With a the 2017 volleyball season beginning this week, VolleyMob is continuing to take a look at some of the collegiate recruiting classes you may have missed and those who stand to make an impact on teams in and out of the final AVCA Top 25.
Kansas State ranked 28th in the final AVCA Coaches Poll based on receiving votes:
- Penn State
- North Carolina
- Florida State
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
- San Diego
- Washington State
- Western Kentucky
- Boise State
- Kansas State
The Kansas State Wildcats are coming off a 21-10 season in which they finished tied fourth in the Big 12 (9-7) and earned national recognition as the 14th overall seed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. They hosted the first two rounds but were upended in the second round to Ohio State, putting an end to another strong season for the program. Now, as they look for an encore, they will need their five freshmen and one transfer to help fill the void lost by some departing athletes.
Of the five freshmen, one earned high school All-American honors in Brooke Heyne out of Omaha, Nebraska. A 5’11” outside hitter, Heyne was an Under Armour Third-Team All-American in addition to being named the Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year during her senior season at Skull Catholic High School.
Joining Heyne are a quartet of other incoming freshmen: Brynn Carlson, Alex Haffner, Jacque Smith and Megan Vernon. All four play different positions, as Carlson kicks off the list as a 6’4″ outside hitter from Woodbury, Minnesota. Haffner comes from nearby Lee’s Summit, Missouri as a 5’10” setter while Smith is a 5’7″ defensive specialist/libero from Kansas City. Rounding out the crew is Vernon, a 6’2″ middle blocker out of Ontario, Canada.
Making it six newcomers is Brooke Smith, a transfer from Nebraska. A 5’10” junior setter from Weatherford, Texas, Smith appeared in 18 matches over two seasons in Lincoln and posted nine aces. Her prep career came at Azle High School where she was first-team all-district three times.
The biggest loss that the Wildcats experience is setter Katie Brand, who was a 2016 AVCA Third-Team All-American and a key player for Kansas State over her career. On the plus side, they bring in two setters in Smith and Haffner. Including the pair, they will look for the six newcomers to make an impact in 2017.