On Tuesday, Marquette women’s volleyball announced the signing of four new recruits for the fall of 2017. The press release doesn’t specifically say it, but it sounds like Gabbi Martinez, Martha Konovodoff, and Liza Kastrup will arrive on campus with four years of eligibility remaining, while Kayli Trausch will have three years remaining.
Martinez and Konovodoff are your traditional high school recruits, with Martinez hailing from Texas and Konovodoff coming from Illinois. Martinez is a defensive specialist who earned AVCA/Under Armour All-American Honorable Mention honors in 2016 and guided her club team to an 18 USA Division National Championship. Konovodoff set a school record for digs as a libero for Rosary High School in Sugar Grove while winning a regional championship each year of her prep career and earning all-area team honors from the Chicago Daily Herald.
Kastrup is a native of Dortmund in Germany, where she was captain of her club team the last two seasons. They won a championship in 2015 with Kastrup playing as a right side hitter, and she was MVP of the game nine times in their most recent season.
Here’s what head coach Ryan Theis had to say about those three:
"We are pleased to add these three to our program," said Theis. "They will make our gym extremely competitive this fall and moving forward. All three have big game experience with Martha and Gabbi competing for national championships in the last two years while Liza has competed with Germany's youth national teams and played in big time matches in front of thousands of people. We are looking forward to August."
Trausch attended McHenry County College for the 2016-17 school year, where she was team captain for their volleyball team. Trausch recorded 519 kills and 157 blocks while leading the team to a conference championship and an NJCAA regional championship. It sounds like she has a pretty interesting backstory to her volleyball career as Theis alludes to in this quote from the press release:
“Kayli is a late bloomer that we are excited to add the program," stated Theis. "Her story is quite remarkable because she was virtually out of volleyball but decided to give it another try. Kayli came back stronger and better than ever, and after achieving multiple accolades at the Junior College level, she is ready to take on her next challenge.”
Martinez, Konovodoff, Kastrup, and Trausch will represent half of the newcomers on campus this fall, as Marquette already signed Kortlyn Henderson, Elizabeth Orf, Sarah Rose, and Hope Werch in the fall signing period. The eight newcomers to the roster will be more than welcome additions, as Marquette only has six returning players following the transfers of Taylor Louis and Amanda Green. Marquette will be incredibly young in 2017 (seven freshmen, five sophomores, one junior, one senior) as they attempt to qualify for the NCAA tournament for the seventh consecutive season, but they will be incredibly talented with two top 100 prospects and five nationally recognized players in the freshman class. Is that enough to return to the postseason or topple Creighton from their perch atop the Big East? We’ll have to wait and see.