Purple Aces Add Three for 2021
With a strong first season under his belt and a great deal of optimism for the upcoming spring slate, University of Evansville head volleyball coach Fernando Morales has announced the signing of three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to begin their Purple Aces careers in 2021.
UE’s newest class includes Taya Haffner, Madisyn Steele and Giulia Cardona.
“We are very excited about the incoming 2021 class. We were lucky to close such a talented class with all the challenges we are going through,” Morales exclaimed. “We are happy with where this program is going.”
A native of Fort Wayne, Ind., Taya Haffner is a setter who played at Carroll F.W. High School. In 2020, she was named to the IHSVCA Players to Watch List while garnering IHSVCA Academic All-State accolades. Haffner earned a spot on the 2019 ICGSA Volleyball Class 4A All-State Team and was on the Ultra Ankle® JVA Watch List on two occasions – 2017 and 2018.
Coach Morales on Haffner:
“Taya is a tall setter with great hands. Her leadership skills are very advanced for her age. She is coached by probably the best setter in volleyball history, Indiana native and Olympic gold medalist Lloy Ball. I receive the best recommendation from him and when we went watch her play, we were sure she was the setter we wanted leading our program for the next four years.”
Madisyn Steele comes to the University of Evansville from New Paris, Ind. where she was a middle blocker at Fairfield Senior High School. She capped her career off with numerous IHSVCA accolades, highlighted by a spot on the 2020 IHSVCA Players to Watch List. Her on and off-court efforts resulted in three prestigious honors in 2020 – IHSVCA 2A All-State, IHSVCA 2A All-District and IHSVCA Academic All-State.
Coach Morales on Steele:
“Madisyn is a very athletic middle blocker, her height and size along with her athleticism will make her a very successful player in our conference. She plays in her club team with Taya so they will bring that connection from day one. She is the type of player we are looking for to have a bigger team to compete with the best of the MVC.”
Making her way to UE from Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina is Giulia Cardona. The right side hitter joins the Aces program following a successful career at Instituto Politécnico Superior “General San Martin”.
Coach Morales on Cardona:
“Giulia brings a lot of experience for her age. She brings the international game style that we are implementing in our program. She is a powerful hitter, server and all-around player. Her father was my coach when the Puerto Rico national team had their best years. We know she is being taught the right things and she will come to UE ready to contribute from day one.”