With just about one month left before the 2017 volleyball season begins, VolleyMob is taking 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.
Ohio State marks team number 18 on the list:
- Penn State
- North Carolina
- Florida State
- Ohio State
In 2016, Ohio State managed its way through difficult terrain in the Big Ten en route to an NCAA Tournament berth. From there, they would go on to the Sweet 16 after taking down nationally seeded Kansas State on their home floor. In total, it was a 22-13 record (10-10 Big Ten) for the Buckeyes, who finished ranked 18th in the final AVCA Poll. As they look toward 2017, they welcome a host of new faces, as four freshmen and two transfers join the program.
Two of the freshman come in after receiving Under Armour First-Team All-America status: Ayanna Swan and Lauren Witte. Swan is a 6’2″ outside hitter from Richmond, Virginia, where she was three-time all-state playing at Mills E. Godwin High School. Also at 6’2″, Witte comes in as a middle blocker from Mentor, Ohio. She was all-league all four of her seasons at Lake Catholic High School.
The duo of transfers are Jasmine Koonts and Megan Carr. Koonts was part of the mass exodus from the Arizona State program. As a 6’2″ middle blocker, she collected 190 kills and 133 total blocks in her two seasons with Arizona State. Carr meanwhile comes in after spending the spring semester at Butler and will remain a freshman in 2017. In her career at Zionsville Community High School, she totaled 230 kills, a school-record 1,650 digs and 187 aces.
Rounding out the six incomers are the other two incoming freshmen – Hannah Gruensfelder and Becca Mauer. A 5’6″ defensive specialist from Weldon Spring, Missouri, Gruensfelder was an AAU All-American and a four-year starter at the libero position for St. Joseph Academy. Mauer on the other hand is a 5’9″ setter from Houston, Texas, and was also an AAU All-American. She was named Setter of the Year in her district at Jersey Village High School each of the last two seasons.
Ohio State suffered a big loss in AVCA Second-Team All-American middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe, who led the team with over 500 kills but has exhausted her eligibility after graduating from Ohio State. Beyond Sandbothe, Ohio State loses a few other names, which created the openings for the six newcomers. They also return a large amount of the team’s kills behind Sandbothe in addition to the setter Taylor Hughes – a 2016 AVCA Third-Team All-American.