Illinois, which is bringing in 5-foot-9 defensive specialist Courtney Abramovich from Naperville Central and 6-2 middle blocker Anna Dorn from Munster, Ind., recruited the No. 7-ranked class in the nation for 2010, according to a recent report by Prepvolleyball.com.
And that was before the Illini added 6-2 outside hitter Colleen Ward of Naperville North, a transfer from Florida.
Illinois also recruited 5-8 libero Jen Bonilla from Marymount High School in Los Angeles, Calif., generally regarded as one of the best liberos to play the game and a member of two U.S. Youth National teams.
Other programs whose recruiting classes were greatly influenced by Illinois products include No. 4 Tennessee, which is getting 6-1 outside Kelsey Robinson (St. Francis) and 6-0 Carly Sahagian (Bartlett), and No. 8 Wisconsin, which is adding Sun-Times Player of the Year Annemarie Hickey (Joliet Catholic).
Also on the list are No. 17 Northwestern (Stephanie Holthus of Burlington Central), No. 18 St. Louis (libero Grace Bonoma of St. Ignatius and setter Sarah Knouse of Providence), No. 20 Louisville (setter Taylor Brauneis of Prairie Ridge), and No. 26 Kansas (Kara and Amy Wehrs of Hampshire and Brianne Riley of Benet).
Highest honorable mention selections include Marquette (Julie Jeziorowski of Crystal Lake Central), Maryland (Caroline Niski of St. Charles East), Miami (Emani Sims of Glenbrook South), and Western Michigan (Gillian Asque of Young, Ali Gossen of Evanston and Emily Harris of Barrington).
Kylee Baker of Plainfield North and Jacqui Seidel of St. Charles East earned high honorable mention accolades for Ball State, which is joined by William & Mary (Monika Stanciauskas of Wheaton Warrenville South) and Yale (Gina Finke of Benet).
Bradley (Amy Angelos of Waukegan and Lauren Zerante of York), Illinois State (Ashleigh Fisher of Harvard) and UIC (Mary Kate Imrie of Sandburg and Maggie Strus of Stagg) cracked the honorable mention list.