Florida Gators volleyball add three players to 2018 class

Special report on the Florida Gators volleyball team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Soon-to-be high school graduates Paula Cerame and Riley Fischer, along with University of North Carolina transfer Holly Carlton will compete for the Gators come 2018, as announced by Florida volleyball head coach Mary Wise Wednesday afternoon.

The trio joins Florida’s four signees from the November signing period—which include early enrollees Lauren Dooley and Thayer Hall.

Below is a look at the achievements each of the three newcomers bring with them to Gainesville.


6-7 | OPP / S | Sterling, Virginia | Potomac Falls High School | Club: Metro Volleyball Club of D.C.

Carlton’s University of North Carolina Accolades (2016-17 seasons)

· Six-rotation setter and right-side hitter

· Started all 28 matches and appeared in all 106 sets

· Led Tar Heels with 595 assists and 29 service aces

· Notched 10 double-doubles, including four triple-doubles

· Had double-digit kills in five matches, and double-digit digs in nine

· Also had a 10-block outing

· Redshirted as a freshman in 2016

· 2016-17 North Carolina Strength & Conditioning Most Improved Player

Carlton’s National Team and Prep Accolades

· 2017 USA Junior National Team – U20 Pan American Cup Gold Medalist

· 2017 USA Junior National Team – FIVB U20 World Championship (seventh place)

· 2015 PrepVolleyball.com No. 25 Senior Ace

· 2015 Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 Recruit

· 2015 Under Armour All-America Third Team

· 2015 MaxPreps All-America Second Team

· 2015 Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year

· Led Potomac Falls to their first and only regional championship and state finals appearance, tallying 669 assists, 368 kills, 63 blocks, 81 aces and hitting .399

Carlton’s Off-the-Court Notables

· Daughter of Brian and Robin Carlton

· Participated in Carolina Leadership Academy (2016-18)

· Father, Brian, played basketball for Averett (Va.) University

· Mother, Robin, also attended Averett

· Sister graduated from Virginia Tech and is in nursing school at George Washington

Mary Wise on Holly Carlton:

“She’s a presence at 6-7, left-handed, a player who can hit and set. You don’t find many talents like her very often. We are very fortunate she’s chosen to come to Florida with three years of remaining eligibility. (She is) a player with international experience, a player who can help a team in so many different ways. Cannot wait to get started with Holly, when she arrives this summer and we start training with her on our side of the net.”


DS / L | Fort Lauderdale, Florida | St. Thomas Aquinas High School | Club: Tribe Volleyball Club

Cerame’s High School Accolades

· 2017 Under Armour All-America Third Team

· 2017 PrepVolleyball.com Senior Ace “The 150”

· 2017 PrepVolleyball.com High School All-America Special Mention

· 2017 All-State First Team selection

· 2017 team captain

· 2016 State Champion (team)

· 2016 PrepVolleyball.com Defensive Dandies

· Led team in digs (259) serve receptions (274), and aces (46), in addition to ranking third in kills (104) during St. Thomas Aquinas’ run to the 2017 state semifinals

Cerame’s National Team and Club Accolades

· 2014 and 2015 USA Volleyball A1 Select National Team

· 3-time Tribe Club captain (2016-18)

· Also started at libero and played outside for Boomers Volleyball Club in 2015

· Started at libero for the No. 1-ranked team in Puerto Rico in 2014

Cerame’s Off-the-Court Notables

· Member of the National Spanish Honor Society

· Involved in many initiatives, including Muscular Dystrophy Association, Red Cross, UNICEF, and the Special Olympics

· Volunteers at Patch Reef Tennis Center

· Volunteered with Make-A-Wish Foundation Puerto Rico

· Had to choose between competitive tennis and volleyball at age 13

· Cousin, Paulina Prieto Cerame, played for Penn State and Texas

· Also had family members play for George Mason and within the Puerto Rico National Program

Mary Wise on Paula Cerame:

“We’ve been able to watch Paula through both her high school and club experiences. We think she truly is the diamond in the rough, meaning there may be coaches around the country who aren’t as familiar with Paula. We think we’ve got us a special one, because of her volleyball skills, her athletic skills, and because of how she plays the game. She’s been around the game for a long, long time. We couldn’t be more excited Paula chose Florida and will be here this summer.”

What they’re saying about Cerame:

“Paula has been an integral and valuable component to our run of three consecutive state volleyball championships at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. She is a talented athlete with the skills and mindset to compete and succeed at the University of Florida. Paula is determined, competitive, and plays with a tenacity that wills her teams to championships.” –Lisa Zielinski, Head Girls Volleyball Coach, St. Thomas Aquinas


5-7 | DS / L | Kennesaw, Georgia | Harrison High School | Club: A5 Mizuno

Fischer’s High School Accolades

· 2018 VolleyballMag Top 50

· 2017 PrepVolleyball.com No. 95 Senior Ace

· 2017 PrepVolleyball.com Defensive Dandies

· 2016 PrepVolleyball.com Top 50 Juniors

· 2016 State Champion (team)

· 2016 All-State honoree

· 2015 All-County selection

Fischer’s Club Accolades

· 2-time PrepVolleyball.com Club All-America First Team (2016, 2017)

· 2016 AAU 16 Open National Champion (team) – MVP

· 2016 USA Volleyball 16 Open National Champion (team) – MVP

· 2015 PrepVolleyball.com Junior National All-Tournament Team

Fischer’s Off-the-Court Notables

· Daughter of Jason and Roni Fischer

· Both parents are University of Florida alumni

· Also has grandparents who are University of Florida alumni

Mary Wise on Riley Fischer:

“Riley is a player we’ve known for several years. She was a camper in middle school, and we’ve been following her career since then. She’s a player who’s succeeded at every level; she’s an athletic talent, high volleyball skills, and a competitive demeanor. We’ve been waiting a long time to get her into our gym, and we’re excited about her being a Gator.”

What they’re saying about Fischer:

“Riley has been instrumental in elevating A5’s national competitive status, both on her team and as a club. She was a key piece to her team’s success in winning both AAU and USAV National Championships in 2016. Her competitive will is unmatched and a source of drive for those in her sphere. The Gators will benefit greatly from her aggressive nature and “hate to lose” mentality. Although I’m happy about her future with Florida, I’ll be sad to see her go.” –Gabe Aramian, Director of Volleyball, A5 Volleyball

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.