SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Leading her high school team to a top 10 ranking nationally last season, Kirsten Mead will join the 2014 Santa Clara volleyball squad after a standout career at Valley Christian High School.
"We are thrilled to have Kirsten Mead join our Santa Clara family," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. "Kirsten is very athletic and she possesses an outstanding work ethic, but what I like most about her is her winning mentality and comprehensive play. Not only is Kirsten a very good setter, she has a great serve and is a dominate presence at the net both with her blocking and attacking."
Mead will join a great line of setters to have played at Santa Clara University including Kris Kosnoski (1993 WCC Player of the year and 3-time All-WCC), Roz Pelayo (2-time All-WCC and Academic All-American All-District), Kelli Sousa (3-time All-WCC), and Crystal Matich (2007 WCC Player of the Year, 2-time All-American in 2005 and '07, 2-time All-WCC).
A Palo Alto, Calif. native, Mead knew she wanted to stay in the Golden State, making her college decision a little easier. Mead collected numerous accolades that caught Wallace's attention. In 2013 Mead was named a MaxPreps First Team All-American and was selected to the MaxPreps First Team All-State. In addition, Mead was a 2013 PrepVolleyball High School All-American, PrepVolleyball Senior Ace (top 125 players), and was the NCSAA Volleyball Co-National Player of the Year. Aside from national honors, she was also honored within the WCAL, as she was named the Player of the Year and made the WCAL First Team.
Mead's senior season statistics back up her awards, as she tallied 639 assists, 302 kills, 83 aces, 62 blocks and 310 digs. Valley Christian finished the 2013 season ranked No. 6 in the nation, posting a 35-8 record. Lead by Mead, the Warriors won the WCAL Championship, the Division III CCS Championship, the NorCal Championship and the California State Championship.
"Kirsten is coming off an incredible year at Valley Christian High School where she led her team to a State Championship in her senior year; she is a proven winner who will make an immediate impact in our program," said Wallace. "Kirsten is also an accomplished sand volleyball player who will be a tremendous boost to our sand program."
Mead had a standout athlete role model in her own family in her brother Brian. Brian was a four-time All-American water polo player at Johns Hopkins (2001-04). He was also named the 2004 Division III National Player of the Year. Mead hopes to follow in her brother's footsteps and excel at the collegiate level.
"I chose Santa Clara because it was the right combination of academics and athletics. I really like the girls and the coaches," said Mead.