Not the Fab 50, but 13 (with more to come) top girls junior volleyball prospects

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girls prospects underclassmen 5/22/2020-Lauren Jardine
Lauren Jardine

Each year as part of our Girls Fab 50 rankings, which lists the top 50 senior girls players in the country as voted on by a panel of NCAA Division I coaches, we also present a look at 25 underclassmen to keep an eye on.

While not a by-the-book top 25, this list simply is what it says it is: 25 underclassmen (non-seniors) to watch/keep an eye on. And we’ve seen over the years the list usually is spot-on, with the vast majority of girls on the 25 elevated up to the big 50 list the following season.

For instance, with the 2019 25 list, all 25 freshman-sophomore-junior-age players advanced to 50 status this year (Class of 2020).

The 25 list also is voted on by the NCAA coaching panelists, which means many more than just 25 players receive votes each year.

So, let’s spotlight some of these players (this time a baker’s dozen) who very likely will be in the conversation next year when it comes time for 2021 Fab 50 voting.

We’ll come back next month with another installment.

Arica Davis
Height:
6-1
Position: MB
High school: North Raleigh Christian Academy (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Year in school: Junior
Club: NC Volleyball
College choice: Ohio State
About Arica: She touches 10-6 and is super-athletic.” NC Volleyball coach Jon Garner said. “She is fast, works hard, is a smart-student athlete, wants to get better and fights to win, and doesn’t give up easily. She gets along with teammates well and has good leadership skills.”

Adonia Faumuina

Adonia Faumuina
Height:
6-0
Position: Setter/RS
High School: Long Beach (California) Polytechnic
Year in school: Sophomore
Club: Mizuno Long Beach
College choice: Undecided
About Adonia: “Adonia is a dynamic player in the setting and opposite positions,” Mizuno Long Beach club director Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer said. “What makes her special is her skill and creativity on the court. She has an ability create many opportunities for her teammates, and can take over games with her attack. She is a supportive teammate and leads with her hard work and dedication.”

Jadyn Garrison

Jadyn Garrison
Height:
5-9
Position: OH
High School: East Ridge (Woodbury, Minnesota)
Year in school: Junior
Club: Kokoro
College choice: Marquette
About Jadyn: “Jadyn never takes a play off. Every point is as important as the last; every match means something,” Kokoro’s Jennifer Brathol said. “She is always willing to do what is asked of her and more. Often times, we ask that she ‘help’ a younger player or make a promotional video or provide feedback in some capacity. She is always eager to help, no matter the task, and makes herself available to complete tasks. She is extremely self-driven. It is hard to ask more of her than she asks of herself. Jadyn is willing to do what is hard, if it is the right thing to do, even if it might be ‘unpopular’ in the moment. This displays exceptional leadership, which we see in Jadyn. She requires her teammates to ‘come with her.’ She is a great direct communicator — asking questions, seeking clarification, looking for resolutions. In summary, she is an exceptional physical athlete. Even more importantly, she possesses many of the important soft skills that will take her farther than the volleyball court.”

Emma Grome

Emma Grome
Height:
5-9
Position:
Setter
High school:
St. Ursula Academy
Year in school:
Junior
Club:
NKYVC
College choice:
Kentucky
About Emma: Emma is one of the most talented players I have ever coached in almost 30 years of coaching,” NKYVC 17 Tsunami coach John Spinney said. “She possesses elite speed, jumping ability and power. Everyone is surprised by how hard she hits. But it is her setting that is special. She will be a great setter for Kentucky. She has the physical skills and also the smarts, but most importantly, she makes those around her better. She has the will to win and the will to prepare to win.”

Lauren Jardine
Height: 6-1
Position:
OH
High school:
Lone Peak (Highland, Utah)
Year in school:
Junior
Club:
Club V
College choice:
Wisconsin
About Lauren: “Lauren is an explosive athlete who loves to compete,” Club V coach Reed Carlson said. “She has a big arm and can score from anywhere on the court. Her passing and defense are improving daily, which truly makes her a six-rotation threat.”

Erin Lamb

Erin Lamb
Height:
6-2
Position: OH-MB
High school: Stewartville (Minnesota)
Year in school: Junior
Club: Northern Lights
College choice: Kentucky
About Erin: Erin is making the transition from middle to outside. She is extremely athletic and competitive,” Northern Lights coach Adam Beamer said. “She is a natural leaper who is quick laterally. Erin also has good team leadership skills.” Northern Lights assistant coach Dave Manka added: “Erin is a solid, six-rotation player. She is incredibly dynamic and can terminally hit from all areas on the net with all tempos of sets and with great range. This makes her an incredible threat from anywhere along the net as well as the back row. Her work ethic and commitment to her team makes her abilities even that much more impressive.”

Whitney Lauenstein

Whitney Lauenstein
Height:
6-1
Position: OH
High school: Waverly (Nebraska)
Year in school: Junior
Club: VC Nebraska
College choice: Nebraska
About Whitney: “Whitney’s athleticism is hard to match,” VCN club director Maggie Griffin said. “Her vertical and lengthy frame make her a threat at the next, contacting the ball well above most 18 Open blockers. She is a late bloomer and will only continue to improve as she competes at the highest level. Watch out for her after a year or two at Nebraska.”

Zayna Meyer

Zayna Meyer
Height: 6-2
Position: Setter-OH
High school: Wheaton (Illinois)-Warrenville South
Year in school: Junior
Club: Sports Performance
College choice: BYU
About Zayna: “Zayna is a tall, athletic setter with great upside,” Sports Performance associate director Erik Vogt said. “She has the ability to set, attack and block at a high level, and has been a winner at every level. She has an outstanding work ethic and is a great competitor. Zayna is committed to BYU where she should have a great career.”

 

Colby Neal

Colby Neal
Height:
6-3
Position: MB
High School: Poway (California)
Year in school: Junior
Club: Coast
College choice: Oregon
About Colby: “Colby is a natural competitor and an exceptional student,” Coast coach Rodrigo Suelloto said. “She has a rare combination of speed and strength. Her versatility on both sides of the ball makes Colby a tough opponent.”

Norah Sis
Height:
6-1
Position: OH
High school: Papillion La Vista (Papillion, Nebraska)
Year in school: Junior
Club: Premier Nebraska
College choice: Creighton
About Norah: “Norah consistently proves that she is a player that can compete at a very high level,” Premier Nebraska director of player development Shannon Smolinski says. “She is balanced on both sides of the floor, and is an offensive and defensive force for her team. Norah has a fast arm swing and wide range of shots that makes it very difficult for her opponents to defend. As a three-sport athlete, Norah has the drive and discipline that allows her to continue to improve each season.”

Audra Wilmes

Audra Wilmes
Height:
6-2
Position: OH
High school: West Linn (Oregon)
Year in school: Junior
Club: NPJ
College choice: Washington
About Audra: Audra is a very talented athlete and is extremely athletic,” NPJ club director Adam Ellis said. “Her volleyball IQ is extremely advanced and she has great range and control of the ball. Audra is an outstanding teammate, and is a sparkplug on the court. Her ability to hit with range and power to all parts of the court will add to her continued success at both the collegiate and professional level. Audra is a pleasure to have in the gym, and is extremely coachable and self-driven. She is a player who is able to self-correct immediately.”

Emily Wilson

Emily Wilson
Height:
6-3
Position: OH
High School: Joliet (Illinois) Catholic
Year in school: Junior
Club: Sports Performance
College choice: San Diego
About Emily: “Emily is a big, physical outside hitter with excellent passing skills,” Sports Performance associate director Erik Vogt said. “She is a true six-rotation player with a great work ethic who is an animal in the weight room.”

Anna Wolf

Anna Wolf
Height:
6-4
Position: MB
High school: River Falls (Wisconsin)
Year in school: Junior
Club: MN Select
College choice: Minnesota
About Anna: “Anna Wolf is a dynamic and effective middle blocker who is and will be a force in her continued volleyball career,” MN Select associate director Joy Tietz said. “Anna has a large capacity for hard work, and is one of the nicest athletes you will ever meet. She can see the court well when attacking — finding ways to score aggressively and intelligently. Anna also puts up a big, imposing block. She works hard to be the best all-around player she can be.”

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