University of Maryland star libero Kelsey Wicinski will transfer to Florida State, she announced on Sunday on her Instagram account.
The post reads: “I am so excited to announce that I will be finishing my academic and volleyball career at Florida State University!!! I am so thankful for this amazing opportunity and I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my life! #GoNoles”
Wicinski, who has 1 year of eligibility remaining, spent the past 2 years as the team’s starting libero (she played primarily as a defensive specialist as a freshman, with 2 starts). Her junior season, though, was truncated – she played in just 18 games and 63 sets, missing the last 14 games of the season with what was described as an “upper body injury.”
At the time she went out with her injury, Wicinski was leading the Big Ten in digs per set with 301 digs in 63 sets (4.78/set). She ultimately wound up being ineligible to ‘rank’ in that category, because she didn’t play enough in the season (a player must participate in 2/3 of their team’s sets), but that pace would’ve ranked her 63rd nationally had she continued it.
That means the Terrapins will lose 2 of the 4 defensive specialist/liberos listed on their roster next season – Wicinski and Samantha Higgenbothem, who played in 72 sets as a serving/defensive specialist but is graduating. The team only announced one scholarship freshman next season, middle blocker Rainelle Jones, which means that barring a shakeup, the starting libero role should fall to Samantha Burgio. Burgio started 14 matches at libero (the 14 that Wicinski missed). She averaged 1.33 digs/set across 84 sets in the season, but that number jumped to 2.98 when she moved into the starting libero role.
Maryland started the season 11-0 and were one of the last-remaining undefeated teams in the country until back-to-back 3-0 losses to Washington and Ohio State in September. Wicinski’s injury, along with one to team captain and middle blocker Katie Myers, coincided with a late-season slump for the Terrapins. After that 11-0 start, Maryland went just 7-14 down the stretch, including losing 6 of their last 8.
Florida State, meanwhile, graduated their starting libero, Norwegian national Cecilie Woie. She led the team with 4.37 digs/set last season as Florida State finished 18-11 overall and 12-8 in the ACC.
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