A couple of weeks ago, Prepvolleyball.com released its sixth annual ranking of the recruiting classes. In this year’s release Texas Tech received the “Highest Honorable Mention” status. Prepvolleyball selects 30 schools who made their “top” list, while another 30 are selected for “Highest Honorable Mention,” then a final 40 having the simple “Honorable Mention”. Texas Tech had a top-60 recruiting class, and that’s quite impressive for many reasons.
First of all, this recruiting class was composed of only three players. For 2020, Coach Graystone had five open scholarships. He decided to spend two of them over two transfers, outside hitters Reagan Cooper from Washington State and Samantha Sanders from Texas A&M. So he could only sign three high school players, and he did a very good job.
For those who are not used to volleyball, the concept of the top team is not as cut-and-dry as it is in football. This isn’t a situation where we have Power Five and then everybody else; it’s an absolute free for all in the volleyball world. To give some examples, in this year’s tournament we saw San Diego win over Washington State, Rice humiliating Oklahoma in straight sets, UCF defeating Florida State, and Creighton stunning Iowa State. Even Cal Poly had a historic game defeating Georgia. Volleyball really takes the “power” out of the Power Five.
Stone’s recruiting class is in-line with a very Texas Tech motif: recruit Texas. The three ladies coming in are all from Texas and, like football, that’s a really good foundation. The Lone Star State and California are the biggest tanks of talents in the nation, with a lot of competition over the top prospects. Zooming out a little bit we can see the hiring of assistant coach Jon Wong is likewise an important turning point for the volleyball staff. Wong played and coach at various levels in Florida, Missouri, and Tennessee, so maybe we could see some players coming from these states in 2021.
Four years ago Coach Graystone inherited a near-abysmal volleyball program, and this is just another great step forward to becoming a strong Big 12 contender. There’s certainly plenty of ground to cover with powerhouses like Baylor and Texas looming, but Stone is setting himself up well with a strong staff and his personally recruited athletes. The future is bright as it’s ever been for this volleyball program.