Puerto Rican club Gigantes de Carolina have signed two new players, Kyra Holt and Naya Crittenden, who will join the club for the 2017 LVSF season. Both players have recently completed standout collegiate careers at Washington State and Illinois, respectively.
Holt, a 6’1″ left-handed outside hitter originally from Hercules, California was named an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American as a senior last season. In her senior season, she hit .207 and averaged 3.83 kills/set in 124 sets for Washington State. She had over 20 kills on five different occasions on the year, with most of those games coming against top 25 and NCAA tournament-caliber competition.
She had her biggest game of the year in the Cougars’ final win of the season – a 3-1 win over Marquette in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. There she recorded 22 kills and a .370 average in just 4 sets, adding in 8 digs and 3 aces for 25 total points.
Crittenden, from the University of Illinois, hails from Modesto, California – about 90 minutes inland from Holt’s home town. Crittenden, at 6’2″, is an opposite.
She was not quite as prolific as her future teammate was offensively, with just 255 kills in 109 sets (2.33/set), but did hit for a higher percentage (.233). Crittenden had flashes of brilliance from the opposite side in her senior year, but struggled with consistency: on 7 occasions, she had double digit kills and hit over .340. But on 7 other occasions, she had a negative hitting percentage.
“I had to choose an outside hitter,” team manager Willie Lopez said. “What happened is that in the end, one played if the other played. It looks like their good friends. I was looking for Holt, and I liked her because she’s left-handed. Crittenden is not bad; from the videos I’ve seen, she’s not bad.”
The players are expected to join the club on January 2nd or 3rd, Lopez said. Last season, the club made it to the quarter finals of the league cup before falling to los Indias de Mayaguez.