Eastern volleyball brings in six recruits for 2016

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

The Eastern volleyball team announced the signing of six players that will join the team next season in 2016.

The Panthers will be losing five seniors to graduation in Stephanie Wallace, Marah Bradbury, Kayla Nesbitt, Abby Saalfrank and Chelsea Lee. Coach Sam Wolinski said she thinks the girls they have brought in will be able to fill those positions.

Wolinski brought in Alissa Danosky from Batavia High School in Batavia, Illinois, Anna Fehribach from Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, Kennedy Klusendorf of Ernest Righetti High School in Santa Maria, California.

She also brought in Hayley Richardson of Jefferson College and is from O’Fallon Missouri, Maggie Runge of Bettendorf High School in Davenport, Iowa and Katie Sommer of Boswell High School in Fort Worth, Texas.

“I’m excited about the class we do have coming in,” Wolinski said.

The Panthers are looking to replace their outside hitters and some more depth to the middle with the losses of Lee, Nesbitt and Saalfrank.

Fehribach will come in as an outside and will be one of the players to replace Nesbitt and Lee on the pin. Sommer plays right side on her club team but Wolinski said she has the ability to move to the pin as well.

“(Fehribach) is going to be a really good player for us,” Wolinski said. “She’s been playing on the outside this past season for her club.”

Wolinski said she has the ability to swing out of the back row and is really athletic.

In the recruiting class, the Panthers are getting some players who have good ball control and will be able to help the Panthers in that part of the game.

Wolinski said the Panthers will want to run some offense from the back row and these players will help them do that.

“Our current players and the players coming in are versatile and that helps us and gives us some flexibility where we need to have position wise,” Wolinski said.

Danosky is from the Chicagoland area whose parents both attended Eastern. She also came to the Eastern volleyball camp this past summer.

“(Danosky) just excited to be a Panther and being at EIU,” Wolinski said. “That’s a kid versatility wise that will help us in the back row. Probably a little undersized in the front row but when we use her in practice that way, we have that ability with her.”

Klusendorf has been trained as a setter and will help the Panthers be three deep in that position. But also played an OH2 position for her club team.

“(Klusendorf) not a true terminator but a kid that gets placement kills,” Wolinski said. “She was passing and playing better defense than her club libero so that was cool.”

Richardson will be transferring from Jefferson College after playing two years there. She is a lefty just like Saalfrank was and help the Panthers having a left on the right said Wolinski said.

“(Richardson) a six rotation kid so she just brings that consistency,” Wolinski said.

Sommer is a Texas kid and Wolinski said she is a very dynamic player and will surprise a lot of people.

“(Sommer) is a work horse,” Wolinski said. “She’s going to get it done and I think she has the potential to either play right side or outside with some work. She just needs to improve her ability to play six rotations.”

Runge was one of the first players that Wolinski brought in.

“We definitely wanted her,” Wolinski said. “Her and I built a relationship and she built a relationship with coach (Peter) Green.”

Runge said at the end of the summer that Eastern is where she wanted to be. She will be playing in the middle for the Panthers helping add depth there.


Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]