2018 Summer Camp Tour: Wayne State
WAYNE – You don’t have 11 NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, 12 straight 20-win seasons and a career winning percentage of .737 without being able to spot talent. Wayne State coach Scott Kneifl was taking a close look at potential prospects…
WAYNE – You don’t have 11 NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, 12 straight 20-win seasons and a career winning percentage of .737 without being able to spot talent. Wayne State coach Scott Kneifl was taking a close look at potential prospects and some players already committed to the Wildcats during Day 1 of the WSC individual camp on Monday.
Half of Kneifl’s 2019 recruiting class was on hand (the killer Bs) – Taya Beller of Humphrey-Lindsay Holy Family, Maggie Brahmer of Pierce and Jessie Brandl of Stanton. The other half of the class is Kelsie Cada of Bishop Neumann (slated to take part on Tuesday) and Elkhorn South’s Jordan McCormick and Wahoo’s Elly Larson – both of which are with their high school teams at the Creighton team camp.
Braham is our #28 prospect in the 2019 class. It’s always been difficult to get a good read on her because she doesn’t play club volleyball and the window of opportunity to see her play is pretty small. She displayed some explosive blocking and leaping on Monday and has a pretty loose arm. She is still pretty raw and probably needs a year or two of training at the college level before she’s ready to help the Wildcats, but all the tools are there.
Beller is our #20 prospect and you want to keep your head on a swivel if you’re within striking range of one of her bombs. Big, athletic and strong, Beller busted up the nose of two opponents in the last couple weeks – one apiece on the volleyball and basketball courts. She has all-class, all-state potential.
Brandl is the #16 prospect and showed why she’s the kind of player every coach loves. She’s a feisty and fierce competitor that is one of the best high school full-rotation outside hitters but is destined for a college career as a libero or a defense specialist with a wicked back-row attack.
There were well over 100 participates at the camp, but a few other notable performances were turned in by quite a few of the state’s better prospects and some that really put themselves on the radar.
Lauren Pick, a 6-foot 2021 middle hitter from Wayne High and teammate Emily Armstrong, a 5-7 2020 outside hitter, both looked good. Lauren Meyer is an amazing multi-sport athlete and a 2020 back row player from Syracuse. The fact that she was at a pretty competitive volleyball camp would indicate she’s looking to play that sport in college and she definitely can. An above-average attacker as well despite being about 5’7, Meyer is an intriguing prospect with a high ceiling.
Ponca’s Josie Reid is a 2021 middle in high school but at 5’10 she’s destined to play on the outside in college, but she showed some really good athleticism and power and looks like the kind of player that could have success at the NAIA or two-year college level.
There were a trio of really good setters on Monday, each easily with the ability to play in college. Amber Miller is a 2019 setter from Elkhorn Valley that I have completely missed in terms of quality players in the state. She’s listed at 5’7 which is pretty generous, I’m thinking, but the kid busts her tail, has really good hands and has a college future in the right system, but most likely at the NAIA/D3/Two-year college level.
Annika Evans is a 2020 setter from Waverly and did some really nice work at the camp. She already has more than 1,200 assists in her career for the Vikings and potentially could land at a high Division II program like Wayne or even a low-level Division I school.
Finally, there was 2022 setter Ellie Baumert who will be a freshman at Lincoln Christian this fall. There is a lot to like about Baumert, starting with the fact that she’s a fluid 6’0-footer with really nice hands for a player her size. Most kids that are that big and haven’t even started high school yet lack coordination, but that’s not the case with Baumert. She’s definitely raw as a setter, but she is a very, very intriguing prospect to keep your eye on.