The Class of 2020 is certainly not lacking in talent. Many are drawing national attention and have already committed to top-level D1 programs around the country. For this installment, here’s a closer look at the top-5 outside hitters in this…
The Class of 2020 is certainly not lacking in talent. Many are drawing national attention and have already committed to top-level D1 programs around the country. For this installment, here’s a closer look at the top-5 outside hitters in this class.
- Jess Mruzik, 6-2, Mercy/Legacy: It was easy to see Mruzik’s talent when she was a freshman. She could already jump out of the building and deliver a thunderous spike. Both of those traits are only getting better as she continues to develop as a player. In the fall of 2017, Mruzik was named First Team All-State in Class A after helping lead the Marlins to the state semifinals. In the four-set loss to Marian in the semifinal, Mruzik recorded 26 kills for Mercy and also had 13 digs with a pair of solo blocks. A Michigan commit, Mruzik is part of the ultra-talented Legacy 16-ELITE club team and she may just be the best outside hitter of any class in the state.
- Andelyn Simkins, 5-9, Schoolcraft/FaR Out: Smaller in size for an outside hitter, Simkins doesn’t have a problem putting balls away. In the fall 2017 season, she went over the 1,000-kill mark as a sophomore for Schoolcraft, a team that reached the Class C regional final before losing in five sets to eventual state champ, Bronson. Simkins earned Class C First Team All-State honors last fall and now she competes for FaR Out’s 17/18 Gold Team in club play. In college, Simkins will play for Western Michigan University.
- Francesca McBride, 6-2, Troy/Michigan Elite: Paired with 2019’s top-ranked player in Jessica Robinson, the Troy High School volleyball team has two of the top hitters in the entire state. McBride really excels in her blocking and she can get up to 10 feet with her vertical leap. McBride competes for the Michigan Elite Mizuno 16 team and will be heading to Florida when she enters college to play for the Gators.
- Ashley Slater, 6-2, Grand Haven/MVA: A well-rounded player for Grand Haven, Slater tallied 386 kills, 186 digs and 64 blocks for the Buccaneers in the fall of 2017. She was joined by 2018 All-State hitter, Olivia Boeve, but will now be the focal point of the Grand Haven attack in 2018. Slater competes for the MVA 17 National Black team in club and is still weighing her college options.
- Taylor Raiola, 5-11, Bloomfield Hills/Legacy: A middle hitter last fall for the Class B champs, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, Raiola is back to playing outside hitter for Legacy 16-ELITE and will likely be there in the fall of 2018 when she joins Bloomfield Hills High School. Surrounded by many talented hitters for the Irish, Raiola still racked up 337 kills in 2017 while hitting .535 on her attacks. She also had 93 aces with 280 service points, 129 blocks and 338 digs. At 5-11, Raiola is looking to develop her passing skills to better her chances of landing a scholarship at the top D1 program.