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IU volleyball announces 2020 class of recruits



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IU volleyball players confer between points during the fifth set against Iowa on Oct. 26 at Wilkinson Hall. On National Signing Day, the IU volleyball program announced an eight-member 2020 class. Joy Burton Buy Photos

On Wednesday’s National Signing Day, the IU volleyball program announced an eight-member 2020 class that includes players from all over the country.

The eight signees are middle blockers Leyla Blackwell (La Jolla, California), Savannah Kjolhede (Colleyville, Texas) and Elle Hillers (Silverdale, Washington), outside hitters Tommi Stockham (Las Vegas, Nevada), Morgan Geddes (Grove City, Ohio) and Grae Gosnell (Mount Pleasant, South Carolina), defensive specialist Britt Soudan (Winnetka, Illinois) and setter Olivia Panepinto (Crown Point, Indiana).

Stockham, the 2018 Gatorade Player of the Year for Nevada, was ranked the No. 32 recruit in the 2020 class by PrepVolleyball.com. She becomes the second-highest recruit in IU program history, head coach Steve Aird said.

“Tommi is one of the elite outside hitters in the country,” Aird said. “She possesses a tremendous arm, great volleyball IQ and the ability to play six rotations well.”

Blackwell, a 6-foot-4 middle blocker, was named an Under Armour Third Team All-American in 2019 and is ranked the No. 59 recruit by PrepVolleyball.com. Kjolhede, another middle blocker, was ranked No. 83 on the same list and stands at 6 feet 3 inches tall.

“We’re going to look a heck of a lot like a Big Ten team in a year,” Aird said. “Just the physicality of it.”

With seven seniors currently on the roster, the Hoosiers have lots of gaps to fill and plenty of playing time to be had by its returner, along with those in the 2020 class. Among the key returners will be freshmen Emily Fitzner and Haley Armstrong, and sophomore Breana Edwards.

“A chunk of [the signees] are going to start because we lose a lot of upperclassmen,” Aird said. “The one thing that I told them is we’re going to develop them as complete players. It’s a good environment to come and train.”

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