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March 3, 1998

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – University of Virginia head volleyball coach Melissa Aldrich Shelton has announced the signing of two players to national letters of intent with Virginia.

The players are Deidre Downs from Helena, Ala., and Jennifer Harmon from Virginia Beach, Va.

Downs (5-10), a hitter at Pelham High, lettered four times in volleyball and was named to the Alabama high school All-Star team in 1998. She earned first team All-State honors in 1997 and 1995, and was a second team All-State selection in 1996.

“Jenny is a natural athlete who has dominated at the local high school and club level, say’s Shelton. She has a natural instinct for blocking which will help her challenge our returners for playing time in the front row. Her enthusiastic and caring personality will bring a closer sense of family to our team.

Harmon (5-11), a middle blocker/middle hitter at Salem High, lettered four times in volleyball, basketball and twice in softball. She was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in 1997 and 1998 and earned the eastern region player of the year award last season.

“Deidre will be making a position change when she comes to Charlottesville, going from hitter to setter. Her cat-like athletic ability, calm yet intense demeanor and mental knowledge of the game will make this a relatively easy transition for her. Expect to see her pushing returners in both the setting and outside hitter positions as she fights for court time her first year.”

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