With the 2017-18 high school year coming to and end, the volleyball stars in the Class of 2018 will soon embark on their college careers. Here’s a look at the universities that look to be benefiting most from this year’s…
With the 2017-18 high school year coming to and end, the volleyball stars in the Class of 2018 will soon embark on their college careers. Here’s a look at the universities that look to be benefiting most from this year’s seniors.
- Michigan: Coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance this past year, the Wolverines are turning to a pair of in-state talents to help take them to another level in the 2018-19 season. Already enrolled at Michigan is 2017 Miss Volleyball winner Erin O’Leary. The Novi setter was one of the most dynamic players in the state for the past four years and put together a four-year career that will go down as one of the best in the history of Michigan. Joining her in Ann Arbor is Clarkston outside hitter Abbey Malinowski. Malinowski was the go-to player for the Wolves throughout her four years. An all-around talent that can set, defend and attack, Malinowski has a great feel for the play as its developing and will only get better playing at Michigan.
- Michigan State: The Spartans brought in five players for its 2018 class and three come from the mitten and are ranked in our top 15. Ann Arbor Huron outside hitter Maura Johnson, Mt. Morris libero Lauryn Gibbs and Lansing Catholic middle hitter Rebecka Poljan will come together in East Lansing. The trio should provide plenty of depth for an MSU squad that reached the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals this past season. At 6-4, Johnson has great length at the net. In the middle, Poljan isn’t lacking in size either at 6-2. Gibbs doesn’t have the size, standing 5-4, but she doesn’t need it. She has proven time-in and time-out to be one of the best defensive players in the state.
- Miami of Ohio: What seems to be becoming a hotbed for Michigan talent, the Miami of Ohio RedHawks already have three natives of the mitten on the roster and are bringing in three more from the Class of 2018. The trio also all come from the FaR Out club program and are middle Corinne Jemison, outside Sophie Riemersma and outside Gaby Harper. Jemison stands 6-3 and competed for East Kentwood. She is ranked fifth in our 2018 rankings. Riemersma (6-0) competed for Zeeland East while Harper (6-1) played for Caledonia. These three should held Miami build off its MAC Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017.
- Central Michigan: The Chippewas have never shied away from brining in home-grown talent and that certainly is the case in 2018. CMU has four of their six 2018 commitments coming from the mitten. All four rank in our top-20 for 2018, led by 10th-ranked Maddy Whitfield, a 6-3 middle hitter from Saline. Joining her are Byron Center libero Kendall Braate, Cadillac setter Gabrielle Kapuscinski and Dakota defensive specialist Lacey Juengel. The four players will hope to lift CMU to an improvement over its 15-14 record in 2017.
- Saginaw Valley State: Of all the schools, no program is bringing in more in-state talent than Saginaw Valley. The Cardinals have signed five from Michigan in the Class of 2018, with four of the players coming from the Five1 Athletics club program. Hitters Kristen Huebner (Swan Valley), Addison Bouza (Bay City Western) and Maria Vukaj (Davidson) join libero Peyton Gerstacker (Midland) as the Five1 commits while Michigan Elite’s Kaitlyn Clum (Grosse Ile) also joins them. The local talent will hope to lead SVSU to a bounce-back season in 2018 after the Cardinals went just 6-21 in 2017.