Volleyball Signs Two Gifted Athletes
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/11/2011
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 11, 2011

ALBUQUERQE, N.M. - New Mexico Lobo head volleyball coach Jeff Nelson and his assistants Lisa Beauchene and Ben Wallis have inked two athletes to national letters of intent.

Ashley Kelsey of James Campbell High School in Oahu, Hawai’i, and Skye Gullatt of Smoky Hill High School in Denver, Colo., will be the newest additions to the Lobo family starting in 2012.

“We tend to look for great athletes first (when recruiting),” Nelson said of both Gullatt and Kelsey. “I think athletically they are both kids that can play at a really high level and rise to the top of our conference.

“Those are the types of athletes we are looking for. They are both really fast and both play really high, so I am excited to see what they can do.”

Kelsey is a dynamic 6-foot-tall outside hitter that has the ability to step in right away and give the Lobos an athletic advantage. During her volleyball career at James Campbell, Kelsey was a three time volleyball all star in the state of Hawai’i, earning first team honors in 2009 and 2011 and second team honors in 2010. She was named the West Division I Player of the Year in 2011 as well. She was also named Prepvolleyball.com Senior Aces 2012: Top 250.

Over the summer, Kelsey was a member of the Imi Ike 18’s team that took third place in the 18 National Gold Division at the 2011 USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships.

Kelsey also excelled in track before she was great in volleyball. She claimed silver medals in the long jump and 200 meters as well as a gold medal in the 100 meters at the 2007 Aloha State Games.

"We tend to look for great athletes first (when recruiting). I think athletically they are both kids that can play at a really high level and rise to the top of our conference."
---head coach Jeff Nelson

She chose UNM over schools such as Arizona, Loyolla Marymount, Santa Clara, Air Force Academy, SMU, Xavier, Rutgers, Texas A&M, Nevada and New Mexico State.

“Ashley (Kelsey) is going to be a six rotation player for us. She is dynamic and has a great technique in both passing and attacking,” Nelson said. “She is lightning fast and we are looking for her to step in on the left side and have a role. She is someone we expect to come in and have a big role right away.”

Like Kelsey, Gullatt is also a two-sport athlete, competing in track and field and volleyball. The 5-foot-11 Gullatt improved her skills every year she attended Smoky Hill. She was named Second-Team All-Conference in the 5A Centennial League in 2009 and earned First-Team All Conference honors in 2010 and 2011. Gullatt was named team MVP in 2011 as well.

“Skye is a really good athlete,” Nelson said. “She reminds me a lot of Ashley Rhoades coming in. She is fast and jumps really high. I think she has a lot of potential to play a similar role as Rhoades has.”

When asked why she wanted to be a Lobo, Gullatt couldn’t help but be excited in explaining why she signed with UNM.

“When I stepped on that campus, I felt like I was where I was meant to be,” Gullatt said “I was meant to be a Lobo. When coach Nelson said he wanted me to play for him, I was overwhelmed with joy. The next four years are mapped out and the only way to go is up."

Saturday, August 22
7:00 PM - 
vs. Alumnae (Exhibition)
Friday, August 28
8:00 AM - 
at Belmont
3:00 PM - 
at Albany
Saturday, August 29
5:00 PM - 
at Ball State