Jan. 29, 2018

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia Volleyball head coach Aaron Smith announced the addition of defensive specialist Kristen Leland (Dallas, Texas) to the Cavaliers’ 2018 recruiting class. On Monday (Jan. 29).

“I am thrilled to announce Kristen because I know how excited she is to officially join the UVA volleyball family,” said Smith. “Kristen brings a strong serve-receive presence and is a ferocious defender. Our fans will love watching her frustrate our opponents with the relentless defense she plays.

“She has competed at a high level throughout her prep career and those experiences have prepared her for ACC volleyball.”

Leland played high school volleyball for The Episcopal School of Dallas where she set for the Eagles. As a senior, Leland helped ESD to a 23-9 mark, averaging 8.5 assists per set. She also racked up 299 digs to average four per set.

Leland was a four-year starter for the Eagles and captured numerous awards including a spot on the 2015 American Volleyball Coaches Association Phenom list. She was also named the 2014 Offensive Newcomer of the Year and later earned All-Southwest Preparatory Conference in 2016.

In 2017, she was named to the AVCA Under Armour High School All-America Watch List and was ranked among the top 25 players in the recruiting class in Texas by FloVolleyball. Leland ended the year by earning a spot on Prep Volleyball’s Dandelions list.

“In addition to her skills, she brings a team-first attitude to the gym,” Smith said. “Everything we know about Kristen indicates she is not only going to be a great teammate, but she is going to be a great player for this program throughout the next four years.”

Leland is the third member of the 2018 class, joining Milla Ciprian and Grace Turner.