June 13, 2012
MILWAUKEE – Marquette University women’s volleyball’s 2012 recruiting class has received its first top-30 ranking in program history from PrepVolleyball.com, thanks to the efforts of head coach Bond Shymansky and assistant coaches Craig Dyer and Michaela Franklin.
The ranking accounts for Marquette’s five signees from the prep ranks, including middle hitter Jackie Kocken, a PrepVolleyball.com Top 100 Senior Ace. Kocken is joined by fellow middle Meghan Niemann, outside hitter Erin Lehman, defensive specialist Ellie Rauch and setter Mary Nilles, who enrolled at Marquette for the spring semester.
The Golden Eagles also added highly-touted newcomers in Kentucky-transfer Elizabeth Koberstein (No. 16 overall prospect in the class of 2010) and Estonian outside hitter Eva Raat.
The ranking is the highest-ever for a Marquette women’s volleyball recruiting class and the highest since 2006 for Shymansky (21st at Georgia Tech).
T-30. MARQUETTE: Jackie Kocken, 6-6 MB, West De Pere (Green Bay, Wis.); Erin Lehman, 6-1 OH, Notre Dame (Green Bay, Wis.); Meghan Niemann, 6-1 MB, Kettle Moraine Lutheran (Jackson, Wis.); Mary Nilles, 5-11 S, Batavia (Illinois); Ellie Rauch, 5-7 DS, Wahlert (Dubuque, Iowa)
COMMENT: Coming off the best season in school history in 2011, Marquette will welcome seven talented athletes to their program in 2012. Kocken, a top 100 Senior Ace who shattered her high school record for career blocks, will add size and intimidation up front. Nilles, who enrolled early, is a great athlete with fast feet and a passion for winning. Lehman, a three-time conference Player of the Year, is a long, dynamic attacker who could start right away. She also is a solid blocker and improved in the back row. Neimann is an athletic front court player who was twice an All-State performer. Rauch is a defensive spark plug who will add depth to the back row. The Golden Eagles also added two players who don’t figure into this ranking but should help tremendously: Eva-Lotta Raat, a 6-1 OH from Estonia, who brings a wealth of international experience to the outside hitter position and figures to be on the court immediately; and setter Elizabeth "Bisky" Koberstein, a Kentucky transfer with dynamic capability who fits well with Marquette’s system.