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It’s the offseason for the NCAA women, which as any diehard fan knows means it’s prime time for transfers. So without further ado, here’s our list of the 10 most intriguing NCAA transfers announced to date, in alphabetical order.
Capri Davis | Soph. | OH | 6-1
From Nebraska to Texas
Capri Davis is coming home. The Mansfield, Texas, native made the decision to leave Nebraska where she has played for two seasons and finish out her collegiate eligibility at the flagship university of her home state.
Davis played 26 matches during her freshman season at Nebraska in 2018, and then performed well in the Huskers’ opening weekend matches before missing five matches due to an abdominal strain. She then missed another match in early October due to illness and in late October, Cook announced she would be taking an indefinite medical leave of absence from the team.
The news of Davis’ transfer emerged before the 2019 season even concluded. She’ll fit right in at Texas, which is known for explosive pin hitters. With the graduation of four-year starting outside hitter Micaya White, there’s even a spot in the starting lineup up for grabs.
Camryn Ennis | Soph. | OH/S | 6-0
From Kansas to Texas A&M
Another Texas native returning to the homeland, Camryn Ennis filled a variety of roles for Kansas in her two years as a Jayhawk. As a freshman, she earned the starting setter spot until a midseason injury left her sidelined. This fall, she played in 71 of 96 sets, collecting a well-balanced statline of 121 kills, 43 assists, seven aces, 136 digs, and 28 blocks.
Coming out of high school, Ennis ranked in the top 100 kids in her class, according to PrepVolleyball. She joined a Kansas team that went 22-8 and made the NCAA Tournament in 2017 but then struggled for both of Ennis’ years with the team. In 2018, the Jayhawks went 15-12, and in 2019 just 9-17. A&M, on the other hand, has been a team on the rise, going from 10-15 in 2017 to 17-13 in 2018 and 23-8 this fall, including making an appearance in the Sweet 16.
Lauren Harrison | R.Fr. | OH | 6-0
From UNC to Baylor
Highly touted out of high school, Lauren Harrison was a four-time Georgia 4A All-State player and a two-time 4A Player of the Year and she ranked No. 22 on PrepVolleyball Senior Aces list. She then redshirted her first college season, making her debut at UNC in August. A breakout first NCAA season saw her garner First Team All-ACC honors and rank first on the team and third in the conference with 350 kills.
Baylor, which made it all the way to the Final Four last month and was the No. 1 seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, will have an opening at outside hitter following the graduation of senior starter Gia Milana, and Harrison might be just the athlete to fill that vacancy.
Rachel Hickman | Fr. | OPP | 6-3
From Kansas to Northern Colorado
Rachel Hickman grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, where she set records at Lawrence Free State High School for career kills and kills in a season. In her first collegiate season, Hickman played in 19 matches, collecting 64 kills, 56 digs, and 27 total blocks.
Northern Colorado won the Big Sky Conference with a 17-1 record in 2019. The Bears are not graduating any of their starting offensive players, so Hickman is certainly not guaranteed a spot in the lineup at her new school. Standing 6-3, however, Hickman could add some serious high to UNC’s front line.
Deahna Kraft | Sr. | OH | 6-0
From Pepperdine (beach) to Wisconsin
With college beach volleyball in its ninth season, we are pretty used to seeing indoor players transfer to a beach program for one final season of eligibility, but Deahna Kraft is flipping the script. After she finishes her fourth season as a member of the Pepperdine beach team this spring, a stint which included a second-place finish at the USA Collegiate Beach Pairs Championships, Kraft will make her return to the indoor game, joining the national runner-up Wisconsin squad.
“I want to be a pioneer for more beach volleyball players to go play court volleyball,” Kraft said in an interview with the Wisconsin State Journal.
Kraft played outside hitter at Garfield High School in Seattle, where she was a three-year starter and finished her prep career with 772 kills, 44 blocks, 382 digs, and 125 aces.
CONGRATS @DeahnaK!— Pepperdine Beach Volleyball (@WavesBeachVB) December 2, 2019
After her final senior year in 2020, Kraft will be joining the Badgers at Wisconsin for some indoor action!
UW earned the #5-seed in this year's NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament yesterday.
Gloria Mutiri | Soph. | Opp | 6-2
From Kansas State to Oregon
As highly ranked as she was coming out of high school, plenty of people were a little bit surprised to see Gloria Mutiri end up at Kansas State, which has struggled to make waves in the Big 12. After two seasons with the Wildcats, it’s not exactly a shocker that Mutiri caught the eye of Pac-12 program Oregon.
While still in high school, Mutiri initially committed to Ohio State, then changed her commitment to Kansas State. A stellar freshman season for the Wildcats saw Mutiri garner American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America honorable mention, AVCA Midwest Freshman of the Year, AVCA All-Midwest Region First Team, All-Big 12 Second Team and All-Big 12 Rookie Team. In two years at K-State, she totalled 553 kills, 8 assists, 20 aces, 322 digs, and 137 blocks.
Anna Dixon, a freshman who started at outside hitter for Kansas State this fall, also announced she is transferring (to Missouri), leaving K-State without two of its top-three offensive producers heading into the 2020 season.
Whittnee Nihipali | Soph. | 6-1 |OH
From Arizona to Dixie State
The Dixie State women’s volleyball program will play its first season in Division I, competing in the Western Athletic Conference, and they’ll do it with the help of Whittnee Nihipali. DSU, located in St. George, Utah, went 20-8 in 2019, competing in the Division II Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
Nihipali is a Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year and Under Armour Honorable Mention All-American, however, the 6-1 outside hitter saw only occasional playing time during her two seasons at Arizona. In 2019, she finished eighth on the team with 57 kills and added five aces and 37 digs.
“We are so very fortunate to add such a high caliber athlete like Whittnee to our program,” Dixie State head coach Robyn Felder said. “Whittnee is not only a six-rotation outside hitter, but she will also help provide the leadership and consistency that we will need heading into our DI transition.”
Amanda Phegley | Soph. | MB/OPP | 6-4
From Penn State to North Carolina
After playing just 19 total sets in two years as a member of the Penn State squad, 6-4 middle/opposite Amanda Phegley is taking her talents to North Carolina.
As a senior in high school, Phegley ranked 56th among all players in the Class of 2018 and was a Second Team Under Armour All-American. She won Florida state titles in 2014, 2015, and 2017 with her high school teams and maintained an impressive .474 hitting percentage as a senior.
“What we like about Amanda is that she's versatile,” UNC head coach Joe Sagula said. “She can play multiple positions with middle and right side being her strengths. She has size, athleticism, a heavy arm and comes from a culture that knows how to be successful.”
A middle/rightside hitter from Tampa, welcome to Carolina, Amanda!@PhegleyAmanda comes to Chapel Hill from Penn State and will enroll at UNC in January!— Carolina Volleyball (@UNCVolleyball) December 18, 2019
More » https://t.co/T8bimM5M0f#GoHeels ? pic.twitter.com/arXc8GqFww
Michaela Putnicki | Senior | OH | 6-1
From Penn State to Wichita State to Colorado State to Delaware
Michaela Putnicki hasn’t played in an official NCAA volleyball match since 2017. That fall, she spent her freshman season at Penn State, seeing action in just three sets. Then in January 2018, Wichita State announced that she had joined the Shocker program as a transfer, but she left WSU before the 2018 season, choosing instead to enroll at Colorado State—close to her hometown of Monument, Colorado—as a student and not play volleyball.
Putnicki will finish her undergraduate degree at CSU this spring and then enroll in an MBA program at Delaware, where she will join the team, and it just so happens that the Blue Hens have an opening at outside hitter following the graduation of kills leader Maria Bellinger.
Shannon Shields | Fr. | S | 5-10
From Louisville to Arizona State
When Shannon Shield signed her National Letter of Intent back in November 2018, all signs pointed to her becoming the next starting setter for Louisville. She was an Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year, a Second Team Under Armour All-American, and a two-time Arizona state champion. But then TCU transfer Tori Dilfer arrived on the Louisville campus and ended up winning the spot.
With Dilfer just a junior and still having a year of eligibility remaining, Shields will now transfer back to her home state to play for Arizona State. She announced her transfer decision subtly, simply changing the description on her Instagram account to “Arizona State University Volleyball 23’ ‼️”
During the 2019 season, Arizona State used a variety of different players in the setter position—by the end of the season, three players had recorded more than 250 assists— and two of those players were seniors and will be graduating. Shields should have no problem working her way into the starting lineup.
Katie Smoot | Jr. | OH/OPP | 6-2
From Arizona to Cal
Katie Smoot had good showings as a freshman and sophomore at Arizona, but she really started to shine this fall as a junior. She finished the season ranked second on the team with 307 kills, adding 11 aces, 33 blocks, and 147 digs.
She’ll spend her final year of eligibility back home in Northern California, announcing her decision to transfer to Cal on December 20 via an Instagram post. While attending high school in San Mateo, California, just across the bay from Berkeley, Smoot ranked No. 63 in the Class of 2017, was an honorable mention Under Armour All-American, and the Bay Area Player of the Year.