With a little less than two weeks 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.
Western Kentucky begins our venture to the AVCA Receiving Votes portion:
- Penn State
- North Carolina
- Florida State
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
- San Diego
- Washington State
- Western Kentucky
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers have become one of the best non-Power Five women’s volleyball programs in the country, as they’ve won 25 or more matches every year dating back to 2006. In fact, they have won 30 or more in five of the last six seasons. They added to it last year with a 30-3 (14-0 C-USA) record and yet another NCAA Tournament appearance. As they continue to push for sustained success and to reach higher aspirations, they will look to four new freshmen to assist in their goals as a program.
Half of the incoming freshman class come as in-state recruits in Kentucky. Not only that, but they both attended the same high school. A 5’7″ defensive specialist/libero, Darby Music is from Lexington, Kentucky. Beyond the fantastic name, she was a 2017 High School Under Armour All-America Honorable Mention recipient. Joining her from the Bluegrass state and Henry Clay High School is 6’1″ outside hitter Hallie Shelton. Shelton was also a part of the Under Armour High School All-American team as she earned third-team honors.
The two commits coming from out-of-state are Taylor Bebout and Kayland Jackson. Bebout, a 5’11” setter from Decatur, Indiana, won conference and sectional championships as team captain at Bellmont High School. At 5’11”, Jackson can play middle blocker and right side. She was a conference player of the year at Warren Central High School in Indianapolis as she also was a sprinter in track & field.
Overall, the recruiting class for Western Kentucky was listed as being one of the highest honorable mentions for PrepVolleyball’s team recruiting rankings.
The freshmen join a Western Kentucky team that was picked to win the Conference USA for the fourth straight season. They also received votes in the preseason AVCA Poll to where they would rank 27th in the country. A big part for that is due to the return of outside hitter Alyssa Cavanaugh and setter Jessica Lucas, who were both 2016 AVCA Honorable Mention All-Americans as juniors.