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Battleground States: North Carolina

Battleground States: North Carolina

Battleground States: North Carolina

Welcome back to another edition of Battleground States. In this series, we discuss states that could see the most intense recruiting battles come June.   This week we will focus on North Carolina, which is home to 19 D1 Programs.

eState of North Carolina Division 1 Programs (19)

  • Appalachian State University (Sun Belt)- Boone, NC
  • Campbell University (CAA)- Buies Creek, NC
  • UNC Charlotte (AAC)- Charlotte, NC
  • Davidson College (A10)- Davidson, NC
  • Duke University (ACC)- Durham, NC
  • East Carolina University (AAC)- Greenville, NC
  • Elon University (Colonial)- Elon, NC
  • Gardner-Webb University (Big South)- Boiling Springs, NC
  • High Point University (Big South)- High Point, NC
  • NC State (ACC)- Raleigh, NC
  • University of North Carolina (ACC)- Chapel Hill, NC
  • North Carolina A&T (CAA)- Greensboro, NC
  • North Carolina Central (MEAC)- Durham, NC
  • Queens University of Charlotte (ASUN)- Charlotte, NC
  • UNC Asheville (Big South)- Asheville, NC
  • UNC Greensboro (Southern)- Greensboro, NC
  • UNC Wilmington (Colonial)- Wilmington, NC
  • Wake Forest University (ACC)- Winston-Salem, NC
  • Western Carolina (Southern)- Cullowhee, NC

North Carolina has four ACC Teams, however, none have a deep history of volleyball success. NC State had the best record of the bunch last season finishing 22-7 and 12-6 in the ACC. Duke was next with a 19-10 record and 10-8 conference record. Duke did put together a Top 10ish 2025 recruiting class and is building the most steam.

State of North Carolina Recruiting Trends


State’s #1 Player Committed: Nebraska

State Top 10’s Prospects Signed In-State: 0

State Top 10’s Prospects that Signed with “Big 3”: 2

State  Top 10 Prospects that Committed to Traditional Top 25 Programs: 5


State’s #1 Player Committed: Kentucky

State Top 10’s Prospects Signed In-State: 0

State Top 10’s Prospects that Signed with “Big 3”: 0

State  Top 10 Prospects that Committed to Traditional Top 25 Programs: 3


State’s #1 Player Committed: Nebraska

State Top 10 Prospects Signed In-State: 0

State Top 10 Prospects that Signed with “Big 3”: 1

State  Top 10 Prospects that Committed to Traditional Top 25 Programs: 2

State of North Carolina Recruiting Label 2026= REGIONAL HOTBED

Despite the state’s top-heavy success, most prospects in the state end up committing to smaller local schools. Out of the ACC Schools in the state, only NC State landed a recruit from within the state in 2025. So, most NC girls do land out of state, however, with 19 schools, NC prospects have plenty of in-state options. 

Notable that the most of NC’s recent “ranked prospects” have ended up choosing big-time power 5 programs. In 2023, the top 5 girls committed to Nebraska, Stanford, Kentucky, Texas A&M, and Oregon. So, this state has a tradition of putting out 5-star talent every class.

NORTH CAROLINA Class of 2026 Recruiting Prospect Notes

Genevieve Harris, S, NC Academy

The state’s #1 prospect is also one of the most talked about in the entire class. Genevieve is the most touted player in NC over the past few years. She has separated herself this club season and has climbed to #1 setter on several schools’ “target list”.  Harris is currently VBAdrenaline’s #1 ranked Setter in the class of 2026 and was ranked #6 overall in the Super 30. 

Harris will have her pick of nearly every school signing a ‘26 Setter and that could include one of the “Big 3” 

Harris might be the best offensive setter we have watched, and her ability to take it herself is second to none, not to mention how much she has dominated NTDP events over the season. She will be a fun player to watch over the coming years and into her college career, but she definitely will get a hard-push from some of the most well-known coaches in the NCAA.

Carly Markham, L, Triangle

Markham fits the bill as one of the top Liberos in the class and though Libero recruiting can be tricky, the state position trend show good things. The top ‘25 NC Libero, Caleigh Ponn of NC Academy, landed at Kansas State. 

The 5’8 Libero had 235 digs for Apex Friendship and was very solid from the service line. She is a Power 5 talent and with so many regional options there will be a fit and interest shown in Carly come June. 

Evelyn Carlson, OH, NC Academy

Carlson is among the top Outsides in this year’s NC class. She was named to the AVCA Phenom Watch List In the 23-24 season, she had 232 kills for Green Hope High School. The 5’10 outside excelled for Green Hope leading them to major wins throughout the season. 

The top Outside Hitters in North Carolina have been extremely successful at finding top schools, but with the lack of depth in NC this year at the Outside position, it’s going to be interesting to see what college coaches come knocking. The top Outside last year was Addison Burke, who ended up at Eastern Kentucky, so Carlson should get D1 offers with those trends in mind. 

Kinnady Boothe, OH, Piedmont Volleyball

**Just before posting we found out that Kinnady suffered an ACL injury ending her season.  We hope she still finds a great home and recovers, but felt she deserved the shout out

Now, let’s head to one of the biggest sleepers in the entire class. Boothe comes from a small club in Piedmont Volleyball, and is not mentioned on any top recruiting websites, but we have her listed at #20 on our Super 30 list (Are we crazy….no connected)

She has flown under the radar of the media, but Kinnady’s incredible size and reach have some big colleges locked in on her for June. 

Someone is going to get a massive steal. Look for there to be SEC and ACC programs that are in the mix and come calling. She has a developing game and will be recruited on her potential and high ceiling. 

Natalie Langston, OH, NC Academy

Langston impressed a lot of people at the Sunshine Classic and has moved up ranking lists.  Natalie was also named to the AVCA Phenom Watch List. Being a favorite target of Harris has brought extra eyes to her court.  Natalie is a name coaches continue to evaluate and be impressed with. OH’s from NC have been sporadic to get a trend with, but this one has played consistently at the Open Division and that has landed her on the list of multiple  D1 teams. With over 250 kills last year and 180 digs, Langston is another player who should find her way to a regional power 5. 

State of the State

North Carolina may not produce the deepest classes of Power 5 prospects, but the state’s top-end talent can and does rival anyone.  With Harris being sought after by most things will be interesting and entertaining.  Volleyball is growing in NC and this class is another example of 4-5 players that can really contribute at the Power 5 level.

Zachary Tipton