May 27, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - Florida State indoor volleyball's 2012 recruiting class continues to garner more national praise in the offseason, being tabbed as the third-best class in the nation by highly-respected amateur volleyball website PrepVolleyball.com.
The website discusses how FSU's recent success of an Elite Eight appearance in 2009 and the school's first-ever Final Four season in 2011 have culminated with the Seminoles' "most talented recruiting class in Seminole volleyball history." FSU's rank of third is ahead of several nationally-regarded programs and trails only top-ranked Stanford and second-ranked Texas.
FSU's 2012 class includes eight talent student-athletes who will combine with several returnees from the Seminoles' Final Four squad. With every middle blocker returning from one of the nation's best groups last season, heralded signees Sarah Burrington (MB, Tampa, Fla./Riverview HS) and Mara Green (MB, McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing Christian Academy) provide FSU with two of the best up-front players in the 2012 class.
With FSU's biggest loss being the graduation of AVCA second-team All-American Jekaterina Stepanova and honorable mention All-American Visnja Djurdjevic at the outside hitter spots, as well as Rachael Morgan at right-side, the Seminoles fulfilled their needs with four key signees. Freshman Nicole Walch (OH, Stuart, Fla./Martin County HS) is already enrolled at FSU and earned valuable time with the team in the spring, while fellow classmate Leah Mikesky (OH, Schulenburg, Texas/Schulenburg HS) is another proven talent who adds depth to a new crop of hitters.
All four of FSU's early signees were ranked in PrepVolleyball.com's "Senior Aces" list, which ranked the Top 100 2012 recruits last fall. Burrington led the class with a No. 15 ranking, while Green (23rd), Mikesky (39th) and Walch (53rd) also received high marks.
Also factoring into the No. 3 ranking were twin sisters Laura Dadowski and Caroline Dadowski, two liberos from Mount Lebanon High School in Pittsburgh, Pa. Both players figure to provide depth at the position that was handled last year by rising redshirt sophomore Katie Mosher.
While transfers did not factor into the rankings, FSU's two signees that include one of the top junior-class players in Serbia native Olivera Medic (OH, Wyoming Community College) and outside hitter Taylor Simpson (University of Nebraska, Colorado Springs, Colo.) will undoubtedly add to the group. Medic is a two-time AVCA First-Team All-American while Simpson was ranked as the No. 9 player by PrepVolleyball.com in 2010 coming out of high school.
The Seminoles return 10 student-athletes from last year's roster, including 2011 NCAA total blocks leader and AVCA honorable mention All-American Ashley Neff. FSU ended last season with the nation's seventh-best ratings percentage index, finished seventh in the final AVCA poll and were also the first Atlantic Coast Conference program to ever make a Final Four.