The additions of five talented incoming freshmen gave K-State volleyball the 20th-best recruiting class in the nation, according to PrepVolleyball.com.
The incoming class includes setter Teana Adams-Kaonohi from Hawaii, defensive specialist and libero Dru Kuck from Wisconsin, and three Kansas natives in outside hitter Anna Dixon (Louisburg), middle blocker Faith Hammontree (Shawnee) and libero/setter Loren Hinkle (Shawnee).
“This is a well-rounded class with the ability to make a significant impact on our program due to their collective skill level, athletic makeup and high standards,” K-State head coach Suzie Fritz said in the release. “They have had proven academic success and are young women of high character from wonderfully supportive families.”
Adams-Kaonohi, who stands 6-foot-1, had a stellar 2018 campaign at Punahou School in Honolulu, where she was the team captain as a senior and was labeled as one of the top 150 recruits in the country and a 2018 Senior Ace by PrepVolleyball.com. A decorated high school athlete, Adams-Kaonohi led the Buff ’n Blue to multiple tournament titles.
The 5-foot-6 Kuck, the only other non-Kansas native in the class, had a terrific high school career in Wisconsin propelling her to the No. 2 recruit spot of 2019 according to PrepDig.com. Kuck excelled on digs, finishing fourth in the state of Wisconsin — tops in her conference, the Fox River Classic — with 694 digs. Kuck also was a top-150 prospect per PrepVolleball.com.
The Wildcats hit the Kansas City metro area hard, signing the duo of Hammontree and Hinkle, who played together in high school (at De Soto) and on the club circuit (with Mid-America Volleyball, also known as MAVS).
Hammontree, a 6-foot-5 blocker, helped De Soto High win a 5A sub-state championship and secured a spot of the second-team all-league team as a senior. Before playing at De Soto HS she won consecutive state titles in 2A with Christian Heritage Academy as a sophomore and junior. Hammontree was first-team all-state and all-tournament both seasons. PrepVolleyball.com also ranked Hammontree as a top-150 recruit nationally.
Fellow Shawnee native Hinkle has played all over the court, seeing time at outside hitter, defensive specialist and setter at De Soto. She and Hammontree were part of the 5A sub-state championship team as seasons. She was a 5A all-state honorable mention and a three-time all-academic team winner. Hinkle also was a member of three consecutive Frontier League titles at De Soto.
The Wildcats added even more height with the 6-foot-2 outside hitter, Dixon, a Louisberg native. Dixon had more than 2,000 kills during her high school career and put together a pair of seasons as the Class 4A Kansas player of the Year. She also was an Under Armor All-America honorable mention and a finalist for the 2018 Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year. During her prolific career at Louisburg High School, Dixon led her team to consecutive 4A state runner-up seasons. Dixon is a top-50 recruit in the nation for the 2019 class at PrepVolleyball.com, according to the release.
“We are excited about the impact this class can have, both with the culture of the team and the future success of our volleyball program,” Fritz said.
K-State will embark on a nine-day foreign tour of Brazil, which starts Wednesday and runs through June 6. The trip includes stops in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo as well as the Brazilian National Team Training Center. While in Brazil, the Wildcats will play five exhibition matches against professional clubs and train with the Brazil U20 National Team.
K-State’s home opener is against Clemson at 6 p.m. Sept. 5, leading off the annual K-State Invitational.