NLQ “Live Eye” 2025s On The Rise
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At a large club tournament, especially one of the first large club tournaments of the season, I approach it like a college coach. There are the top players and the teams I am familiar with. I see the athletes from…
At a large club tournament, especially one of the first large club tournaments of the season, I approach it like a college coach. There are the top players and the teams I am familiar with. I see the athletes from Milwaukee Sting and FC Elite play because they are close in proximity to me. Always fun seeing those athletes compete and seeing them transition from their high school teams to club teams. There are the top players in the country that I always enjoy seeing their progress – the likes of Abigail Mullen, Reese Messer, the Nebraska One squad, Northern Lights – I’ve seen those athletes multiple times the past few years. The stars always seem to shine. At tournaments like a Northern Lights Qualifier, I am looking for athletes where I have to look up their name. The athletes I don’t know well, the new ones that are on my radar, the ones I have to double check the roster to get their name correct. There were plenty of new names I was able to see turn in some big performances this weekend from 17 Open and 17 USA.
PHOTOS – NLQ 2024 – The 17s
Tia Traudt – VCN 17 Elite
Committed to UNLV
Traudt is a gamechanger for VCN out of Lincoln, Nebraska. She is a really physical outside attacker where she just hammers. I really enjoyed watching her go for the big swing where she could go hard cross, down the line, or tooling the block. Her movement is smooth and can do a little bit of everything in any rotation. VCN is such a scrappy team, they scored some big three set wins and they also took a set off of Houston Skyline who would go on to win the 17 Open title. She will head to UNLV.
Faith Venable – VCN 17 Elite
Committed to Omaha
So athletic. From jumping to the lateral movement, Venable was a standout athlete for VCN. I saw her take some swings on the right side pin and was so impressed with how she could contact the ball high and knew how to find the deep corners. Omaha made the tournament this past fall as well as playing Nebraska in Memorial Stadium in front of 90,000. They have build their success on homegrown Nebraska athletes and Venable fits right into that mix.
Adeline Daniel – Sudden Impact 17 Storm
Sudden Impact comes from Washington State where Adeline Daniel is a 2025 lefty right side who attends Bellevue Christian. She was a key attacker for this squad where she could swing from the right side naturally and even was able to terminate out of serve receive on the outside. She can establish great position on her block and has great hand to ball contact. When she connects, its a heavy swing. This is what I love about national qualifiers. Sudden impact might not of had the weekend they wanted, but Adeline Daniel was definitely and athlete I didn’t know much about who I know would make an impact at the next level.
Gabi Martinez – Houston Juniors 17 Elite
Committed to Cal Baptist
I was watching Martinez swing on the outside and just thought, “Who is this kid?”. Super active arm, explosive jumper, and she could flat out score points. I knew about the likes of Jordan Taylor (Minnesota) and Sydney Barrett (Vanderbilt), but Martinez was lightning in a bottle. She is a commit to Cal Baptist and with her skill set she is going to be a next level impact player. Her explosiveness and the ability to make plays will really help this HJV team steal points out of system.
Maggie Meister – Kairos 17 Alpha
Committed to South Dakota State
Meister didn’t even have to touch a volleyball and I could see how athletic she was with how she moves and anticipates. Kairos as a club has some of the more polished and fundamentally sound athletes you will see at a national event. They are out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and are building quite a program. Meister has range, serious range where she can pick up any free ball, serve receive half the court, and anticipates extremely well. She is like a free safety in football where she can see what’s going on the other side of the net and beat the ball to the spot. South Dakota State got a good one.
Sydney Brandmeyer – IPVA 17 Black
I notice attackers who aren’t afraid to take a big swing. Brandmeyer is 6’2, long, athletic, and is aggressive with her approach to scoring points. She is a big time outlet for the IPVA squad out of the Des Moines area where they went up some of the big dogs this weekend. With the big block on the other side, it can be easy to tip or roll, playing it safe – not Brandmeyer, she was looking for deep corner or hitting it hard off the block.
Victoria Hill – GP 17 Rox
Committed to Appalachian State
Victoria Hill has a chill vibe on the court, she plays with a smile – don’t let that fool you. She is an explosive attacker and brings a ton of pop with her swing. Game Point out of Florida made the trip up North to Minneapolis and overall had a great weekend. The unfortunate circumstance for them they ran into two day three gold bracket teams on day one. Give this team time and they will be playing in those day three gold pools as well.
Brooke Hardy – Idaho Crush 17 Bower
I tried doing a deep dive to see if Brooke Hardy was committed anywhere and no luck – my assumption is that she is uncommitted. This 6’2ish middle blocker was lethal all weekend for Idaho Crush who finished second overall. She is highly efficient where she can find the seems and deep corner. Crush has some powerful pins, including 2026 Bellamie Beus, but with the Hardy in the middle the other side has to respect the entire front line.
Kate Hayhurst – Idaho Crush 17 Bower
Committed to Kansas
Kansas strikes again! The Jayhawks had a top five recruiting Class of 2024 and they are starting to fill in some key pieces in the Class of 2024. A long, athletic right side in Kate Hayhurst has a lethal left handed swing and she is contacting the ball extremely high. Like I mentioned with Hardy, Hayhurst allows Crush to stretch the offense where the defense really can’t cheat from one side to another. If teams leave Hayhurst to attack against an outside hitter one on one, my money in on Hayhurst to put the ball away over and over again.
– Rockwood Thunder 17 Elite
Committed to Maryville
Witthaus will be continuing her career close to home at Maryville who is a D2 program who is starting to build a solid program with local talent. Picking up the likes of Witthaus is a huge get. Whithaus can score from both pins and shows a lot of strength and athleticism. I was able to see her score on the outside as well as the right side where both of those seems looked really natural to her. She could be a six-rotation player at the next level. This Rockwood team has a lot of balance and was still in the hunt on day two. They are always a team to watch when it comes to qualifiers because they thrive in big matches.
Gabrielle Clinkscale – Rockwood Thunder 17 Elite
Rockwood Thunder won a thrilling three set match on Friday over Nebraska Premier to send them into the gold pools for Saturday. An electric outside for this squad was Gabrielle Clinkscale. She has great movement, can attack out of system, and is able to clean things up when plays get chaotic. Her arm has some pop and is really active as well.
Hayden Hart – Nebraska Premier 17 Gold
Committed to Oral Roberts
So much pop in the swing of Hayden Hart who is a middle blocker for Premier 17 Gold. The 5’10 middle blocker is a fast twitch style middle blocker where she has a fast arm, quick snap, and she finds the floor on the opposite side of the net. She works in transition to make herself available for her setters with multiple tempos. She will stay in the Summit League where she will have plenty of matches close to home committing to Oral Roberts.
Taylor Bonner-Williams – Houston Stellar 17 Elite
When Bonner-Williams takes an approach she is jumping off a trampoline. Her athleticism is something special. I was able to see the a lot of the 17 USA gold pools on Saturday where the Texas teams were dominant. Bonner-Williams was able to hit at a variety of angles, can take a high IQ swing out of system, and score points. This will be a fun team to follow all season long.
Olivia Eike – Iowa Impact 17s
The Iowa Class of 2025 rankings will be updated soon and there are plenty of Iowa Impact athletes that will be rising in the rankings. Eike I saw play on the right side, maybe even middle this past fall, but this past weekend I got to see her play on the outside this past weekend and she showed a lot of athleticism, physicality, and scoring ability. With being part of a new club the seeding can always be a mystery, but Iowa Impact 17s will be one to rise at the USA Division.
Addison Menefee – Houston Juniors 17 Premier
This Houston Juniors 17 Premier team is going to win a lot of matches. They will be at Triple Crown over Presidents Day and they will have plenty of 2025 talent that would be a great pick up at the next level. She is a terminator on both pins, she has plenty of physicality and athleticism to play against high level players. Her swing has plenty of pop where she can go with a variety of angles or she can tool the block.
Macey Nehring – Iowa PowerPlex 17 Mendieta
Iowa Power Plex 17 Mendieta was the 17 USA Runner Up and got their bid to Vegas. One position that I feel can be overlooked is the DS. Nehring was the DS for this PowerPlex squad where she came in and nailed her role where she could provide a tough serve, be a steady athlete in serve receive, and bring a spark to the court. This team that will most likely be playing in the open division here on out. The Iowa Class of 2025 is extremely deep across the board.
London Warmuth – Iowa PowerPlex 17 Zoss
So athletic. Warmuth played middle this past weekend for PowerPlex 17 Zoss who actually defeated their fellow club foe in PowerPlex 17 Mendieta on day two. Some of her highlights for high school had her playing on the outside. Either way, she is an athlete – she has a high motor where she was causing a lot of problems for the other side of the net with her reach and activity. She is one who is going to improve quickly when she starts playing more volleyball this season. She might be a steal at the next level.