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Beach Volleyball Adds Five During Signing Period

Beach Volleyball Adds Five During Signing Period

Baton Rouge, La. –LSU Beach Volleyball Head Coach Russell Brock has announced the team has added five players throughout the signing period to strengthen the team.

Skylar Martin, Amelia Taft, Forbes Hall, Kylie Mueller and Tatum Finlason will be joining a program that is consistently one of the top teams in the country that has gone to the NCAA Beach Championship Tournament the past five years. These four additions will allow LSU to continue to compete as one of the nation’s top programs.

Martin is a Canton, Georgia native who decided to continue her career down south and play for the Tigers. Martin is a three-time USAV Beach National Champion and was the number two ranked beach player in the country in 2020. She led Sequoyah High School to the state championships in 2019 and 2021 while also breaking records in the number of digs per match and in a full season. In 2021 she was awarded the Scholar Athlete Award and was a First-Team All American. Martin was a dual-sport athlete lettering in tennis as well as volleyball all four years of high school.

“Skylar has won at the highest levels of juniors beach volleyball, and is one of the premier defenders in the country,” said head coach Russell Brock.  “Her experience and knowledge of the game is only surpassed by her relentless attitude when she plays.  Skyler executes at an elite level at all skills, and will continue to grow in her ability, as she is one of the hardest workers around.  One of her best qualities is that people love to play with her and she makes everyone she plays with better.  She is also a highly capable and motivated student and will contribute to the high academic standards that LSU Beach Volleyball is known for around campus. One word I’d use to describe her is ‘Magnetic’.”

Taft is a Greenville, North Carolina native who will be furthering her athletic and academic career as a Tiger. She played volleyball at J.H. Rose High School and led her team in kills her junior and senior seasons. Taft was awarded Best Varsity Offensive Player her junior season and was a Prep-Spotlight player. Along with the success on the court, she also brought that to the classroom. Taft is the SGA Class President her sophomore year, National Honors Society President, and Student Athlete Club leader.

“Amelia is a blocker from a great club in North Carolina,” said Brock. “She’s had a solid indoor and beach career thus far and we are excited to get her on campus and have her continue to grow in the sand.  Her commitment to family, culture and sport runs deep and she will not only be a great addition to our team as an athlete, but also brings a high level of commitment to academics.  We expect Amelia to be a contributor in all facets of our LSU Beach fam. One word that I’d use to describe her is “Driven”.

Hall is a Greenville, North Carolina native who will be will be wearing purple and gold next fall. She played volleyball at J.H. Rose High School, along with Taft, and was a 2022 Eastern Regional Champion. Hall also takes her commitments to extracurricular activities with being a Dreamteam and SGA member.

“Forbes is a special person and player,” said Brock.  “She sets a high standard and we know that she will be a leader in our efforts to continue to grow as a program both in and out of the sand.  Forbes is an athletic defender with an unstoppable motor.  She will undoubtedly be a positive influence with her words and her character.  As a fresh addition, it’s clear that she will also lead through her consistent actions.  One word that I’d use to describe her is “Joy”.

Meuller is a Sugar Land, Texas native who will be furthering her career down in the bayou playing for the Tigers. She played volleyball at Dulles High School and awards have followed her. Mueller was awarded First Team All-District in 2019, 2020, and 2021 and also earned Newcomer of the Year in 2019. She is a dual threat athlete as a four-year letterman in both volleyball and track. Mueller takes her talent to the classroom too, being awarded Academic All District, A/B Honor Roll and Academic Excellence all four years.

“Kylie is an incredible athlete who brings an elite physicality to this class,” said Brock.  “She recently committed full time to the beach game and we are excited to see her growth in the next few years.  She will be able to block, split or defend as she grows in her ability.  That flexibility is a really valuable asset for our program.  Her excitement for LSU and passion for this opportunity will influence our culture in a wonderful way.  She brings a high level of energy and enthusiasm for beach volleyball and for her academic success.  One word that I’d use to describe her is “Passion”.”

Finlason is a Toronto, Canada native who is taking her talents to The Boot. Finlason recently moved to George Town, Cayman Islands to finish out her high school career at Cayman International School. While in Toronto, Finalson was the 2019 MVP and District Champion. Finalson took her talents to other sports with playing basketball and tennis. She also earned an Honor Roll Sport in 2021 and 2022.

“Tatum is a late addition to our class,” said Brock. “Her pathway to LSU is unique and she will be our first Canadian to join our program. She is an explosive and skilled blocker who has trained and played at a high level. We expect her to pick up our system quickly and to be a positive addition to our team quickly as we enter the Fall. Beause of her pathway, we haven’t watched her play live as much, so she’s a bit of a dark horse, and that is fun! One work that I’d use to describe her would be “Exciting.” She’s a great addition to our 2023 class.”