Hunt for outside hitter leads to Cavegirl
V-Ball inks outside hitter from Carlsbad, NM
Brianna Hunt signs Letter of Intent with SAGU
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The off-season recruiting efforts of the Southwestern Assemblies of God University volleyball team has been an active one, with Head Coach Hank Moore securing the services of several standout prep players.
Helping fill a need at outside hitter, Coach Moore has announced the acquisition of Brianna Hunt, who hails from Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Known as the Pearl on the Pecos River, the area is known primarily for the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. It is situated on the mineral rich edge of the Permian Basin and the Guadalupe Mountains.
SAGU hopes the 5-foot-10 Hunt is a peak performer for the Lady Lions, who posted another winning season last fall.
Under veteran Coach Moore the team has produced eight consecutive winning regular seasons at SAGU. Last season the team went 17-14 in the regular season before posting a final mark of 18-17 (includes post-season tournament play).
In each of those eight campaigns the Purple Pride has qualified for a berth in the Red River Athletic Conference.
SAGU must replace their lone senior, Caitlyn Hudson (Mansfield, Tx / Legacy HS), a 5’10 outside hitter.
She enjoyed a career year with 408 kills to finish No. 3 on the school’s all-time leader board. Her 154 aces advanced her to No. 4 on the list, just the second frontline player to crack the Top 5.
The signing of Hunt provides the team will a contributor to fill the void. She averaged 1.7 kills per set as well as racking up 17% of her serves for aces.
While a member of the Class 5A Carlsbad “Cavegirls,” she played for Head Coach Bonnie McKenzie.
"It is always bittersweet when one of your players moves on, it really is,” said the coach to the Carlsbad Current Argus newspaper. “But it is exciting to see them have a life after high school as far as volleyball is concerned," McKenzie said.
As much as volleyball at SAGU might appeal to prep players, it was the campus, its mission and her calling in life that fit perfectly when volleyball was part of the mix. Call it higher education and a higher calling.
"It is a Christian school and it had the major I wanted so it seemed like a perfect fit for me," Hunt said. The combination of a Christian university with a music ministry major made the choice a simple one for the senior.
She added that she can't wait to join her teammates on the court and further her playing career.
Coach McKenzie urged her to tryout at SAGU.
"I didn't think I'd be able to sign with them since they're pretty good. I went and tried out and did the best I had ever done. I couldn't do that without Christ," said Hunt.
Hunt mentioned the chemistry she felt, along with the respect between SAGU players and Coach Moore as contributing factors.
"I want to major in music ministry,” she quipped, “and I want to be a missionary one day. So going to a Christian school was a big part of that for me."
Coach McKenzie stated that loyalty is a strong suit for Hunt, which will come in handy in Moore’s “team” philosophy. Her abilities at the net, including blocking were also cited.
Hunt also benefitted from her experience playing club volleyball for the Carlsbad “Blackout,” whose coach was her mother, Danielle Cathey.
"It is a blessing and a relief," Cathey said. "We're just very excited and proud of her to take the steps and see where she is going."
Bri (pronounced BREE) has two younger siblings; Annie Cathey (7) and Bailey Cathey (5). Her parents are Jerrike and Danielle Cathey (pictured above, right).
She joins a recruiting class that began with McKenzie Criddle, a 6’0 middle hitter from Livingston H.S., northeast of Houston. Others are expected to be announced shortly.