The Maryland volleyball team's six-member 2017 recruiting class was ranked No. 10 in the nation by PrepVolleyball, marking the first time the Terps have earned a top-10 position in the annual list.
Coach Steve Aird added three outside hitters, one middle blocker, one setter and one defensive specialist. After bringing in a loaded 2016 class ranked No. 16 by Prep Volleyball, Maryland will have 12 underclassmen next season.
"To earn a top-10 class ranking is a great honor for our program," Aird said in a release. "Our staff spent a lot of time and effort building this class, and we're excited about the future of Maryland volleyball. We're looking forward to getting this group to campus, and we can't wait to see what they can achieve for years to come."
Maryland's highest-ranked class builds off its first-ever ranked group a season ago, which included top-100 prospects Gia Milana and Katie Myers.
The 2017 freshman class includes four Under Armour All-Americans and three players ranked in PrepVolleyball's top 100, both of which are also program bests. Outside/opposite hitter Samantha Drechsel ranks No. 23 and is the second Under Armour First Team All-American to come to Maryland, following Milana, who ranked No. 15 in her class.
Outside hitter Erika Pritchard was ranked No. 29 and named an Under Armour Second Team All-American, while middle blocker Jada Gardner was listed at No. 68. Setter Chloe Prejean made Under Armour Third Team All-America.
Defensive specialist/libero Sam Burgio, meanwhile, was tabbed an Under Armour Honorable Mention. She and outside hitter Lexi Alden were both selected in the top-150 of their class by PrepVolleyball.
Aird also added setter Samantha Snyder via a transfer from American. The sophomore transfer played in 104 sets at American and competed in the NCAA tournament.
"This class brings our program both talent and depth, but more importantly, experience playing at a high level," Aird said in a release. "We bring in players who have played for some of the best club programs in the country, while others have gone on to win multiple state championships with their high school programs."
After Maryland lost setters Carlotta Oggioni and Whitney Craigo, as well as middle blocker Ashlyn MacGregor, to graduation, the incoming class provides a boost.
Though setter Taylor Smith saw extended playing time as a freshman last season due to Craigo's season-ending injury, Prejean and Snyder provide renewed depth at that position. And in place of MacGregor, who ranks third in program history in total blocks (516) and fourth in block assists (465), Gardner and Myers are expected to produce in the middle of the court.
Alden, Drechsel and Burgio enrolled at this university in January and have already trained with the team during the spring. Drechsel will be included in the second Big Ten Foreign Tour this summer, with Aird leading the group to the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Italy and Austria in June.
"We know they're wired to embrace challenges," Aird said in a release. "We have some lofty goals for this program, and we're looking forward to this class getting to work in College Park."