Nov. 26, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - University of Alabama head volleyball coach Ed Allen announced the signing of outside hitter Kat Hutson (Brentwood, Tenn.) and middle blocker Leah Lawrence (Huntsville, Ala.) to National Letters of Intent on Tuesday.
"The kids that we signed will bring a lot of size to the team," Allen said. "They are two players that have the potential to play at a very high level for the University of Alabama. With our recruiting class we've added depth at every position and that will create very competitive practices. For the first time since I've been here, we will have what I call a full roster. That will just give us more options at every position."
Playing her high school volleyball at Ravenwood High School, Kat Hutson was named the Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year in 2012. At 6-3, Hutson presents a dominating presence on the outside, both as a hitter and a blocker. As a junior, she helped her high school team post a 44-9 record and capture its third straight Class AAA state title and was named the state tournament MVP for the second straight season. Last season, the two-time all-state selection had 648 kills, 262 digs, 40 blocks and 31 aces.
Alabama head coach Ed Allen on Kat Hutson
"Kat Hutson is possibly one of the most physical outside hitters in the country. She hits an extremely heavy ball. She is a very competitive kid and has a ton of personality. She is going to provide a big presence at the net, both from an attacking and blocking perspective. Kat is a top-notch kid that comes from a top-notch family."
Leah Lawrence is a 6-3 middle blocker from Huntsville, Ala., who played for Covenant Christian Academy where she earned National Christian Homeschool Volleyball All-American honors in 2013. She was ranked No. 34 in the 2013 PrepVolleyball Senior Ace list. She spent four years in the USA Volleyball High Performance Program, and was selected to participate in the national tryouts from 2010-13. From 2010-12, Lawrence was invited to the USA Volleyball Holiday Camp held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, where the top 48 players nationally are invited to participate. In 2012, she was selected for the USA Volleyball Youth National Team.
Alabama head coach Ed Allen on Leah Lawrence
"Leah has a very high ceiling and will get a lot of training at the Alliance Club and will have a chance to play with Kat there. She is a true middle blocker. Her best assets are in blocking and she will make our defense better immediately. We're excited about what the next four years have in store for her and the fact that she could be one of the best middle blockers to ever play here."
Both Hutson and Lawrence will compete for the Alliance 18 Mizuno Team for the 2014 season before attending Alabama in the fall.
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