7 Notable NCAA Beach Grad Transfers

Last week, we brought you the 10 most intriguing transfers in NCAA indoor volleyball, but today we’re tackling the beach side. 

The path of indoor players using a final season or two of eligibility to transfer to the beach side, and maybe get a graduate degree while they’re at it, has become well-worn, and this year there are quite a few big-name players headed to the beach. 

Here’s our picks of the top seven beach volleyball grad transfers to keep an eye out for. 

Jacqueline Quade

From Illinois to UCLA

The news of Illinois outside hitter Jacqueline Quade choosing to spend her final season(s?) of eligibility with the UCLA beach volleyball team came out way back in October. Illinois, with Quade leading the offense, then finished the 2019 season with a 16-14 record, narrowly making the NCAA Tournament and then losing to Utah in the first round. 

Quade, a 6-2 outside hitter, leaves Illinois a two-time All-American, having tallied a team-high 497 kills, hitting .214, with 44 aces, 261 digs, and 51 total blocks in her senior year. 

She joins a UCLA team that has won the last two NCAA beach volleyball championships in a row. In an interview with Champaign-Urbana’s The News-Gazette, Quade admitted she doesn’t have much experience on the beach, beyond playing for fun in the summer, but she’s up for the challenge.

“(Jacqueline’s) got length and athleticism, so she’s able to cover a lot of court,” Illinois head coach Chris Tamas said in the same interview. “She’s had the last (two) years playing six rotations with us, so she’s got ball control experience. A lot of beach volleyball is being able to read the game and being able to kind of select some shots.”

Hailey Harward

From Long Beach State to USC

Hailey Harward had a decorated volleyball career in three and a half years at Long Beach State, playing outside hitter and libero indoors and competing at the No. 3 spot on the beach as a freshman and sophomore. Harward took the 2019 beach season off to focus on indoor, but she’s looking to make the most of her final spring, transferring to the always lethal USC beach squad. 

USC finished runner-up at last spring’s NCAA beach volleyball championship and will be in its first season with new head coach, former assistant Dain Blanton. Although the Trojans return the majority of their starting lineup, they will be looking to shuffle things around or fill some holes left by graduated starters Abril Bustamante (No. 1s), Terese Cannon (No. 2s), and Alexandra Polletto (No. 3s). 

Makenzie Griffin

From Angelo State to Long Beach State

Makenzie Griffin has been climbing up the divisions throughout the last four years. The native of Jourdanton, Texas, started college at Division III Texas Lutheran, but then transferred to DII Angelo State. After graduating with her bachelor’s from ASU, Griffin is making the jump to Division I to play for the Long Beach State beach volleyball squad as a grad transfer. 

Griffin has a year and a half of eligibility left and she plans to compete for two seasons with the LBSU beach squad. In the fall, the 6-0 outside hitter ranked fourth on the ASU team with 165 kills, helping the Rambelles win a conference title and make it to their ninth consecutive NCAA DII Tournament.

Morgyn Greer

From Florida to South Carolina

South Carolina adds two grad transfers to its roster this spring. Morgyn Greer comes to Columbia from Dripping Springs, Texas, by way of Gainesville and the University of Florida where she appeared in 54 matches over four years. 

The 6-3 outside hitter has two seasons of eligibility to spend with the Gamecocks, and South Carolina head beach coach Mortiz Mortiz is most looking forward to the experience Greer brings having been a part of such a competitive, successful program.

“For Morgyn, it's going to be bringing in her experience and her knowledge of culture and how to develop and build on that side of it,” he said. “We've had success with grad students, and while the transition is a quick one, when you come in with her level of maturity and experience and leadership, that's something you can lend to the team quickly.”

Madison Brabham

From Texas A&M Kingsville to South Carolina

Madison Brabham spent her four undergrad years at Division II Texas A&M-Kingsville, and there’s hardly an award or championship that she didn’t win while she was there. She finished her indoor career as a Javelina in 2018, earning AVCA DII First Team All-America honors as a senior—the first player in A&M-Kingsville history to do so. That season, she played opposite and set in a 6-2 and recorded 15 triple-doubles, five more than any other player in DII. A total of 456 kills that season brought her career total up to 1,184, good for sixth all-time in the TAMK record books.

Brabham also played for the A&M-Kingsville beach team, winning the AVCA Small College Championship in 2018 and finishing runner-up in 2018. 

“(Madison’s) coming in with high levels of competitive experience already, and added to that will have new energy coming here for her fifth year and looking to help the team,” Moritz said. “She wants to help our program, but also wants to prove to herself that the level of potential she has an athlete can impact the highest level of college beach volleyball.”

Alexis Dirige

From Washington State to Concordia Irvine

Libero Alexis Dirige left Washington State as the program’s career-digs leader with an impressive 2,152 in four seasons as a starter. That number also puts her sixth all-time in the Pac-12. The 5-2 native of San Francisco will now take her scrappy defensive skills to Concordia Irvine’s beach volleyball program. 

The Eagles, which compete in DII, have a new head coach at the helm, Gene Krieger, and after going 6-11 in 2019, they’re looking for improvement this year, their sixth as a program.

Carly Skjodt

From Michigan to Pepperdine

Indoor All-American outside hitter Carly Skjodt actually arrived on campus in Malibu in the fall of 2019, but we thought it was worth a reminder ahead of what would be her NCAA beach volleyball debut at the end of next month.

Standing 6-1 and with a cannon of an arm, Skjodt will look to succeed in the difficult assignment of making a quick transition from hardwood to beach. But, at least she got a few extra months compared to players who competed indoors during the 2019 season.

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