FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton's incoming class for the 2014 season received High Honorable Mention honors in PrepVolleyball.com's evaluation of the top recruiting classes in the nation.
Reigning national champion Penn State earned the No. 1 spot on the list, which consists of the top-30 along with 25 listed as "Highest Honorable Mention" and 44 others receiving "High Honorable Mention" recognition.
The Titans incoming class of Stephanie Buss, Allyson Forsberg, Katelyn Nielsen and Nikia Withers were one of six from the Big West Conference to make the overall list. Long Beach State (No. 10), Hawaii (No. 12) and Cal Poly (No. 23) each earned spots in the top-30 while UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara were listed as Highest Honorable Mention.
Buss, a 6-foot-1 middle blocker out of Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls, SD, was a four-year starter and led her team in kills with 448, for a 4.4 per set average, in fact accounting for nearly 50 percent of her team's offensive production. Buss was credited with 72 solo blocks and six block assists during the 2013 campaign as well. She was a part of Patriots teams that were AA State Champions during her freshman and sophomore seasons and she was named a member of the All State South Dakota Second Team, along with numerous all-city and all-conference teams.
Forsberg is a 6-foot-3 middle blocker from Huntington Beach High School where she was a member of the 24-7 in 2013. Forsberg earned First Team All-Sunset League honors and was named to the Orange County Register's "Players to Watch" list in both her junior and senior seasons. She was a member of four California Interscholastic Federation postseasons as a four-year starter for the Oilers at the middle blocker spot. She averaged more than a .450 hitting efficiency in both her junior and senior seasons, and was also a member of the softball team for two years (2010 and 2011) where she led her team in home runs.
Nielsen was a four-year starter at either the outside or opposite side hitter spots at Murrieta High School. Nielsen dropped 301 kills (3.2 per set) during her senior campaign after a junior year with a 229 mark (3.0 per set). She collected 188 and 186 digs in her junior and senior seasons, respectively, as an all-around player. A three-time all league honoree in the Southwestern League, she was named to numerous all-tournament squads throughout her prep career. A four-time scholar-athlete designate who was a member of the Salutatory Circle and an Honors Graduate, she aspires to a career as a sports medicine physician and will enter Cal State Fullerton with a major in biology.
Withers was a three-year starter on the varsity team at Long Beach Poly that finished third in the Moore League in 2013. She was named first-team All-Moore League during both her junior and senior seasons after a breakout first year during her sophomore campaign that earned her second team honors while playing for the Jackrabbits. In 2013, while leading her team to the CIF first round before losing to Mira Costa, Withers earned significant attention leading all players in that first-round game with 25 kills. Her older brother, Marcedes Lewis, played football for UCLA from 2002-2004 and has played nine seasons in the National Football League with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Withers will enter Cal State Fullerton with a major in criminology.