Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Central Michigan volleyball coach Mike Gawlik’s first recruiting class is among the nation’s best, according to one of the game’s authoritative websites, prepvolleyball.com.
The Chippewas’ recruiting class, comprising five players, received honorable mention from the publication. CMU is one of 72 programs to receive honorable mention behind a ranking of the top 30. NCAA Division I volleyball comprises 334 programs.
“I think it shows growth in the program and I think it shows that we’ve got some pretty good kids coming into the program that we’re very excited about both athletically and in the classroom,” said Mike Gawlik, who is entering his second as the Chippewas’ coach. “When you combine those with the talent we have in the gym currently, I think that we’ve got the pieces we need to move the program in the right direction.
“Hopefully it’s a precursor to big things to come for them individually and for us as a team. We’re excited about it. It’s a starting point. We’re going to need them to hit the ground running here pretty fast to achieve the goals that I think they have and that we have as a program.”
The class comprises Kalina Smith, a 5-foot-10 outside hitter/setter from Powell, Wyo.; Hannah Warners, a 5-8 libero/defensive specialist from Grand Rapids; Grace Butler, a 6-foot setter from Hawthorn Woods, Ill.; Lyza Myers, a 6-2 outside hitter from Napoleon; and Miani Bolden, a 6-3 middle hitter from Homewood, Ill.
CMU is one of four Mid-American Conference teams on the honorable mention list. The others are Ball State, Ohio and Western Michigan.
The Chippewas open the 2017 season Aug. 25-26 with the Army Tournament at West Point, N.Y.