Coach Tim Horsmon announced the Terrapins women's volleyball team's incoming freshman class today. Setters Julia Anderson and Whitney Craigo, middle blockers Ashlyn MacGregor and Chavi St. Hill, defensive specialist Jessica Ward and outside hitter Alex Brown will join the Terps next season.

“We are excited about this group of athletes,” Horsmon said in a statement. “I believe we have an athletic group of volleyball players that still have a lot of room to grow. We will be as deep as I can remember our team being and will be competitive at every position in our own gym.”

Horsman expects St. Hill to compete for playing time right away. The West Orange, N.J., native was a first team all-conference selection as a junior and senior, and she served as team captain her senior year.

”Chavi is a quick jumper who covers a lot of ground laterally," Horsmon said in the statement. "We're excited about the depth we've created in the middle position and it should play out to be a competitive position in the gym.”

Ward, an The Owings native, helped Northern reach the south regional final in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The converted setter will look to improve the squad’s defensive prowess. The Terps ranked ninth in the conference in opponent hitting percentage in 2012.

“I have watched (Jess) the last few years through our camps,” Horsmon said in the statement. “She is great teammate and leader by example. Jess converted from setter to defensive specialist and is still learning the nuances of her new position, but is extremely quick and will not let the ball hit the floor.”

The Terps finished 17-15 last year, good for eighth in the ACC. This six-member recruiting class will be counted on to fill the void left by the two graduating seniors, middle blocker Caitlin Adams and setter Remy McBain. McBain, who ranks fifth on the Terrapins volleyball team’s career assist list, moved on to play professional in Puerto Rico for the Liga de Voleibol Superior Femenino.

The Terps open the 2013 campaign at George Washington on Aug. 30 in the GW/Nike Invitational.

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