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Arizona Beach Volleyball Welcomes 2021 Signing Class

Jan 5, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Head Coach Steve Walker and the Arizona Wildcats are excited to have the 2021 signing class join them in Tucson. With the Covid-19 Pandemic casting a dark shadow over the Sand Cats and their 2020 season, they are eager to welcome the fantastic news of the signees. The signing class includes: Alyssa Feltman, Kylee Fitzsimmons, Annie Kost, Serena Ramirez, and Olivia Rubio.

Head Coach Steve Walker...
"We've committed ourselves to recruiting the type of young people that believe in the things we are doing, who are willing to put in the work required to improve every single day, and most importantly can elevate the program. That's what we've been and as coaches observe every day in practice; and that's exactly what we're adding with this new collection of athletes. We continue to fine tune all aspects of the program and feel we are really building on something special.  By adding this 2021-2022 recruiting class, that bolsters our feeling that we can compete with any team in the country.

We really like the top-end potential of this group. It's a very athletic, devoted collection of players who are very familiar with our program. They have the potential to impact our program instantly, and for a number of years to come."

The five signees are joining a hungry team that is eager to get back out onto the beach. Because their 2020 season was cut short, they are more ready than ever to get back to business and dominate the game. The newcomers are going to be vital additions to an already fearsome team. Four of the five incoming freshman are from Arizona, with two being local to Tucson.

Below are detailed bios on all five members of Arizona's 2021 signing class:

Alyssa Feltman | 5-11; Defender; Gilbert, AZ (Ironwood Ridge High School)

  • 2020 Preseason AVCA Watchlist recipient
  • Represented the state of Arizona region (along side Olivia Rubio) at the 2019 summer High Performance Championships in Santa Monica, Calif.
  • Made First Team All-Conference (19')
  • Plays locally for the Walker Beach Volleyball Club
  • Chose Arizona because, "it's my hometown and I get the opportunity to keep playing the sport I love."

Coach Walker says: "Along with her classmate, Olivia Rubio, Alyssa will reunite with their former club teammates Miranda Erro and Abby Russell, as Tucson beach volleyball signee's. Alyssa is the definition of a sleeper recruit when considering her high-end potential, and we couldn't be more excited she decided to stay close to home. She's a very dynamic, strong athlete who has garnered numerous accolades locally on the indoor front, but since moving all of her attention to the beach game has shown tremendous growth and commitment to the sport. We're looking forward to working with Alyssa and seeing her develop into a contributor while at the UA."

Kylee Fitzsimmons | 5-10; Defender; Lucas, TX (Lovejoy High School)

  • Back-to-back State Championship team ('19,'20)
  • 1st place 210 Texas challenge (March '20)
  • 1st place 210 AVP qualifier (June 20')
  • 2nd place Madsand AVP (Aug 20')
  • Chose Arizona because, "the program and coaches fit my style and the campus felt like home."

Coach Walker says: "During the recruiting process it was clear to the coaching staff that Kylee embodied all of the qualities we look for in a prospect. And from the time she verbally committed to present day, Kylee has shown a great deal of growth in her game and has recorded a high number of podium finishes in junior events. I would put her performance in the summer of 2020 up against any recruit's in the country. She's playing at that high of a high level, but it's great to know she is a very hard worker, a great competitor, and understands her game is just starting to ramp up.  She's a legitimate high-level defender that also has good length, and we're looking forward to seeing her develop into a real team leader."

Annie Kost | 6-0; Defender; Queen Creek, Ariz. (Casteel High School)

  • All-CUSD First Team Honor 
  • 1st AAU Division Championships (Canyon Del Oro Beach 2019)
  • 2nd AVP America Women's Open (Mesquite Beach 2019)
  • 2nd Scottsdale Beach Fest (West World of Scottsdale 2019)
  • Chose Arizona because, "of the great program, environment and amazing schooling."

Coach Walker says: "It's so very exciting to observe how the sport of beach volleyball continues to grow throughout our state at the grassroots level. It's already been touched on, but I don't think it's out of line to state Annie is one of the most athletic prospects in the entire recruiting class.  She's a defender with good length and speed, which isn't easy to come by in the recruiting process; and can terminate the ball vs. any sized block. Annie also possesses all of the team first traits we really like, but what's important is she understands that there are levels to this game and there is always room for improvement. We look for Annie to make a real impact in her time at UA."

Serena Ramirez | 5-5; Defender; San Pedro, Calif. (Mary Star of the Sea High School)

  • Lettered all four years of high school
  • Earned an All-Santa Fe League First Team honor (19')
  • 1st at BVCAs and AAU Nationals in Hermosa Beach, CA (16')
  • CA 2nd at AVP First championship in Manhattan Beach, CA (19')
  • Chose Arizona because, "it has always been the school I wanted to attend growing up and it was a dream to get the offer."

Coach Walker says: "In terms of competitive repetitions and high level performance in one of the best regions of beach volleyball in the country, Serena brings both of those qualities to the table.
She has done everything in her power to demonstrate her desire to be a Wildcat and has earned the status and reputation of being a very reliable and well-rounded defender.
Serena has produced many podium finishes in the last year and can do all of the things necessary to impact a competition at her position, including a game altering top spin jump serve. With all of that, we like that she's a very focused and hard worker.  Selfless and a natural leader by example, we're thrilled to bring Serena on board."

Olivia Rubio | 5-10; Blocker; Tucson, Ariz. (Catalina Foothills High School)

  • Represented the state of Arizona region (along side Alyssa Feltman) at the 2019 summer High Performance Championships in Santa Monica, Calif.
  • All-Conference Third Team as a Sophomore and Junior (19', 20')
  • Plays locally for the Walker Beach Volleyball Club
  • Chose Arizona because, "Growing up in Tucson, and around the U of A, I have always loved the idea of attending a school close to home. The opportunity to play beach volleyball makes it even more exciting."

Coach Walker says: "It goes without saying how important the name Rubio is in the Tucson volleyball community, and we're delighted Olivia decided to not only stay in-state, but blaze her own trail worth following in this program. Olivia is as dedicated and team oriented as any young person as I've been around and has shown steady improvement in all areas of the game since she made the move to concentrate solely in the beach game midway through her time in high school.  She can impact the game at the net as a blocker and has the potential to be a very well-rounded player.  We're looking for Olivia's game to continue trending upwards, and for her to make a positive impact on our program in the sand and in the locker room."