Times have changed in the world of recruiting and transfers, as Penn State appears to have lost Michaela Putnicki to Wichita State according to her Instagram profile. The news was also backed up by her former club team, Colorado Juniors, in their alumni section.
Putnicki, a 6’1″ outside hitter, was a freshman this past season with a Penn State team that spent much of the year ranked #1, earned a share of the Big Ten title, went to the Final Four and collected an overall record of 33-2. She appeared in just three sets and logged six kills in the limited time.
Putnicki will be a sophomore in 2018 and have three years left of eligibility. The move has yet to be confirmed by Wichita State, so it is unclear if she will be immediately eligible, though it would be likely since she is moving out of conference.
Prior to her stay at University Park, Putnicki attended Lewis-Palmer High School in Colorado. Her performance earned her a host of awards, notably a spot on the Under Armour All-American Third Team and the 2016 Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year.
The loss for Penn State just adds to a long list of players departing the program following 2017. Putnicki’s transfer and a few graduations mean the Nittany Lions will be without three of the five outside hitters who occupied their 2017 roster.
From old to new for Putnicki, Wichita State finished the 2017 season at 29-4, going 20-0 in their first season as a member of the AAC. That earned them a national ranking of 16 in the NCAA Tournament where they hosted for the first time and made the second round. They lose two outside hitters to graduation, led by Mikaela Raudsepp who averaged just under three kills per set last year. Putnicki will look to fill that role and keep the Shockers success rolling.