Oregon volleyball adds four new recruits for next year
Last Wednesday, Oregon volleyball announced its newest recruits for the 2016 season which consists of four new players; two from California, one from Arizona and the final from Washington.
The new players will add some dimension to Oregon’s front line with an outside hitter, a middle, a right side and one player who boasts abilities at outside, libero and setter.
Perhaps the most prestigious recruit is Ronika Stone who will join the Ducks at the middle position. The 6-foot-2 MB was selected at the No. 10 spot on the Prepvolleyball.com Senior Aces list, the highest-rated recruit in the history of Ducks volleyball.
When Stone was on the USA Youth National team, she led the world in hitting percentage, and although Oregon picked up two new middles just last year, head coach Moore wants Stone to see the court as soon as possible.
“She’s as strong as anyone we’ve ever had coming in as a freshman and there’s no question she’s going to step in and play right off the bat” Moore said in an interview with GoDucks.com.
The second recruit is Willow Johnson from Paradise Valley, Ariz. The 6-foot-2 right side was the No. 27 ranked senior by Prepvolleyball.com, and boasts a .307 career hitting percentage.
Coach Moore said one of the deciding factors in selecting Johnson was her ball control ability. With no other right sides on the team this year, Johnson will surely bring a new power to the Oregon offense.
Next up is Jolie Rasmussen of Encinitas, Calif., who will be joining the Ducks as an outside hitter next year. With senior Martenne Bettendorf about to graduate, Oregon will be in need of another powerful force for blocks and kills on the outside, and that’s just what Rasmussen brings to the court.
She was selected as an Under Armour Second Team All-American and captured her academy’s single season kill record during her sophomore year with 461 kills.
“I can’t say enough about Jolie,” Moore said in the interview. “She definitely has the ball control to play all-around.”
The final newbie is Brooke Van Sickle from Battle Ground, Wash. The appeal in this selection is not only her title as Under Armour First Team All-American but also her ability to play every position.
Van Sickle can play libero, setter and outside hitter, but with a .527 hitting percentage, she could add more scoring power to Oregon’s front row.
Moore said he isn’t sure where he will put Van Sickle’s ability to use yet, but fans can definitely expect to see her on the court.
Before the new Ducks come to Eugene, the current team is finishing up its season with four more regular season matches to go. On Wednesday, Oregon will take on Washington State at Matthew Knight Arena followed by Washington on Friday.