LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas volleyball head coach Ray Bechard announced the signing of Annika Carlson, a 5-foot-11 setter from Olathe, Kansas, to a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday.
As a four-year letterwinner at Olathe South High School, Carlson was named All-Sunflower League honoree twice. Her club team, MAVS, is the same program which produced current Jayhawk seniors Tayler Soucie and Cassie Wait.
“Annika will be a great addition because she is a great teammate, she wants to work hard, and she loves Kansas,” Bechard said. “She will get to spend a year with one of the best setters in the country (All-American Ainise Havili), which will be a great advantage.”
Shortly after Carlson started playing volleyball relatively late in her youth career (seventh grade), she set a goal to play at the highest level. On Wednesday, that dream became a reality.
“My parents explained the amount of work and skill it would take for me to achieve this goal and what a small percentage of people that actually are able to do this,” Carlson said. “They have always believed in me, been realistic with me and supported my big goals.”
While waiting in the wings to potentially become the next great setter at KU, Bechard knows she will be equipped with the right intangibles to lead a team.
“She is a good communicator. She understands team leadership. Anytime we see her in a group setting, she interacts in a way that shows us she will have the ability to gain the trust of her teammates in short order,” Bechard concluded.
The fourth-ranked Jayhawks (22-2, 11-1 Big 12) are entering the final three weeks of the regular season and will play host to TCU on Saturday in Horejsi Family Athletics Center (4 p.m., JTV/ESPN3).
News courtesy of Kansas Athletics.
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