Patriot Women ink Illinois middle blocker

Patriot Women ink Illinois middle blocker

Francis Marion University women's volleyball coach Lauren Baufield has announced the signing of 6-2 middle blocker Iyanla (E-yawn-lah) Thigpen of Tinley Park, Ill., to a national letter of intent during the recent early signing period.

Thigpen is a senior at Victor J. Andrew High School, where she played under the direction of coach Emily Connolly.  A three-time All-Conference selection, Thigpen helped the Thunderbolts reach the second round of the regionals this past fall.

She also played club ball with Ultimate Volleyball of Chicago.

"We are honored and thankful that Iyanla has chosen to be a part of the vision we have for our program at Francis Marion University," Baufield said.  "Coming to us from the Midwest, she has always played at both a high and competitive level in high school and club. Her height and her ability to play in the middle and at the opposite position will continue to add depth to our team.  Iyanla will make the plays that will be hard for Patriot fans to get anything but excited about.  She has a tremendous upside and we believe that her best volleyball is yet to come."

 The Patriots lose only two seniors off this past season's very young squad that posted a 9-18 record.