Abby Vander Wal, a top outside hitter from Illinois, announced on Thursday that she will join the Texas Longhorns.
Thursday was the first day teams could make offers on rising juniors, so how did Vander Wal know so fast that Texas was the best fit over the Big 10 schools also offering?
"At camp, walking around campus and talking with everyone, it was just a perfect fit!" Vander Wal said, "I loved everything about it- the program, coaches, culture, family feel, etc."
Vander Wal is the #4 recruit in the entire class of 2025, according to PrepVolleyball.com. She made the 2023 Girls U19 National Team this year and won gold at the Pan American Cup. She was named to the AVCA Phenom List in 2021 and 2022. Last year, Vander Wal had 440 kills tallying 5.1 kills per set and a 44% hit percentage.
It was the second signing for the Longhorns Thursday, along with top Libero, Callie Krueger.
Vander Wal said the three most important reasons for choosing Texas were program culture, competing for a national title, and relationship with the coaching staff. The Longhorns are coming off their National Championship season and Texas will be in the SEC when Vander Wal steps on campus, so Vander Wal will compete against top teams in Florida and Kentucky and they are always going to be competing for a National Title.
Vander Wal will be a big part of the Longhorn's future, but she's excited about it.
"I'm so excited to get started and can't wait for what's to come!"