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2026 Recruiting Needs and Potential Prospects for Last Year's Sweet 16's

2026 Recruiting Needs and Potential Prospects for Last Year's Sweet 16's

Kentucky Wildcats

2025 Class (Unofficial)         2026 Projected Needs

Setter- #4 Kassidy O’Brien Setter- No

Outside- Georgia Watson Outside- Yes

Opposite- No .      Opposite- Yes

Middle- No         Middle- Yes

Libero- Trinity Ward Libero- Yes

Overall Outlook:  Look for Kentucky to pursue a large class in 2026.  A star Middle Blocker will be a priority.  The ‘Cats will also go hard after a difference-making OH and OPP.  I would also look for them to be in on one of the top liberos in the class.

Potential Prospects: #3 MB Jessica Smallwood, MB Amirra Bailey, #3 OH Ayanna Watson, #4 OH Jayden Robinson, OH Reese Shugart, OH Britnit Silver, OPP. #1 Libero Sidney Burley, #3 Libero Erin Clark,

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

2025 Class (Unofficial)         2026 Projected Needs

Setter- No          Setter- Yes

Outside- Top 75 Lameen Mambu Outside- Yes

Opposite- No           Opposite- Yes

Middle- No           Middle- Yes

Libero- No           Libero- Yes

Overall Outlook:  With only one confirmed verbal for the Class of 2025 you have to believe the Tech coaching staff is still working on adding to that class and depending on how they end up with 2025s will affect their 2026 Targets.  As it sits right now the Yellow Jackets look to have a need at each position group and will be trying for a large Class of 2026.

Potential Prospects: #7 OH Gigi Artiles, #6 Kiley Brooks Libero, OH Sophia Stallworth, #5 Setter Madison Victoriano, OH Paisley Pavliska, OH Isabella Umpierre

Purdue Boilermakers

2025 Class (Unofficial)           2026 Projected Needs

Setter- Top 150 Isabelle Bardin   Setter- No

Outside- #20 Addy Tindall                              Outside- No

and Manija Howse

Opposite- No            Opposite- Yes

Middle- No            Middle- Yes

Libero- Matea Casale    Libero- Yes

Overall Outlook:  Purdue will focus on the Middle Blocker position #1, but will look to add another power arm to fit into their system.  Preferrable on Opposite.  I would look for the Boilers to add another Libero/DS and wouldn’t be surprised if they took a setter in back-to-back classes.  Look for them to have many targets from Texas and the Midwest.

Potential Prospects: #4 Middle Kaylay Nwabueze, #4 Outside Jayden Robinson, OH Sara Snowbarger, Setter Kenlee Barnard, Opposite/OH Bryah Breux, OH Madison Miles, OH Sydney Bryant, Middle Ellie Strecker, Setter Lexi Shondell

Penn State Nittany Lions

2025 Class (Unofficial)             2026 Projected Needs

Setter- No             Setter- Yes

Outside- Top 100 Marin Collins                        Outside- No

and Alexis Ewing

OPP- No                      OPP- Yes

Middle- Gabby Nichols      Middle- Yes

Libero- Trinity Ward      Libero- Yes

Overall Outlook:  Penn State has been dominating in the Transfer Portal lately. This allows them some flexibility with their prep classes.  Look for them to target some notable players at each position.  I would say that Setter and Opposite would be their first priority.

Potential Prospects: #2 Setter Mallory Matheny, #3 Setter Isabelle Hoppe, #4 Setter Blair Thiebaud, #3 OH Ayanna Watson, #2 Middle Ella Andrews, #4 OH Jayden Robinson, **I would say that they could target 4 Metro D.C. players (Williams, Johnson, Gardner and Teodora Stamenkovic) and #3 Middle Kendall Northern.

Tennessee Volunteers

2025 Class (Unofficial)               2026 Projected Needs

Setter- No                Setter- Yes

Outside- Maggie Dostic       Outside- Yes

Opposite- No                Opposite- Yes

Middle- Alaina Jarrett        Middle- Yes

Libero- Alexa Stuzman                Libero-No

Overall Outlook:  Tennessee will target Setter #1 and could realistically add a player at each position.  The Vols are an interesting program as they have built and are on the verge of taking a national step.  Do they target some higher profile prospects than in past years?

Potential Prospects: Outside Natalie Langston, Middle Amirra Bailey, OH Reese Shugart, Libero Gabi Emch, Opposite Saige Williams, OH Gigi Artiles, OH Jordin Southall, Setter Kenlee Barnard, Setter Zora Bello, Setter Danielle Whitmire

Arizona State Sun Devils

2025 Class (Unofficial)                 2026 Projected Needs

Setter- No                 Setter- Yes

Outside Ella Lewis and Ceci Vance Outside- Yes

Opposite- No                 Opposite- Yes

Middle- No                 Middle- Yes

Libero- No                 Libero- Yes

Overall Outlook: The Sun Devils have momentum in their program and now will look to parlay that into a large recruiting class.  Another school that continues to work on adding to its 2025 class, ASU will need 2026 to be a good one. The new staff is trying to make in-roads with local clubs and this would be a great class to keep some top Arizona kids home.

Potential Prospects: I could see them targeting 5 members of AZ Storm (OH Bowcutt, MB Conner, OH Crjnac, Libero Saunders), OH Finley Krystowiak, Libero Presley Thompson, Middle Addison Coady, OH Gabi Zachiarason, Setter Soraya Dennis, OH Gabriella Thompson,

Washington State Cougars

2025 Class (Unofficial)                  2026 Projected Needs

Setter- No                  Setter- Yes

Outside- No                  Outside- Yes

Opposite- No                  Opposite- Yes

Middle- Lauren Johson          Middle- Yes

Libero- No                   Libero- Yes

Overall Outlook:  A new coaching staff being named in January and conference realignment has led to a small 2025 class thus far at Washington State.  Look for the Cougars to continue adding to the current class before attacking the ‘26s in full force.

Potential Prospects: A new staff we are not familiar with yet, it is very hard to predict any possible targets for Washington State right now.

Creighton Blue Jays

2025 Class (Unofficial)                    2026 Projected Need

Setter- No                            Setter- Yes

Outside- Abbey Hayes            Outside- Yes

Opposite- Ashlynn Paymal            Opposite- No

Middle- No                    Middle- Yes

Libero- No                    Libero- Yes

 Setter is a priority in the 2026 class. Creighton was one of the few Top 20 programs that didn’t add a Libero last year, so watch for that position to be a priority.  The Blue Jays will look to add the best athletes possible at the pin positions while also needing to add a Middle Blocker after passing in the 2025 class.

Potential Prospects: Outside/Opposite Taylor Stanley, Outside Grace Martin, Libero Julia Blom, Middle/Opposite Bailey Boeve, Middle Bennett Raterman, Setter Abigail Schoene, Libero Alaina Burns, Outside Leah Robinson, Outside Addison West, Middle Ella Derrer

Darren Tipton