CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia volleyball head coach Aaron Smith announced the signing of four student-athletes to join the Cavaliers on Wednesday (Nov. 14).
The Cavaliers’ class includes outside hitters Simone Dominique (San Marino, Calif.) and Jayna Francis (Virginia Beach, Va.), setter Maddie Boylston (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) and middle blocker Mattison Matthews (Charleston, S.C.). All four of the Virginia signees were named AVCA High School All-American honorable mentions.
“This group of incomers may fly under the radar in some rankings,” said head coach Aaron Smith. “However, the combination of talent and IQ that this group possesses separates them from many classes. They will each add depth to their respective positions and they each have the ability to compete for playing time early in their careers. This is an incredibly humble and hungry group that is going to fit in perfectly with the players returning for the 2019 season.”
MADDIE BOYLSTON | S | Mount Pleasant, S.C.
A 5-foot-10 setter from South Carolina, Boylston was a four-year standout at Wando High School. Boylston led Wando to the 2015 4A state championship and a runner-up finish the following three years in 5A.
In 2018, Boylston has dished out 1,334 assists to lead all setters in South Carolina. She ranks 27th in the country in assists this season. She was named to the South Carolina All-Star and All-State teams, while also earning All-America Honorable Mention from the AVCA.
SMITH SAYS: “Simply put, Maddie gets her attackers in great position to score the ball. She has been a linchpin for every team she has played on and she makes her attackers look good.”
SIMONE DOMINIQUE | OH | San Marino, Calif.
A 6-foot outside hitter from California, Dominique was a four-year starter at Notre Dame High School. As a senior, the Cavalier commit is hitting .316 on the season. Dominique played five years of club volleyball for SG Elite.
Dominique was named an All-America Honorable Mention by the AVCA and is a PrepVolleyball Senior Ace. She earned a spot on the Mission League All-Academic Team and served as a team captain at Notre Dame High School. Dominique earned Maxima Cum Laude honors in each of her first three years.
SMITH SAYS: “Fortunately, we have two incoming outside hitters with six-rotation abilities. Simone does it all on the court and has played for a club that has had success at the highest possible level. She has battled against the best in the country and has come out on top many times. Simone is a winner.”
JAYNA FRANCIS | OH | Virginia Beach, Va.
A Tidewater standout, Francis joins Virginia after a stellar four-year career at Princess Anne High School. She was named the 2018 Region Player of the Year and was also nominated for Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year. Francis is both an AVCA All-American Honorable Mention and PrepVolleyball Senior Ace Honorable Mention.
This season Francis helped Princess Anne to a 27-0 regular season record, the first undefeated season in program history. She also became the first player to eclipse the 1,000-kill mark in school history. Francis was named the 2017 5A State Player of the Year and is a two-time First Team All-State selection. She is a three-time All-Region and All-Tidewater selection and helped Princess Anne to the 2016 5A State Championship. Francis played for Metro VBC at the club level.
SMITH SAYS: “Jayna can do just about anything as a volleyball player. She has great instincts and reads the game at a high level. Her ability to handle the ball as a passer and defender, while also being a dynamic front row player as an attacker and blocker is a unique skill set to find in today’s game.”
MATTISON MATTHEWS | MB | Charleston, S.C.
Matthews is a standout at Ashley Hall High School, earning South Carolina All-State honors for five consecutive seasons. As a senior, Matthews has 648 kills and is hitting .440. She has also amassed 137 rejections in her final season at Ashley Hall.
Matthews was named the 2016 and 2017 SCISA 3A Volleyball Player of the Year and is a three-time recipient of the Ashley Hall Most Valuable Player award. She holds the all-time record for kills at Ashley Hall, where she also lettered in track.
SMITH SAYS: “She is a phenomenal athlete who has made huge strides in her game each year we have recruited her. One of the most team-first players I have recruited, she will undoubtedly make her teammates better each and every day. She is going to make an impact very early in her UVA career.”