Former Arizona State player Jasmine Koonts will transfer to Ohio State next year, making her one of three Sun Devils to leave the program this off-season. The moves coincide with the promotion of Sanja Tomasevic as the program’s new head coach after Stevie Mussie left the program. Mussie was the shortest-tenured coach in program history.
Koonts, originally from Houston, Texas, was a sophomore middle blocker for Arizona State last season. In two seasons, she had 133 blocks and 190 kills, including a career-game against Oregon State in October where she had 12 kills and 8 blocks. She had a breakout second season at Arizona State, improving in virtually every category and ranking 2nd on the team in blocks with 81. A progression of her stats from year-to-year:
|Year||Team||Sets||Started||Games||Started||Kills||Errors||Total Attacks||Hit Pct||Assists||Digs||Block Solos||Block Assists||BErr||PTS|
In spite of her improvements in the front row, Koonts virtually never played in the back row or served.
Koonts will help to fill a crucial hole in the middle for the Buckeyes, who graduated VolleyMob.com Second Team All-American Taylor Sandbothe. Sandbothe graduated as the school’s all-time career leader in blocks (she had 144 last season alone – more than Koonts has in her career – and led the team with 506 kills last year. While no one player is likely to pick up all of that slack any time soon, the Buckeyes have the luxury of a 6’1″ setter in Taylor Hughes who can contribute both offensively and defensively out of the middle – she averaged 1.72 kills and .61 blocks per set last season. All that being said, while not as prolific, Koonts does fits Sandbothe’s mold of being able to score both offensively and defensively from the middle blocker position, though Sandbothe was a 6-rotation player.
Ohio State made it to the Sweet 16 of last year’s NCAA tournament before falling to the University of Wisconsin.
Lexi MacLean will transfer to TCU next season and Kylie Pickrell will transfer to NC State. Those add to BreElle Bailey, who left the team earlier in the year and has announced that she too will transfer to NC State to follow coach Linda Hampton-Keith.
Koonts announced the decision on her Twitter account:
Guess who's a Buckeye!! I'll Can't wait to see what Ohio State has for me.. I'll miss ya ASU pic.twitter.com/wYAjkE345E
— Jasmine Koonts (@jasmine_koonts) January 18, 2017