November 2, 2017

College Volleyball Recruiting and the Short Player (#876)


Good day to you. I recently ran across your post on and I have a few questions. 

But first, a bit of background: my daughter is a veteran on her HS varsity volleyball team. Last year (10th gr), she was one of only 2 underclassmen picked to play on the varsity team for her school. She has been a Middle Blocker since 2015 when her former club coach moved her from the OH/RS positions during a tourney to cover an injured player. She did so well that she became the starting MB. 

During tryouts for school the following season (10th gr), she was picked to be the starting MB and has remained so ever since.  Our school's volleyball program typically has between 50-100 girls trying out for 14 spots, therefore; her making the team AND retaining her position is a big deal. 
Not only that, but she does so while maintaining a 3.95 GPA in all Honors and AP courses. Here is the catch: she is ONLY 5'5" with a powerful hitting/blocking hands and hops! 

She is an all-around natural athlete who is extremely humble and every coach she has ever had loves her because she is completely coachable, no chip on her shoulder and she treats the sport like a full-time job. She doesn't think that she has a chance of ever playing college volleyball because she is so short, but her grades are what is getting the NCAA coaches to look at her first. 

So far, we have been looked at by Towson, Texas Southern, Texas Women's, Texas Christian, Prairie View, UT-Dallas, UT-San Antonio, Louisburg College, West VA Wesleyan, Barry Univ., and St. Gregory's Univ. These are all decent schools, but how do we get the attention of schools like Valdosta, Mercer, Georgia Southern, etc.? 

She loves the sport and unfortunately, as a military widow, I cannot afford to pay for the high cost of club volleyball anymore. How can we get her recruited short of what we are already doing (member profiles on and  

Is there a way to get them to see that she has the skillset, the grades, and the work ethic even though she may not have the height. Is there some secret formula? 

I know stats are a good way to do that, unfortunately, last year, even though she was named to 2nd team All conference, her coach was pregnant and didn't keep stats on ANY of the players. So we have nothing to show for last year's hard work. 

Any suggestions that you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your assistance.


With her 5'5" height, she will not play MB at the collegiate level.  But, at 5'5" she could play Libero/DS (depending upon her passing/defensive skills) and possibly OH (depending upon her passing and vertical jump) at the DIII/NAIA level.

You are correct to note that her main attribute, from a recruiting perspective, is her academic standing.  Academics should be a key component of the recruiting process for any volleyball family. Why?  Beyond the academic standing of a college/university, with any scholarship package and college volleyball team situation, as long as the Student Athlete (SA) makes grades, the academic scholarship can't be removed by athletics!

You did not list her ACT and/or SAT score, which will be the biggest component of her academic attractiveness - To this end, have her take these national tests a couple of times to ensure the highest possible score.  As I have told families during my NCSA Next College Student Athlete recruiting education talks, every point increase on an already good ACT score is $2,000 more in academic scholarship money!

While club volleyball is important to the collegiate recruiting process, because of technology, it is not mandatory.  By using current video and a consistent outreach by using the internet, your daughter can become a collegiate student athlete.

As she won't be playing club, use the last month of the high school season to put together a skills tape with her as an Outside Hitter.  Even though she is an MB now, she won't be for college, so just ask the high school coach if you can record her being an OH after practice.  Your goal is to put together a 5 to 10 minute tape of her passing, attacking, blocking and defensive skills tape.

Because video is paramount to your recruiting outreach, try to find a way to generate another skills tape in the spring.  It is important that your daughter show improvement in her abilities, so even though she won't be playing club, she should be trying to get into open gyms for pick up ball, or taking part in an occasional clinic, or by playing in a church or adult league (which are often free); basically anything to keep touching a ball outside of the high school season.

For your outreach, be sure to directly email the college head volleyball coach and include a link to the most current video you have, along with her complete and current academic standing.  This is how you attract the attention of the schools which are of interest to your daughter.

Above, I had mentioned "consistent outreach" and I will also add, patient outreach.  The shorter OH and/or the Libero position is often the last one recruited by collegiate coaches, and the majority of these small but mighty recruits don't secure their collegiate futures until the senior year!

Club volleyball or no club volleyball, the bottom line is that if your daughter can make the college volleyball team better, then the college coach will recruit her!  And, high school statistics don't matter at all to college coaches, so don't stress about them being absent...

Good luck!

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