spirit and desire to help those around her be great will marry perfectly with the way we like to work every day.
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