May 28, 2014
Full Signing Day Release from November | PrepVolleyball
WEST LINN, Ore. -- Missouri State volleyball’s incoming freshman class received high praise this week as PrepVolleyball.com rated the six-player group at No. 30 on its annual list of the nation’s top recruiting classes. The publication put the list together with the help of more than 120 college coaches based on the cumulative impact each class could make during its time at each school.
Five players from Missouri and one from Illinois comprise MSU’s incoming class, which includes Lauren Boone (6-1, S, Branson, Mo., Branson High); Brianne Dixon (5-7, DS, Springfield, Mo., Kickapoo High); Caroline Finnell, 6-1, MB/RS, Chesterfield, Mo., Marquette High); Lily Johnson, 5-11, OH, Wildwood, Mo., Lafayette High); Mary Maerz, 6-0, OH, Springfield, Mo., Central High); and Lynsey Wright, 6-0, MB, Glen Carbon, Ill., Edwardsville High).
The Bears open their 19th season under head coach Melissa Stokes on Aug. 29 against New Mexico State in Salt Lake City, Utah. Stokes has guided the Bears to a 394-190 mark since taking over in 1996, and the team has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in seven of the last 11 seasons while reaching the 20-win mark 14 times in the last 15 years.
PrepVolleyball.com assessment of MSU’s recruiting class:
Missouri State brings in a talented group of six players, headlined by Johnson, a high school All-American who led Lafayette to three straight Missouri large-class state titles. Johnson is a terminal pin attacker and true six-rotation player expected to make an immediate impact for the Bears both offensively and defensively. Finnell and Wright play for the same Rockwood Thunder club team as Johnson that has qualified for Nationals in the Open division for the fourth year in a row. Finnell and Wright both bring height, speed and athleticism to the Bears’ roster. Finnell has competed with the USA Volleyball High Performance Program for the past three years, while Wright has broken multiple high school records, including service aces, to go along with her impressive foot speed and ability to score in the middle. Boone’s height and athleticism allow her to both attack and set. Boone has also broken multiple school records and will make an immediate as well as a long-term impact in the Bears’ setting department. Maerz is a productive pin hitter who earned first-team all-district honors. Dixon is entering her third year with the USA High Performance Program, where this year summer she will be competing on the USA High Performance A1 team.