NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt volleyball head coach Anders Nelson announced Wednesday the signing of six student-athletes to join the newly reinstated program. Nelson’s initial recruiting class will begin training in the fall of 2024 in preparation for the team’s first season of competition, which will begin in fall 2025.
“When we started to build this class, we were looking for student-athletes who had the courage to seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, could compete at the SEC level and were the type of young women who match the elite reputation of Vanderbilt,” Nelson said. “This group exceeded our expectations.”
Hailee Mack was the first student-athlete to verbally commit to Nelson’s program, followed by Giovanna Mason, Reese Animashaun, Taryn DeWese, Madison Bowser and Rachel Ogunleye.
Mack, a 5-foot-11 libero, is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. She played club volleyball at Kiva Volleyball from 2018 to 2023 and will play at IMG Academy during the 2023-24 season. Mack has been named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America Watch List for the past two years and has received invitations to the USA Volleyball National Team Development Program (2022-23) and Under Armor Next Camp (2022-23). In 2022, she was named to the Junior Volleyball Association Watch List after earning all-region recognition the previous year. Off the court, Mack was named academic first-team all-state in 2021 and 2022 and is a member of the Spanish National Honor Society, honor roll and service honor roll.
Mason, who is 5-foot-11, attends Liberty Hill High School and plays for Austin Juniors Volleyball as an opposite hitter. This past season in 2023, she was named to the Texas Girls Coaches Association 5A all-state team. In 2022 and 2023, Mason was named to the Westwood Showcase all-tournament team, where she and the Liberty Hill volleyball team placed second. Mason was also named the Austin American-Statesman Athlete of the Week. During her sophomore year in 2021, she was named to the AVCA Phenom List. A member of the Austin Juniors 10-foot club, she has attended the USAV NTDP and the 2018 Iowa Junior Olympics. Throughout high school, Mason has received all-academic team and honor roll recognition.
Animashaun of Houston, Texas, attends St. John’s School and plays club volleyball for Houston Skyline. She is a seven-time recipient of the Not Without Honor Award, which is given to the top female student-athlete at St. John’s each…