Prep girls volleyball: 12 more players to watch from around the country

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Caroline Jurevicius-12 Players to Watch 12/7/2020-
Caroline Jurevicius

Earlier this year, we took a deeper dive into standout players who received votes for consideration to be included on the 2020 VolleyballMag.com Girls 25 Underclassmen to Watch list — the annual sister component to our four-decade-plus sport standard Girls Fab 50 list.

We initially introduced you to 13 rising stars, again the only caveat being they were on the original 25 Underclassmen ballot and received votes or were written in by one of our elite panelists, comprised of NCAA Division I women’s coaches.

This time around, we introduce you to 12 more players from across the country that fit that criteria. Some of these players, because of the school year turning over since our last update, are seniors in high school now, but the majority are juniors and sophomores, with a freshman included as well.

As you can see by some of the college choices, these players mean business and will be names you will be seeing on these pages in the very near future (before you know it, 2021 Girls Fab 50 time will be upon us again).

On the girls indoor side, we’ll be back with one more update before our attention turns to the exciting process of getting those 2021 Girls Fab 50 and 25 UC to Watch lists rolling and published early in the new year.

And be on the lookout for our fall girls high school All-Americans presentation in the coming December weeks. We’ll honor players who played in states that conducted regular seasons and then circle back in the spring and do the same for those states that moved volleyball from the fall due to the pandemic.

Brianne Albright
Brianne Albright
Height: 6-3
Position: Middle Blocker
Year in school: Senior
High school: San Juan Hills (San Juan Capistrano, California)
Club: Tstreet
College choice: BYU
What they are saying about Brie: “It’s been a joy to work with Brie,” Tstreet coach Naseri Tumanuvao said. “Brie is a wonderful talent with immense potential. She is consistent, coachable and cognizant of making changes that will elevate her game as she transitions to the next level. I am confident Brie will add tremendous value to her future teams on and off the court, and I am excited for what her future holds.”
Riley Buckley
Riley Buckley
Height:
6-1
Position: Setter
Year in school: Junior
High school: North Raleigh Christian (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Club: NC Academy Volleyball
College choice: Missouri
What they are saying about Riley: “Riley Buckley is without a doubt one of the hardest-working club players I have come across in 23 years of coaching club,” NC Volleyball Academy director Jon Garner said. “I would say she is the best setter in the country at the club level for any class. She’s very athletic, fast and can set any ball you ask her to set. She could easily be a six-rotation outside hitter at a Power 5 school if she had chosen that route. I think she has the potential to set for Team USA if she wanted to go that direction. She is easy going, teammates love playing with her because she is a hard worker and enjoys the game. No attitude with her. She just wants to be great and make her teammates great.”
Jordyn Byrd
Height:
6-4
Position: OH-MB
Year in school: Sophomore
High school: Cardinal Mooney Catholic (Sarasota, Florida)
Club: Siesta Keys Juniors
College choice: Undecided
What they are saying about Jordyn: “Jordyn is a multidimensional talent being able to play all front-row positions due to her incredible skill set,” Siesta Key Juniors coach Chad Davis said. “She is a six-rotation player who hits an extremely heavy ball, puts up a massive block, is a point-scoring option from the back row, and is working very hard on her defense/serve-receive skills this season. She is one of the team captains who displays great leadership and compassion for her teammates.”
Averi Carlson
Height:
6-0
Position: Setter
Year in school: Junior
High school: Lovejoy (Lucas, Texas)
Club: Dallas Skyline Juniors
College choice: Baylor
What they are saying about Averi: “I wanted to take this time to compliment an athlete I have had the privilege of coaching and watch turn into one of the top setters and volleyball players in the country,” Skyline Juniors coach Kirk Perry said. “What Averi brings to the sport and her team is leadership, competitiveness, support, and most of all, the winner’s mentality. She is the most dynamic and athletic setter in the country. The best quality of this fierce competitor is she is the most humble and best teammate whether it is for her school or club team. I coached her in club when she was a freshman, but had to play 16s. She led that team to finish third in the country in 16 Open. Her teammates fed off her will to win at all costs. She earned all-tournament honors at nationals and remained humble and appreciative of her teammates. She is one of the best athletes and human beings I have had the privilege of coaching and to have at Skyline Juniors.” And here is this from Dallas Skyline Juniors director Jon Rye. “For years, I have witnessed Averi compete against many of the best teams and players in the nation,” he said. “Averi, like many setters, is sometimes overlooked because much attention goes to how well her hitters are doing. There are many times this is true with Averi; however, often times when we defeated some of the best club teams in the nation, it was obvious that Averi was the reason why. It’s special when you see a player that is able to totally take over a match. Averi plays the game of volleyball with joy, passion and confidence. She expresses a great amount of enthusiasm every time one of her teammates does well. She is able to elevate her game when playing better opponents. Avery simply makes her team and all of her teammates better.”
Lauren Harden
Height:
6-2
Position:
OH
Year in school: Freshman
High school: Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Indiana)
Club: Team Indiana Volleyball
College choice: Undecided
What they are saying about Lauren: “Lauren is a volleyball junkie and a gym rat,” Team Indiana club director and coach Brian Murray said. “She loves getting in the gym and working on every aspect of her game. Not only is she a tremendous worker, but she is a tremendous teammate. She stays positive, works hard and is humble. She celebrates her teammates’ successes with as much joy as she does her own.”

 

Reagan Hope
Reagan Hope
Height: 6-2
Position: OH-MB
Year in school: Senior
High school: Northwest Christian (Phoenix, Arizona)
Club: AZ Storm
College choice: Oregon
What they are saying about Reagan: “Reagan is a versatile middle blocker and outside hitter, dominating as an attacker on all areas of the court,” AZ Storm club director Terri Spann said. “Not only does she shut her opponents down defensively along the net, she is also quick in transition for zero-tempo balls. She also has excellent range finding weakness and holes against her opponent. Her celebratory reactions on the court make it that much more fun to watch her.”
Caroline Jurevicius
Height:
6-2
Position: RS-OH
Year in school: Sophomore
High school: Notre Dame Cathedral Latin (Chardon, Ohio)
Club: Academy Volleyball Cleveland
College: Uncommitted
What they are saying about Caroline: “Caroline has a lot of intensity when it comes to her work ethic and what it means to her to be a great teammate and player,” Academy Volleyball Cleveland recruiting coordinator and assistant director Meredith Rice said. “She has a motor that doesn’t stop, and is constantly dedicating her time to being an excellent student-athlete.”
Jordan Middleton
Jordan Middleton
Height:
6-1
Position: OH
Year in school: Junior
High school: Hamilton (Chandler, Arizona)
Club: AZ Storm
College choice: Southern California
What they are saying about Jordan: “Jordan Middleton is one of the most dynamic and athletically gifted six-rotation pins in the 2022 class,” AZ Storm club director Terri Spann said. “Not only is she able to hit around the block with attack versatility, she also has proven she consistently can hit over the block, frustrating her opponents. Jordan is always a crowd favorite as a humble athlete who is always composed and confident, regardless of the score or playing environment.”
Kendal Murphy
Height:
6-3
Position: OH
Year in school: Sophomore
High school: Horizon (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Club: Revolution VBA
College choice: Undecided
What they are saying about Kendal: “Kendal is a fun athlete to coach,” Revolution coach Marc Swindle said. “She works hard at all facets of her game, studies video constantly, is extremely competitive, and always wants extra gym time. I think even more special than her ability to score points is her loyalty to her teammates and club. She looks out for everyone and treats them all as equals. She looks forward to times in the gym when our little ones are practicing, and she can spend a few minutes encouraging them. She knows she is a role model for the young players and doesn’t take that responsibility lightly. She will represent whichever school she decides on very well.”
Ella Swindle
Height:
6-2
Position: Setter
Year in school: Sophomore
High school: Rockbridge (Columbia, Missouri)
Club: KC Power
College choice: Uncommitted
What they are saying about Ella: For starters, Swindle, who has been with KC Power since her 13-1 season, drives four hours roundtrip to get to practice. “Ella is a special athlete and has worked hard to develop into the complete package for a high-level setter,” KC Power co-director Danielle Stowell said. “Her and her family have made a huge commitment to train with us in Kansas City, and they are starting their fourth club season driving four hours roundtrip for practice. Not only does Ella have the height, athleticism and quickness to physically compete against the top players, she also has a tireless work ethic and a burning desire to be the best player and teammate she can be. While she is fiercely competitive, she is both coachable and humble, all while demonstrating a unique ability to interact with her teammates in such a way that everyone around her plays better.”
Kendra Wait
Height:
5-10
Position: Setter
Year in school: Senior
High school: Gardner-Edgerton (Gardner, Kansas)
Club: MAVS
College choice: Creighton
What they are saying about Kendra: “Kendra is the type of player you love having in the gym,” coach Beau Barnthson said. “Her work ethic and drive to be better is unmatched by anyone. In addition to her work ethic, her IQ is tremendous. It’s like having a coach on the floor. Her biggest attribute, I believe, is her willingness to be coachable, and she does it all for her teammates. She is very selfless and a great team player.”
Megan Wilson
Height:
6-4
Position: OH-MB
Year in school: Senior
High school: Kingwood (Texas)
Club: TAV Houston
College choice: Oklahoma
What they are saying about Megan: Megan is the ultimate teammate,” TAV Houston director Joe Lind said. “She has the ability to rise above the competition level, shake off an error quickly, take over a match in multiple faces of the game whenever needed, all while keeping a smile on her face, picking up teammates and scoring at will. She’s a friend to the end, hates to lose, and is willing to put in extra work outside of practice. A high-level athlete more focused on elite soccer until her sophomore year, Megan has dominated in the middle, and transitioned to the ability to pass and defend six rotations, and play on the pins in the last year, as well. She is a true game-changing student-athlete for her high school and TAV Houston. OU is ecstatic to get her next year.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is a terrific list. I especially enjoy the setters, Kendra, Averi and Riley. All big-timers in my book, all of whom played up as 8th graders. Also cannot wait to see what Jordan Byrd will become. And Jordan Middleton may be the best of the bunch. So dynamic!

  2. How do you get a player on your radar from a small town in upper Michigan? Because of where she lives she doesn’t get the exposure these others do. She just started playing club in Illinois two years ago.

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