Kansas volleyball adds versatility with 2018 recruiting class
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas volleyball will graduate one of the most successful senior classes in program history soon, and head coach Ray Bechard has taken the first steps to maintain that level of championship excellence with the signing of four high school seniors to National Letters of Intent this week, including two Under Armour High School All-Americans.
Bechard and the Jayhawks signed defensive specialist Lacey Angello (Lansing, Kan.), middle blocker Kailea Carrier (Olathe, Kan.), outside hitter and setter Camryn Ennis (San Antonio, Texas) and middle blocker Rachel Langs (Fairview, Texas).
“With a large senior class graduating from our program after this season, we have some large roles to fill with size, versatility, setter and back-row positions,” Bechard said. “We think these four young ladies address most of those needs.”
Angello comes to Kansas with a versatile skill set in a 5-foot-8 athletic frame. She will be a defensive specialist for the Jayhawks, but proved to be an offensive threat in high school, owning records for digs (1,435) and kills (1,575) at Lansing High School. The three-time all-state performer helped lead the Lions to four-straight Kaw Valley League titles and three-state Kansas Class 5A sub-state titles.
“We are really excited about Lacy’s court presence and extremely high volleyball IQ,” Bechard said. “She makes those around her better with a great energy and a passion for the sport. We think she can really be significant from day one as a high-level passer and server. She is a well-rounded player who has played a number of positions in club and high school, but here at KU we think she can turn into an elite ‘little’ for us in the back row.”
Carrier is another Kansas native coming to the state’s flagship institution to be a Jayhawk. The 6-foot-5 Olathe East High School product set school records for single-season blocks and blocks in a set during her prep career and looks to solidify KU’s front-line defense and provide a dynamic offensive attack.
“Kailea is someone we are excited about because we think she can play multiple positions,” Bechard said. “She has as much size as anybody we have ever recruited. She can play middle, she can play right-side and she can attack on the left. The fact that she grew up just down the road is exciting, too. She gets to play in front of her support group and her family. We think she can develop into an extremely good Big 12 volleyball player.”
Both Ennis and Langs were named to the 2017-18 Under Armour All-America Team — Ennis a second-team honoree and Langs and third-team honoree.
After a stand-out career at Reagan High School in San Antonio, Ennis will join the Jayhawks for the spring semester in 2018. The 6-foot setter and outside hitter was named the San Antonio Express-News Player of the Year in 2016 and this season she leads the nation’s No. 1-ranked high school team (MaxPreps) in assists, digs and kills.
“Camryn is unique in that she can do more than one thing on the court, but we think she’ll settle into a setting role in our program eventually,” Bechard said. “She plays for high-level high school which has been ranked No. 1 in the country for most of the year. Her joining us this spring will be a huge advantage for her to get comfortable in our system. She’ll get a ton of setting reps this spring and also has versatility where she can attack, too. She is a versatile player who is a great teammate with a bright future.”
Langs, a 6-foot-3 middle blocker, has helped lead Lovejoy High School in Lucas, Texas, to back-to-back district championships in 2016 and 2017 as a two-time all-district honoree and 2016 all-state honorable mention. Over the summer, Langs was a member of the Texas Advantage Volleyball (TAV) club team that won the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships 17 Open title in Minneapolis.
“Rachel is just a wonderful kid who has a great spirit about her,” Bechard said. “Her enthusiasm is contagious and she is hungry to learn. On the court, she is a prototype Big 12 middle blocker, in that she has a good physical presence. She is already productive as a two-foot attacker and has shown signs of being extremely dynamic off one foot.”
The 11th-ranked Jayhawks return to action on Saturday (Noon, ESPN3) against No. 23 Baylor at Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
KANSAS VOLLEYBALL 2018 RECRUITING CLASS
|Lacey Angello||L/DS||5-8||Lansing, Kan.|
|Kailea Carrier||MB||6-5||Olathe, Kan.|
|Camryn Ennis||OH/S||6-0||San Antonio, Texas|
|Rachel Langs||MB||6-3||Fairview, Texas|
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