Oxon Hill middle blocker Rainelle Jones signed with Maryland volleyball as the lone piece of coach Steve Aird's 2018 recruiting class Thursday.
Jones, whose father Tom Jones played basketball at Maryland from 1984-86, is ranked the No. 32 senior in the country by PrepVolleyball. The 6-foot-3 middle blocker was one of 22 players this year selected to participate in the USA Girls' Youth Continental Team Program, and she was also invited to the Team USA National Holiday Prospect Camp last year.
"She has been developing at an elite club program along with training in the USA Volleyball pipeline," Aird said in a release. "Rainelle is another important piece of our program's build and we are excited to get her on campus."
Jones plays for Metro Volleyball Club, the same program that produced current Terps Erika Pritchard and Nell Drummey. Class of 2019 commit Cara Lewis, daughter of former Terps basketball player Cedric Lewis (1987-91), is another Metro Volleyball player.
Last year, Aird added six freshmen and earned the Terps their first Top-10 recruiting class, according to PrepVolleyball's rankings. But there are just two seniors (defensive specialist Samantha Higginbothem and middle blocker Hailey Murray) on the team this year, leaving little room for new additions.
Middle blocker Katie Myers suffered a season-ending knee injury for the second consecutive year early this season. Her return next year, alongside Jones, could create a dynamic blocking duo; Metro Volleyball lists Jones' vertical jump at 10-foot-8.
"One of our goals when we arrived was to attract and sign the best prospects in the DMV," Aird said. "Rainelle is physical, has a great engine and her upside is really exciting."