SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate volleyball team and head coach Jennifer Calloway signed outside hitter Kayla Eversgerd, who has experienced strong club and high school successes, to the 2012 Spartan volleyball recruiting class.
Eversgerd led her high school team, the Mater Dei Knights, to back-to-back Illinois Class 3A State Championships in 2011 and 2010. As a freshman she helped the Knights of Breese, Ill., to a third-place finish in the state tournament, followed by a second-place finish her sophomore year.
"Kayla is the kind of player that any coach would want," said Mater Dei head coach Chad Rakers. "She has a very strong desire to be a better athlete tomorrow than she is today. Her 110 percent work ethic is the same in a match as it is at practice or during workouts, which tends to rub off on her teammates. She is also a very strong competitor that doesn't fear the big moments; she thrives on them. But the things that I will definitely miss most about Kayla are her happy-go-lucky attitude, her fun-loving personality and the smiles that she brought to me and her teammates every day."
Eversgerd was named to the 2011 Belleville News Democrat Second Team. She has been an ambidextrous outside hitter for Mater Dei, collecting accolades including Honorable Mention All-Area, Most Improved Player and St. Louis High School Sports.com Athlete of the Week.
"Kayla comes from a traditionally rich high school program of elite athletes in Illinois," Calloway said. "Her competitiveness, discipline, consistency and athleticism made her a top selection for our 2012 recruiting class."
As a senior at Mater Dei, Eversgerd totaled 214 kills, while scooping up 329 digs. She collected 67 total blocks, including 32 solo rejections, while amassing 173 points. In her four-year career with the Knights, she helped the team to a 151-17 overall record. As a starter her junior and senior years, Mater Dei posted a 41-1 mark in the 2010 and turned in a 39-3 season in 2011.
A native of Germantown, Ill., Eversgerd played club volleyball with C4 Crush for three years (2008-10), before joining Team Elite St. Louis for the 2011 season. With C4 Crush, Eversgerd's team placed second in the American Division of the National Tournament in 2008 and placed third in 2009. In 2011, she helped Team Elite St. Louis to a fifth-place finished out of 48 teams, earning an 8-1 record in the National Division. Team Elite St. Louis qualified for the National Tournament, where the outside hitter was named to the All-Tournament Team.
Upstate graduates two four-year starters from the 2011 squad in outside hitter Kelsie Queen (Blythewood, S.C.) and middle blocker Morgan Thomas (Plantation, Fla.). Follow the Spartans on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.