Volleyball Adds Two Transfers

Isabella Bareford, Sydney Conley will arrive in Nashville in August of 2024

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Isabella Bareford and Sydney Conley will join Vanderbilt volleyball as graduate transfers, head coach Anders Nelson announced Monday. The two student-athletes will enroll in graduate programs in August and redshirt during the 2024 season to retain their final year of eligibility for the program’s inaugural campaign in 2025.

“I am so happy Isa and Sydney will be joining Vanderbilt volleyball as graduate students for their final year of eligibility,” Nelson said. “Both women bring a wealth of knowledge and NCAA Tournament experience to the program. They will be exceptional role models for the younger student-athletes on our team and are excited to embrace a leadership role on our first team since 1980. I admire their courage and belief in Vanderbilt volleyball and can’t wait to welcome them both to Nashville!”

Bareford, a 5-foot-8 setter from Long Beach, California, spent the last four seasons playing at Loyola Marymount, three as team captain. While playing for the Lions, she started all 98 matches of her collegiate career. Bareford earned All-West Coast Conference honors all four years; she was named to the first team in 2020 and 2022 and the second team in 2021 and 2023. She helped the program to one NCAA tournament appearance in 2022, playing against third-seeded Oregon. During her four years in Los Angeles, Bareford tallied 3,372 assists, 103 service aces and 636 digs. In 2022, she averaged 10.46 digs per set.

While earning her bachelor’s in health and human services, Bareford made the Loyola Marymount dean’s list five semesters. She also received WCC All-Academic first team honors in 2022 and 2023 and an honorable mention nod in 2021.

“Isa is one of the best pure setters in the country, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome her to our squad,” Nelson said. “She has a championship mindset and has been a winner at all levels. Isa expressed always dreaming of going to school at Vanderbilt, and I am so happy that she has that opportunity now thanks to volleyball’s return to Vandy.”

Conley is transferring to Vanderbilt from Florida State where she is currently finishing her degree in sociology. The 6-foot-1 outside hitter was a part of the Seminoles’ 2023 ACC championship team. During her four years in Tallahassee, she was a member of teams that competed in the NCAA Tournament on three occasions.

During her senior year with the Seminoles, Conley recorded 156 kills in 116 sets played. She tallied 17 kills and produced a .382 hitting percentage at the Classic City Clash. In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, she contributed a season-best nine kills, one dig and four blocks against TCU. As a sophomore, Conley registered eight kills with a .571 hitting percentage versus Kansas State in the 2021 NCAA Tournament first round.

“As a coaching staff, we see so much potential in Sydney that we can’t wait to tap into,” Nelson said. “I have no doubt she will be a leader on this team with her team-first mentality and fierce desire to leave the program better than she found it. She will be an excellent asset in building the foundation of Vanderbilt volleyball.”

In August, Bareford and Conley will join six incoming freshmen, Reese Animashaun (Houston, Texas), Maddy Bowser (Vienna, Va.), Taryn DeWese (Bowling Green, Ohio), Hailee Mack (Louisville, Ky.), Gigi Mason (Austin, Texas) and Rachel Ogunleye (Bloomington, Ill.), in Nashville to begin training.