The Big Ten is always a topic of conversation in college volleyball from the number of teams that get into the NCAA Tournament, the overall RPI of the conference, to recruiting, and even the transfer portal. This is a battle ground when it comes to recruiting. I am going to take a deeper dive into the “local kids” who come from states representing the Big Ten Conference and who Big Ten teams could be eyeing in the Class of 2024.
As a disclaimer, I don’t pry when it comes to “Who is your top five?”, “Who do you have offers from?” when it comes to athletes. I want athletes to find their fit and the last thing they need is me bugging them about their process.
However, for these coaching staffs within the Big Ten, they are going after not only the top players in the country, but the top players in the world. They also want to make sure an athlete in their backyard doesn’t get away to a conference rival. Here are the attackers in the top 100 who could be on the radar of Big Ten programs.
Outsides (Top 100 From Big Ten States)
5 –– Plainfield (IN) – Circle City
22 –– Papillion-LaVista South (NE) – Premier Nebraska
23 –– Hamilton Southeastern (IN) – REV
30 – Grace Nelson – Oak Park River Forest (IL) – 1st Alliance
36 – Ava Pratt – Glenbrook South (IL) – Adversity
52 – Ellie White – Mother McAuley (IL) – 1st Alliance
60 – Sophia Adkins – Mercy McAuley (OH) – Tri-State Elite
61 – Avery Jesewitz – Wayzata (MN) – Northern Lights
64 –– Appleton North (WI) – FC Elite
65 –– Angola (IN) – Team Pineapple
74 – Reese Wuebker – Springboro (OH) – Tri-State Elite
76 – Payton Peterson – Dike-New Hartford (IA) – Six Pack
94 –– Ankeny (IA) – Nebraska Premier
I have said this before, but the state of Indiana is so deep with talent. There are three outsides in the top 100 from the Hoosier state, but also plenty of other athletes who are right on the bubble of the top 100 who will get looks from top programs. erte will be a major target for Big Ten programs coming out of Indianapolis where her jumping ability is tough to top. Right behind her is who might have the biggest upside in this class, consistently improving her all around game where she is becoming a threat in every rotation. Morgan Ga from the Ft. Wayne area (Angola) is 6’5 and a very long, physical athlete where she has the ability to contribute on both pins.
The Illinois athletes of Grace Nelson, Ava Pratt, and Ellie White will have an exciting recruiting process. Nelson has an older sister who playedvolleyball at Kansas and her mom is a former Hawkeye playing for the University of Iowa. Ava Pratt has shown she can score points in a variety of ways where she can score with her power, but has also proven she can handle the ball and use some finesse to score. Her ceiling is extremely high and with the Adversity staff having plenty of Big Ten connections, she has to be on the radar to plenty. Adversity is sending two athletes from the Class of 2022 to Penn State and could Pratt be the next?
(title photos) is the top outside hitter from the Wisconsin Class of 2024. She is a physical six rotation pin who can score on the right side as well. She was part of the FC Elite 18 Elite team who was in the final four of 18 Open earlier this spring. Her club teammate, Saige Damrow, a 2023 libero is heading to Wisconsin where she committed as an 8th grader. Demetrician could be on the radar for the Badgers as well as other Big Ten programs where she has plenty of physicality, but can also contribute on both pins. She’s got a high IQ and a really solid all around game.
Iowa has two outside hitters who have a little bit of a different route to where they came to be some of the top players in their class. of Dike-New Hartford/Six Pack has already won two state volleyball titles and two state basketball titles. She has such a knack for the game and has quite the volleyball family tree with her mom, Bobbi Petersen being the Head Coach of Northern Iowa, her older twin sisters now at Northern Iowa and a twin sister, Jadyn Petersen being a talent six rotation outside as well. has made plenty of strides this club season where she is still settling into being an outside hitter after spending most of her career as a middle blocker. She also has an older sister in Phyona Schrader who is a setter at Notre Dame. The University of Iowa and new coach, Jim Barnes, will be looking to get the top prospects in the state and continue their connections to Minnesota and Illinois.
12 –– Dublin Scioto (OH) – EliteVBTC
17 –– Buffalo (MN) – MN Select
47 –– Oconomowoc (WI) – Milwaukee Sting
62-– Saline (MI) – Legacy
78 – Mia Trvdy – Papillon-LaVista (NE) – Premier Nebraska
The middle blocker position is always interesting because at the next level, some colleges like to turn their middles into a pin or right side. Some programs are more concerned with how dynamic their middles can be with the different types of tempos they can run while others just want someone who is long and provides a big block. Middles now come in many forms, but in the Big Ten, they have to be able to move laterally, have a high IQ, and have to find their way to get the hands on the ball.
will be on the USA U19 Youth National Training group in Tulsa. She touches incredibly high and has such a high ceiling. There is a lot of raw athletic ability where she could be a middle/right side combo player where she can do a lot of things for her side of the net. Being out of the Columbus area, she has Ohio State in her backyard as well as plenty of other big time programs who will be knowing on her door.
— Chris Fitzgerald (@PrepDigChris) March 26, 2022
has been soaring to the list of top middles in the Class of 2024. Minnesota has built a fence around their state when it comes to top middle blockers. Could she be a package deal with her setter on MN Select, in top 2024 setter Stella Swenson? Those two could rival some other in state setter/middle combos who have their names all over the record books at “The U”. Caffee has a blend of speed, power, and is incredibly dynamic. She was dominant at the 17s level this past club season.
is another who has been a solid combo with her high school and club setter, Lilly Wagner for Oconomowoc High School in suburban Milwaukee and Milwaukee Sting 16 Gold. Bjork is the top middle in Wisconsin’s Class of 2024 where she can find the corners and puts so much pressure on the other side of the net. She also has a high IQ of where to anticipate the next set from the other side of the net. There are so many positive intangibles in her favor.
has been an athlete plenty of college coaches have an eye. Legacy has quite a pipeline of middles to the University of Michigan with former middles, Jessica Robinson and Serena Nyambio heading down the road to Ann Arbor. Bohl keeps it simple, yet efficient because she knows how to avoid the block, does a great job of running the slide, and is a major presence defensively.
— Chris Fitzgerald (@PrepDigChris) February 19, 2022
I was really impressed seeing Mia Trvdy live at Triple Crown and the Northern Lights Qualifier. This Nebraska Premier 16 Gold squad got better each time they touched the floor and Trvdy was a key piece to this. She came up with some big swings and major blocks. She could be on the radar of Big Ten coaches, but with Creighton in the backyard, she could be a big time prospect for the Jays. With her ability to move and how dynamic she is, there are plenty of options for her at the next level.