Batenhorst, Head transferring; AVCA poll 2024

Two prominent outside hitters are transferring in NCAA women’s volleyball, Hampton hired a coach, the AVCA men’s top 20 is out, and the Stanford men opened their season with back-to-back wins over Loyola Chicago.

BATENHORST LEAVES NEBRASKA: Ally Batenhorst, a 6-foot-5 outside hitter for the Huskers, will graduate in three years and is moving on.

Ally Batenhorst of Nebraska hits in the NCAA title match against Texas in Tampa
Nebraska’s Ally Batenhorst hits against Texas in the NCAA title match@AndWenstrand

The product of Houston was fourth in kills for Nebraska this season with 224 (2.58/set) and hit .189. She had 52 blocks. Earlier in the season she was rotating with Lindsay Krause, but after Krause was injured Batenhorst rarely came out. In the national championship match against Texas, Batenhorst had two kills and five errors. 

Not only do freshman All-American Harper Murray and Krause return at outside hitter, but Nebraska is getting transfer Taylor Landfair — the 2022 Big Ten player of the year — from Minnesota and highly touted recruit Skyler Pierce, who was the MVP of the recent UANext All-Star match.

Said Batenhorst on Instagram: 

“Thank you Nebraska Volleyball for the past 3 years of my life. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for the unconditional support from my family, friends, my teammates, my coaches, the staff, and husker nation. With that being said, I have chosen to enter the transfer portal and start my masters degree elsewhere.

This was one of the hardest decisions i’ve ever had to make, but I have decided that this is what’s best for me personally. My heart is so full and I wouldn’t trade my experience as a husker for the world. I can’t express how much love I have for the incredible people I have met during my time with the program. It has been truly unforgettable and the memories will last forever. Can’t wait to see what God’s plan has in store for me. GBR forever”

Click here for her message to fans on TikTok. 

HEAD HEADS TO FSU: Arkansas outside Taylor Head, a VolleyballMag third-team All-American, is going to spend her graduate year at Florida State and play both indoors and on the beach. Head is from Winter Garden, Florida, which is near Orlando and about 230 miles from Tallahassee. This past season, Head had 494 kills (.3.89/set) and hit .231. She had 36 aces and 406 digs (3.2/set). 

Head and teammates Jillian Gillen, a VBM second-teamer, and Hannah Hogue (VBM honorable mention) made the first all-SEC team. Gillen has graduated and will play in the Pro Volleyball Federation. Hogue will be a senior for the Razorbacks.

Said Head on Instagram: “Coming back home for my fifth year! Excited to be playing Beach and Indoor for Florida State! Blessed to have spent the last 4 years in Arkansas but excited for this next chapter! Go Noles!”

AVCA TOP 20: UCLA and Long Beach State remained 1-2 in the AVCA National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Poll. UC Irvine is No. 3, trading places with Hawai’i, and Ohio State is No. 5.

Lincoln Memorial dropped out and UC San Diego jumped in at No. 17. 

HAMPTON HIRES: Ronalda Pacheco, who was an assistant at Coastal Carolina, is the new head coach at Hampton. The Pirates finished 0-21 in 2023, 0-18 in the CAA.

MEN’S RECAPS: Stanford opened its season by sweeping visiting Loyola Chicago on Sunday and then beating the Ramblers in five on Monday. 

In the 25-19, 25-13, 25-20 victory Sunday, the Cardinal hit .429, Moses Wagner and Will Rottman had eight kills each and Nathaniel Gates seven. 

Stanford won 25-21, 25-17, 18-25, 25-27, 15-12 on Monday to drop Loyola to 1-3. Rottman led with 20 kills, hitting .515, and had an assist, two aces, a block and six digs. Wagner had 16 kills, an assist, an ace, two digs and four blocks, one solo.

Nathan Lietzke had two kills, 44 assists, two aces, two blocks and six digs. Miller Trubey led Loyola with 11 kills, hitting .471, and had five of his team’s 11 aces and four digs … 

Ohio State improved to 3-0 with four-set wins Sunday over Daemen and Saint Francis on Monday. The Buckeyes beat Daemen in its season opener 14-25, 25-19, 26-24, 25-18 as Jabob Pasteur had 18 kills, an assist, three aces, three digs and three blocks, one solo.

Justin Howard and Shane Wetzel had 10 kills each. Howard had two aces and four blocks and Wetzel had an ace and three blocks to go with four digs. Daemen’s Cameron Milligan had 12 kills, an ace, three digs and seven blocks, one solo. 

Against SFU, Ohio State lost the first set again and came back to win 26-28, 25-20, 25-15, 25-18. The Buckeyes hit .439. Pasteur led with 23 kills and hit .514 to go with an assist, three aces and seven digs. Wetzel added 14 kills, hit .476, and had an ace, two blocks and six digs.

Howard had 10 kills in 13 errorless attacks, four digs and two blocks, one solo. SFU’s Andrew Deardorff had 18 kills, an assist, a block and two digs … 

Also Monday, Princeton swept at Queens in the season opener for both teams. Ben Harrington, whose previous best was seven, had an NCAA-record 13 of his team’s 16 aces. Harrington also had eight kills, an assist, a block and a dig.

Princeton’s Nyherowo Omene had 11 kills in the 25-23, 25-19, 25-20 victory. He hit .409 and had two aces, two digs and a block. Jack Brinkman of Queens had 11 kills, hit .333, and had an ace, three digs and two blocks …

There are three matches on tap Tuesday, George Mason at UC Irvine, Princeton is back at Queens and Thomas More plays Lincoln Memorial. Wednesday’s six-mach slate includes Emmanuel at Hawai’i and Saint Francis (PA) at UC Irvine.

GATORADE POY: The Gatorade national player of the year will be announced at 5 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday.

Click here for a list of the winners from every state and click here for the national award winner later Tuesday.

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