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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | October 10, 2023

The biggest impact college volleyball transfers for 2023, so far

Top impact volleyball transfers in 2023 so far

We are in the midst of the offseason for college volleyball, and movement in the transfer portal has begun.

We saw first-hand the success a lot of players and teams had in 2022 after a plethora of moves last offseason. Texas won a national title with the help of Zoe Fleck and Madi Skinner, two huge transfers from last season. Pittsburgh made it back to the national semifinals, led by Iowa transfer Courtney Buzzerio. A lot of star athletes on many top-notch teams came from the transfer portal β€” and we will likely have even more this go-around.

There have already been a lot of announcements that will shake up the 2023 season. We are tracking some of the biggest impact transfers in this article and will update it as new moves are officially announced. 

Here are a few of the biggest impact college volleyball transfers for the 2023 season, so far, as well as players that have entered the transfer portal: 

Mac Podraza: Ohio State to Penn State (setter)

Alas, the big news is out that Big Ten Setter of the Year, Mac Podraza, will play her last year of eligibility in Happy Valley. One of the nation's best setters will remain in the Big Ten and play under Katie Schumacher-Cawley at Penn State after a decorated career at Ohio State. Podraza was a big reason for OSU's ascension to power as a program, and will likely make an immediate and large impact on PSU. Even if just for one year, this addition amplifies PSU's standings heading into 2023 big time. 

Jess Mruzik: Michigan to Penn State (outside hitter)

With just two big transfer portal moves, Penn State has totally revamped its team to be a big-time competitor in 2023. On top of Podraza, Jezz Mruzik has transferred to the program. The outside hitter from Michigan averaged over 4.19 points per set last season, and will now have one of the best setters in the nation dishing the ball out to her. Get ready for a new look PSU volleyball team after Katie Schumacher-Cawley already made some serious progress in 2022 in her very first season as head coach. 

On top of Mruzik and Podraza, the Nittany Lions also picked up Lina Perugini, a libero from Coastal Carolina who posted 4.41 digs per set last season, Camryn Hannah, a hitter from Clemson and another setter in Ally Van Eekeren from High Point. 

Temi Thomas-Ailara: Northwestern to Wisconsin (outside hitter)

Wisconsin got a big-time arm transferring in with Temi Thomas-Ailara. She led the ENTIRE Big Ten last season with 502 kills and a second-best 4.33 kills per set. I predict Thomas-Ailara will fit right in with the Badgers and be an immediate offensive impact. Last season she would shine the brightest agains the toughest competition. She had 25 kills in Northwestern's upset win over No. 12 Purdue, recorded a season-high 26 kills against Nebraska and tallied 22 kills and a career-high 17 digs against Penn State. The All-American will be a great addition for Wisconsin as they look to win another national title. 

Carter Booth: Minnesota to Wisconsin (middle blocker)

The Badgers picked up a big-time transfer on Carter Booth from the transfer portal. Booth was just a freshman last season and has multiple years of eligibility left. She earned first-team All-Big Ten, Big Ten All-Freshman Team, AVCA All-North Region, and AVCA North Region Freshman of the Year honors in 2022. She also led the Gophers with 1.48 blocks per set (142 total), which ranked fifth in the Big Ten and in the top 10 in the NCAA.

Kylie Murr: Ohio State to Minnesota (libero)


A post shared by Kylie Murr (@kyliemurr) 

Another highly anticipated transfer announcement came late January β€” OSU's decorated libero is heading to Minnesota. The Gophers have seen quite a bit of change this offseason with head coach Hugh McCutcheon stepping down, Jenna Weenaas transferring to Texas, and the loss of their star libero to graduation, CC McGraw. New head coach Keegan Cook found the perfect answer with the transfer of Murr. Murr was known as one of the best liberos in the Big Ten last season, if not the entire NCAA. She averaged 4.69 digs per set at Ohio State in 2022.

Merritt Beason: Florida to Nebraska (outside hitter)

This announcement was one of the first big transfers out of the portal this season, but also one of the biggest impact moves. Merritt Beason, a HUGE impact player for Florida, has transferred to the Big Ten. Beason, as a sophomore, helped the Gators win a share of the SEC championship by averaging 3.35 kills per set with a .261 hitting percentage. 

Jenna Wenaas: Minnesota to Texas (outside hitter)

Another early announcement came with news of Minnesota star outside hitter Jenna Wenaas transferring to Texas. The 6-1 junior outside from Frisco, Texas, was second in kills for Minnesota with 264 and had 62 total blocks. She will return to her home state and play for the reigning champs, who lose AVCA National Player of the Year Logan Eggleston. 

Kara McGhee: Baylor to Oregon (middle blocker)

The Ducks picked up a HUGE transfer out of the portal this season in Kara McGhee after a fantastic 2022 season. They went on a big run in the 2022 tournament, falling just short of the regional finals and now add a big player to their roster. McGhee put up some of the best middle blocker numbers in the country for Baylor last season, ranking in the top 10 nationally with 1.49 blocks per set. 

Charitie Luper: UCLA to Louisville (outside hitter)

Louisville fell short of a national title in 2022 and then lost some a big chunk of talent to graduation. Surely, they will find some key pieces out of the portal, and Charite Luper is one of them. Luper heads to Louisville after leading the Bruins with 3.28 kills per set and ranking second on the team with a .242 hitting percentage. She could be a big contributor on the outside for the Cards after losing Claire Chaussee. 

Jade Demps: Wisconsin to LSU (right side)

LSU picked up a big-time player in Jade Demps out of the transfer portal after showing some promising signs as a team last season in the SEC and NCAA tournament. The Tigers pulled off a big first-round upset over Hawaii in the tournament and had some big regular-season wins. Now they've added a big star to their roster. During her career, Demps has 317 total kills, averaging 1.67 kills per set, a .282 hitting percentage and nine aces along with 46 blocks and 152 total digs, as well as ample tournament experience and a national title. 

Jenasiya Moore: Ohio State to Tennessee (outside hitter)

The SEC, and Tennessee Vols, grabbed a standout transfer from Ohio State. Moore went off last year with over three kills per set for the Buckeyes. More importantly though, she will bring ample experience at the highest levels to Tennessee. Moore helped guide OSU to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a run to the regional final this past season.

Nena Mbonu: Louisville to Houston (outside hitter)

Nena Mbonu made a big move this offseason from Louisville to Houston, another strong tournament team. The Cougars made it to the top 16 this season in the tournament and hosted the first two rounds. Mbonu was a big-time contributor for the national runner-up, especially for a large chunk of the season when Anna DeBeer was out with a knee injury. Mbonu returns home in Texas now for her last season of eligibility. 

Anni Evans: Nebraska to San Diego (setter)

The Toreros may have lost their star-setter and X-factor from last season in Gabby Blossom. But, it is possible they found their answer in the transfer portal with Anni Evans. Evans saw limited playing time for the Huskers, but did average 4.37 assists and 1.78 digs per set in the Huskers' 6-2 system last season. 

DeAndra Pierce: Texas to Georgia Tech (middle blocker)

Georgia Tech lost one of the best players in the nation in Julia Bergmann, and on top of that, a few other key starting seniors. They picked up Texas' DeAndra Pierce out of the portal this offseason with the announcement in mid-January. Pierce, just a sophomore in 2023, played in just one set for the national champions last season. GT Head Coach Michelle Collier likely saw something in the middle blocker, though, and it is safe to assume she will get some more playing time for the Jackets. 

Birdie Hendrickson: Florida to Pepperdine (setter)

Hendrickson played three seasons at Florida but didn't get much time out on the court. The transfer could be a much bigger impact at Pepperdine for her senior season. She came to Florida as a two-time Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year, but finished last season with just 17 sets of action in nine matches and totaled 21 assists, 17 digs, 14 kills, seven blocks, three service aces and 20.5 points. 

Maddy Chinn: Purdue to Northwestern (hitter)

Maddy Chinn has officially transferred to Northwestern for her final year of eligibility. The Cats should welcome this talent following the departure of Temi Thomas-Ailara, their leading scorer last season. 

Other transfer notables include: Adria Powell, Ohio State to Clemson (middle blocker); Carly Skrabak, Marquette to Cincinnati (libero), Melanie Parra, Texas to TCU (outside hitter), Ella Snyder, Arizona State to Penn State (setter), Carly Hendrickson, Florida to UCLA (outside hitter), Ellie Bichelmeyer, Rice to Creighton (opposite/outside hitter), Paige Morningstar, Louisville to Cal (setter), Ellie Geoghegan, San Diego State to USC (libero/DS), Bre Kelley, Florida to Pittsburgh (middle blocker), Amber Stivrins, Georgia to San Diego (outside hitter), May Pertofsky, Michigan to Washington (opposite/middle blocker), Lauren Carter, Denver to Northwestern (setter), Kamiah Gibson, West Virginia to Ohio State (setter), Sarah White, Ohio State to Missouri (setter), Lorrin Poulter, Denver to Purdue (setter), Lauren Woodford, Syracuse to Tennessee (setter) and Phoebe Awoleye, Loyola Marymount to Minnesota (middle blocker)

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