Volleyball announces 2023 Freshman Class

The OLLU volleyball program recruited eight freshmen for the upcoming season. The Saints are coming off an undefeated Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) regular season championship in 2022 and will vie for a national title.

Head Coach Scott Mattera led the squad to a 16-0 conference mark and 21-5 overall record last year. The campaign featured 10 sweeps and ended in a tough five-set loss in the RRAC championship match. Familiar faces will return for the Saints as the lone senior graduated in May. Mattera commented, “I’m really excited about this class coming in. They bring a level of fight and fire to the court while also being great teammates. This class brings a high level of athleticism to the table.”

Arianna Moreno arrives from William Howard Taft High School and the San Antonio Elite Volleyball Club. She is praised for her athleticism and defensive style as a setter. Moreno earned Second Team All-District honors during her junior and senior seasons. She also made the Academic All-State Team with an honorable mention in her final year.  

Makaelyn Perez joins the team from Belton, Texas, where she played at Belton High School and Waco Juniors Volleyball Club. Perez is a highflying middle with great energy and will help fill the void after Tijana Kruta graduated. She was named Offensive Player of the Year in 2021-2022 and Offensive MVP in 2022-2023.

Defensive setter Mia Perez is a spark plug that is known for keeping points alive and being a great teammate. She graduated from Banquete High School in Banquete, Texas, and plays for Prime X Volleyball Club. Perez made First Team All-District, Academic All-District and was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year, among other honors.

Daniella Saenz was scouted by Mattera during a camp in Victoria, Texas, and he noted that she was an instant fit for the Saints. Saenz brings a mature energy to the court and has the frame to be a point scorer in the front row. She went to Cuero High School and competed with the Texstar Volleyball Club. Saenz garnered Defensive Player of the Year recognition while in high school.

Amaya Thompson hails from Paetow High School and Houston Juniors Volleyball Club. Thompson was recruited by OLLU’s track and field program and will be a multi-sport athlete. She will be a high jumper in track and field, which translates to vertical potential for the volleyball team. Thompson will compete as a middle and earned Academic All-District honors at Paetow High School.

Victoria Urbanczyk is ready to contribute immediately as an outside hitter and defensive specialist. She brings stability while presenting a balanced and vertical attack. Urbanczyk played at Pleasanton High School and Alamo Volleyball Club. She was a two-time Offensive Player of the Year and earned MVP in 2023.

Chanisty Villarreal-Bermea played locally at Harlandale High School while also competing for Warriors Volleyball Club. She has one of the highest verticals in the program as a defensive specialist. Villarreal-Bermea can hit in addition to her smooth and explosive movements on defense in the back row.

Deandra Ybarra wraps up the incoming freshmen class. Ybarra joins the team from Alice High School and Corpus Christi Storm Volleyball Club. She’s a confident setter who can organize and run a court on her own, and yet is still hungry to learn more. Mattera commented that Ybarra is the type of player who will have coaching opportunities in the future.  

The volleyball team begins the 2023 season by hosting the Alamo City Volleyesta from Aug. 17-19. Fans can watch live streaming throughout the season by clicking here.