(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – PrepVolleyball.com released its final rankings for the 2017 recruiting classes this week and BYU women’s volleyball came in at No. 13 in the nation.
This marks the fifth time a BYU recruiting class has been ranked in PrepVolleyball's top-30 since 2003. BYU’s highest ranking was No. 11 in 2016.
The Cougars have the highest ranked recruiting class among non-Power 5 programs. Other non-Power 5 programs to make the top-30 include Marquette at No. 21, Hawai'i at No. 23 and Creighton at No. 25.
BYU’s 2017 recruiting class includes two top-100 players, 6-foot-3 outside hitter Taylen Ballard (No. 21) out of Clovis, California, and 6-foot-7 opposite Sara Hamson (No. 57) from Pleasant Grove, Utah.
Ballard was named an Under Armour First-Team All-American in 2016 as well as all-conference in 2014 and 2016. Hamson was named to the 2016 AVCA Under Armour All-American Watch List.
The top-15 signing class also includes 6-foot-2 outside/opposite hitter Allison Stapleton from Kennewick, Washington, and junior college transfer Sydnie Martindale, a defensive specialist from Snow College.
Stapleton has been named a first-team all-conference outside hitter for two years at her Kamiakin High School. Martindale has received a handful of awards in the past two years, including being named the Region 18 Defensive Player of the Year in both 2015 and 2016.
13. BYU: Taylen Ballard, 6-3 OH, Clovis (California); Sara Hamson, 6-7 RS, Pleasant Grove (Utah); Allison Stapleton, 6-2 OH/RS, Kamiakin (Kennewick, Washington)
COMMENT: BYU was 29-4 last year with a team that was young everywhere but in the middle. This class, featuring two Top 100 Senior Aces, will add to that young nucleus and fight for playing time as early as this fall. Ballard, No. 21 in the Senior Aces, is a physically gifted six-rotation attacker with great size and athleticism. Blessed with great vision and range, she will have the ability to score from anywhere around the court. She should develop into a high-impact player that Cougar fans will enjoy watching. In-state product Hamson, Senior Ace No. 57, is a formidable athlete who is developing into a tremendous attacker and defender. Standing 6-7, she has the potential to be one of the best attackers in the nation, coming at opponents with a high attack point that they aren't accustomed to seeing. Her sister, Jennifer, once led BYU to the national championship match. Stapleton, a Top 250 Senior Ace, is an exceptional athlete who moves and jumps well. She is a versatile player with great size and can play multiple positions. Better yet, she loves the process of getting better and being in the gym. The Cougars also add defender Sydnie Martindale, a transfer from Snow College. Martindale is a dynamic defender who reads the game well and has a knack for knowing where the ball will go. She is quick and isn't afraid to get on the floor and will be a nice compliment to libero Mary Lake, who had a standout freshman year.