BERKELEY – Cal’s women’s volleyball team is adding two of the nation’s top high school players to the program for the 2014 season.
Ashten Smith- Gooden, a 6-foot-2 outside hitter from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (Los Osos High School) has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Bears. Furthermore, Laura Leap, a 6-foot-5 middle blocker from Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Thousand Oaks High School), has signed a Statement of Intent to Register at Cal and will enroll in school for the spring semester of 2014.
Smith-Gooden is a 2013 Under Armour First Team All-American who is rated as the nation’s No. 5 Senior Ace by PrepVolleyball.com. She was the 2012 All-Inland Valley Player of the Year and an All-CIF selection.
Smith-Gooden is the highest-ranked recruit to sign with Cal since Tarah Murrey signed as the nation’s No. 2 prospect in 2007.
“Ashten is arguably one of the best, most promising outside hitters in the class,” Cal coach Rich Feller said. “We’ve really, really liked Ashten for a couple years now. We’re very, very excited to have her coming into the program. I see a great future for her. I think she can have a chance to help us right away. She’s big, she’s physical, she’s mobile, and she’s athletic.”
Leap is ranked as the No. 94 Senior Ace by PrepVolleyball.com and a two-time All-Tri Valley League First Team selection.
“Laura has worked really, really hard on her game and her academics,” Feller said. “For her to move forward and graduate early from high school and join us in the spring is a big bonus for us. I think that Laura has a chance to really have a great career here.”