With under a 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.
Washington State puts us one team away from finishing the top 25:
- Penn State
- North Carolina
- Florida State
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
- San Diego
- Washington State
Washington State collected more than 20 wins as they earned an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2016. They even took advantage of their selection as they won a match to advance to the second round and cement a top 25 finish to the season. It was a bit of a surprise as Washington State went 16-16 in 2015, but now after a season of improvement that featured wins over Kentucky, Washington, UCLA, Arizona and Stanford, they will look to build off their success. To supplement the returning players and ease the loss of some, Washington State is welcoming a pair of transfers and four freshmen to their 2017 roster.
Both transfers come in from the Big 12 conference, as Ashley Brown was with the Oklahoma Sooners in 2016. In her lone season in Norman, the 5’9″ setter appeared in eight sets and logged 24 assists and seven digs. She originally came into the program after being ranked the 76th best senior recruit by PrepVolleyball in addition to earning Under Armour All-America Honorable Mention status.
The second transfer comes in from Iowa State in Abby Phillips, a 5’5″ defensive specialist/libero. She joins the Washington State program after spending two seasons in Ames where she appeared in 25 matches and netted 139 digs in two seasons. In those 25 match appearances, seven came as starts at libero, including two separate 21-dig performances last season as a sophomore.
Joining the duo of transfers are a quartet of freshmen: Penny Tusa, Charity Bradley, Savanah Smith and Cameron Antoine-Dillon. Tusa is the lone setter of the bunch as she comes in after a league MVP playing at Long Beach Poly High School in Anaheim, California. Bradley and Smith both are outside hitters, but come in with different bios. At 6’4″, Bradley is out of St. George, Utah while Smith is a 5’11” left-handed hitter from Roseville, California. The final recruit is Antoine-Dillon, a 6’0″ middle blocker from Calabasas, California. All four were stars at their respective high school level.
The newcomers will help replace the void left by Kyra Holt, the 2016 kill-leader for Washington State and a member of the AVCA All-America Honorable Mention team. They also bring back three players who were over 200 kills in 2016, notably outside hitters Taylor Mims and Casey Schoenlein, who were both All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention last season.