By Jessica Shelvy, Staff Writer

Following the signing of five national letters of intent in November 2015, Head Coach of the Triton’s Volleyball Program, Ryan Young, announced that Raquel Harris, freshman, business logistics, will be playing volleyball for the University of Missouri – St. Louis Tritons Volleyball Program, beginning with the 2016-2017 academic school year.

Harris announced her verbal commitment in May of 2015, and signed her national letter of intent, surrounded by friends and family, in November later that year.

Originally from Houston, Texas, Harris prepped at Cypress Ranch High School. Harris’s achievements include participating in club teams outside of her high school’s volleyball team; taking third place at Junior Nationals at age 16; being twice named an all-academic district team and bi-district finalist; being announced team captain her senior year; leading her high school team in aces her senior year with a record team best of 50; and helping the team reach district championship and regional finals in high school playoffs. With these endeavors, UMSL was quickly attracted to Harris, and the feeling was mutual.

Entering another year of coaching, Ryan Young is thrilled to have Harris join the team. Harris’s vision for herself includes earning a starting position as well as playing fantastic enough on court so that, come conference time, her team might become conference champions. Young states, “Raquel is a very talented player and athlete. I am expecting big things out of Raquel in her four years here at UMSL, and am excited to see her impact on our program in the fall and in future seasons.”

After visiting UMSL’s campus, Harris realized that passing up the given opportunity would be a mistake. Harris stated, “I chose UMSL because as soon as I started touring the campus with Coach Ryan, I felt right at home. It’s the perfect campus size for me and UMSL also has a great Business Program that I believe will make me ready and successful in the business world.” UMSL’s Business Program is ranked in the top 3% of business schools in the nation by The Princeton Review. With the new upcoming business building, Anheuser-Busch Hall, that is scheduled to be up and running for the fall 2017 semester, Harris will have no problem striving academically.

With determination, Harris is sure to go far in her volleyball career. Harris looks forward to hard work both in and out of the gym, and pushing herself through difficult workouts and practices to become better each day. Playing with new teammates, along with being in a new atmosphere is definitely an encouragement for Harris. Harris is full of excitement, and counting down the days until she is in St. Louis playing the sport she loves most.

Harris will hopefully be spotted on the court this fall as an Outside Hitter. Come support the Tritons as they take on their first home game of the season, which will be September 16, at the Mark Twain Athletic & Fitness Center at 7 p.m. against the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds.