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The Best Classes of the Winter Portal Season

The Best Classes of the Winter Portal Season

Top 10 Winter Transfer Classes 

We have made it to the end of the first transfer cycle. It is time to take a look at who had the best class. This was a very exciting transfer portal. Many teams got exceptionally better, and many teams were able to rebuild. More than 200 athletes have transferred to D1 schools so far. So, without further ado, here are our top 10 classes of the 2023-2024 transfer season.

10: Iowa Hawkeyes

Transfer Adds: 

Kenya Prescott L/DS Des Moines Area CC

Joy Galles L/DS Arizona

Claire Ammeraal S Central Michigan

Hannah Whittingstall MB SMU

Gracie Gibson MB Lafayette

Iowa is one of the only two volleyball teams with five commits, but they also lost five players to the transfer portal. This class is filled with mid-major talent, with both Gibson and Ammeraal winning postseason conference awards. Claire Ammeraal was the second-best setter in the MAC with over 1000 assists for Central Michigan, while Gracie Gibson led the Patriot League in hitting percentage. The big get for Iowa is SMU’s Hannah Whittingstall. Whittingstall still has three years of eligibility remaining, was a top 75 prospect in last year's class, and was a top 20 MB. 

9. SMU

Transfer Adds: 

Ellie Bolton L/DS Creighton

Maya Tabron OH Colorado

Natalie Foster MB Wichita State

Nnedi Okammor MB Florida

SMU is next on the list, with four girls from pretty good D1 schools. Bolton was one of the best servers in the Big East last year, averaging .45 serves per set. Tabron was the leading outside for a Buffalo team, finishing with just under 400 kills. Natalie Foster might be the best piece in the group. Foster is a back-to-back first-team all-AAC player and made back-to-back AVCA All-Region teams. Okammor led Florida in blocks last year, so SMU got a ton of key players on high-level teams. 

8. LMU

Transfer Adds: 

Jiana Lawson MB San Jose State

Sophie Stephenson OH Illinois

Paige Flickinger OH LSU

Sophia Meyers OH Portland State

LMU is our only non-Power 5 team to make this list. LMU has always been a good mid-major program, so it’s no surprise they had a great transfer class. This class is led by former SEC All-Freshman Team Paige Flickeringer from LSU, who was a top 100 player in her class. Since then, she’s been up and down but is only one year removed from a 250-kill season. Sophia Meyers is the other huge addition, considering she was First Team All-Big Sky last year and finished with 360 kills. Stephenson is an intriguing prospect also. She is a redshirt sophomore who has only played in one match, so she could be quite the addition. 

7. Georgia

Transfer Adds:

Bianna Muoneke OH Texas A&M

Erykah Lovett OH Tennessee

This is the perfect case of quality over quantity. Georgia only landed two transfers, but one of them is a top 3 transfer in the country in Bianna Muoneke. Muoneke is only a sophomore and was on the SEC All-Freshman team last season for a top school in A&M. You rarely see top freshmen in the transfer portal, but Muoneke entered, and Georgia landed her. Muoneke finished with 297 kills last year. Outside of Muoneke, Lovett is a good addition herself. Lovett was third on the team with 239 kills for the Volunteers and, in 2022, nearly reached 380 kills. 

6. Oklahoma

Transfer Adds: 

Leah Wilton-Laboy S Utah State

KJ Burgess MB Utah

Kari Geissberger OH LMU

Kamille Gibson OH Tennessee

Oklahoma is at six and has dropped quite a bit. I had them at four originally, but with recent moves, they dropped. The big gets for Oklahoma are Burgess and Geissberger. KJ Burgess was on the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team two years ago and was the Pacific South’s Freshman of the Year. Kari Geissberger was on the WCC First Team two years in a row and was on the Second Team in 2021. She was also on the All-Freshman team in 2020. She’s incredibly decorated and consistent. Gibson still has four years of eligibility remaining, and Laboy averaged 650 assists for Utah State in her first two years. 

5. Nebraska

Transfer Adds: 

Taylor Landfair OH Minnesota

Leyla Blackwell MB San Diego

Nebraska, with two major commitments, jumps to five. Landfair is the mystery piece for Nebraska. The former Golden Gopher has won every award in the book in the last three years. Three straight first-team All-Big 10 teams. Big 10 Player of the Year in 2022. AVCA All-America 2022, so she could be a top transfer in the class.  Blackwell also deserves much credit for her time in the WCC at San Diego. Blackwell has also been named to three straight All-WCC First Teams. She averaged 140 blocks per season over three years and filled the exact hole Nebraska needed with depth at MB. 

4. Texas A&M

Transfer Adds: 

Madi Waak S LSU

Emily Hellmuth OH Pepperdine

Ellee Stinson L/DS Northwestern

Tatum Thomas L/DS Grand Canyon

Texas A&M comes in at #4 with a class of depth. The key piece to me for A&M is Emily Hellmuth. Hellmuth was one of my top two favorite mid-major transfers in this class. She was the 2022 WCC Freshman of the Year and made the WCC Second Team this year. She was on a stacked team, so she only had 168 kills, but she has incredible potential, especially after being a top 5 RS in the 2022 class. Madi Waak is the other big get for A&M. Waak was the main setter for LSU last year and had 800 assists. However, she was a top 35 player in the class of 2022, so she has a lot of potential for this A&M team. Stinson finished with over 500 digs last year for Northwestern and can jump right into being a top Libero. 

3. Oregon

Transfer Adds: 

Mackenzie Morris L/DS Kansas State

Michelle Ohwebete OH UC Santa Barbara

Roberta Purashaj S Florida Southwestern

Oregon wasn’t even in the top ten before January 19th, but in the last two weeks, they have added two of the biggest commitments of the season. They landed Michelle Ohwebete from UCSB and Roberta Purashaj from FSW. Morris is also a good player, winning Second-Team All-Big 12, but Ohwebete and Purashaj are underrated pieces that fly Oregon up the board. Ohwebete was the Big West Player of the Year and was named to her third straight All-Conference First Team. She even won Big West Freshman of the Year in 2021. Purashaj, on the other hand, was the NJCAA Player of the Year. She was the best Juco player with over 1000 assists last season for Florida Southwestern. These two commits push Oregon up the rankings to go along with landing one of the best Liberos in the transfer portal. 

2. Penn State

Transfer Adds: 

Caroline Jurevicius OH Nebraska

Maggie Mendelson MB Nebraska

Jordan Hopp MB Iowa State

Penn State has always been two, and they are squarely there. This would be the best transfer class if #1 didn’t exist. Penn State landed two of the best players in the portal from the second-best school in the country in Nebraska. Jurevicius was a top-five player in last year's class, and now she has four years of eligibility remaining to use for the Nittany Lions. On the other hand, Maggie Mendelson only has two years of eligibility remaining but has barely played in her first two years. She was a top 10 player in her class as well. Jordan Hopp was the most recent addition to this squad, and don’t sleep on the move. Hopp finally got her chance last season for Iowa State after barely playing her first three years. She rewarded that by notching 200 kills and 100 blocks. She’s got the experience. 


Transfer Adds: 

Whitney Lauenstein OH Nebraska

Reagan Rutherford Opp Kentucky

Averi Carlson S Baylor

The rich get richer. The defending National Champions had an amazing transfer season. Not only did they land three of the best players in the entire class, but they got them from really good teams. Averi Carlson was the 2022 Big 12 Freshman of the Year, made it on the All-Conference First Team that year, and landed on the Second Team this year, and yet she isn’t even their best commit. Whitney Lauenstein finished with 300 kills and 114 blocks for Nebraska in 2022, and despite sitting out last year, she was one of the top outsides in the portal, but she isn’t even the best commit. That would go to Reagan Rutherford, who finished with back-to-back All-SEC First Teams, AVCA All-America and All-Region. Rutherford had 386 kills in 2022 and 300 in 2023. This might be the best transfer class we will ever see, and it’s scary how much better a team that won the National Championship got. 

Zachary Tipton