Posted On: 02/17/21 7:13 AM

Although our class of 2023 rankings have been recently updated, we still have some unfinished business with the class of 2022, specifically with the defenders. Some have already committed (congrats,  Cadence Notter Cadence Notter 5'6" | DS/L Covenant Christian | 2022 State IN !), but there are still plenty available for the fall of ’22. Here are five we like.

Emma McMahon Emma McMahon 5'5" | DS/L Bellmont | 2022 State IN , 5-5, Munciana 17 Pandas

I would be lacking in my duties if I went an entire article on defensive specialists without mentioning a kid from Munciana. Emma is a smooth, steady defender, always reliable, and will take most of the responsibilities in serve receive because, frankly, she can.

Estella Kleffman Estella Kleffman 5'9" | OH Trinity Lutheran | 2022 State IN , 5-9, DS/OH, Union UA 17-1

I list her as an outside as well because she can do both. Most likely projecting to be a DS at the next level, I’m sure there are small schools that would love a six-rotation outside that has a high-level volleyball IQ and comes from nothing but winning programs in both high school and club. Stella can do anything a six-rotation OH can do, and can play any of the back row positions as a DS. 

Taryn Sallee Taryn Sallee 5'5" | DS/L Yorktown | 2022 State IN , 5-5, Munciana 17 Pandas

The only player who can claim a state championship trophy on this list, Taryn is a no-nonsense, hard-working defender who can play any defensive position and is above average in serve receive. I like Miss Sallee for a simple reason; you don’t have to worry about her. She’s always in the right place, always covering, always passing. It’s nice to be able to plug and play and focus your coaching on everyone else.

Emma Mills Emma Mills 5'5" | DS/L Bellmont | 2022 State IN , 5-5, Team Pineapple 17 Black

We go further north for Miss Mills, who might be the best out-of-system second ball contact person on this list. Also an exceptional defender, her serve receive is relied upon even more than the average libero. You can’t go wrong with her, and it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the midwest notices.

Cadence Gilley Cadence Gilley 5'4" | DS/L Columbus East | 2022 State IN , 5-4, Circle City 17 Purple

Aggressive and relentless, Cadence has the ability to chase down anything and cover anything else. Quite possibly the fastest and strongest on this list, she uses her athleticism to her advantage on out-of-system balls that the setter can’t get to.