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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Volleyball inks 4 recruits to 2024 roster

Courtesy of NIU Athletics
A graphic shows four new signees for NIU volleyball. On Friday, NIU volleyball announced four new additions to the Huskies’ roster for the 2024 season. (Courtesy of NIU Athletics)

DeKALB – The NIU volleyball team announced Friday the signings of four 2024 recruits to National Letters of Intent. 

Middle blocker Rylea Alvin, outside hitters Ava Grevengoed, Emma McCartney and setter Ella Strausberger are set to join the Huskies’ ranks in 2024.

“I’m so excited to officially welcome our class of 2024 to NIU,” said NIU volleyball head coach Sondra Parys in an NIU Athletics news release. “These competitive, hardworking young women will be a strong foundation for what we are building at NIU.”


Alvin hails from the village of Randolph, Wisconsin, where she played volleyball and basketball for the Randolph High School Rockets. She was a three-time Trailways-West Conference champion and back-to-back regional champion. 

Alvin ranks third on the Rockets’ all-time blocks (188) and kills (538) leaderboard. She spent her club career with the Milwaukee Sting Volleyball Club, where Alvin’s future teammate junior defensive specialist/libero Jada Cerniglia once played.


Grevengoed makes her way to DeKalb after a remarkable career at Joliet West High School. The NIU-bound hitter guided the Tigers to their best season in school history that culminated in a 36-4 overall record – a program record for wins – and a first-ever Southwest Prairie Conference championship. Grevengoed led Class 4A in total kills (509) and hitting percentage (.451) in 2023.

For her efforts, Grevengoed was named to the 2023 Illinois Volleyball Coaches Association 4A All-State First Team and received second-team All-American honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association. She also took home conference honors as an SPC All-Conference Team selection and the conference’s MVP.


McCartney will join the Huskies next year after a standout volleyball career at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio. A two-sport athlete for the Hilltoppers, McCartney earned back-to-back Western Reserve Conference Player of the Year honors in her sophomore and junior seasons. She was also the Ohio Varsity Player of the Year. McCartney’s senior season was cut short by a season-ending knee injury in September.

The Independence, Ohio, native concluded her high school volleyball career with 1,017 kills. McCartney is the first Hilltopper to eclipse the 1,000 career-kills milestone.


Rounding out the 2024 recruiting class, Strausberger heads to her parents’ alma mater after leaving Plainfield North High School as the school’s all-time assists leader, finishing with 2,270 career helpers. The Plainfield native was part of a Plainfield North squad that made three-straight regionals appearances during her career.

Strausberger peaked during her sophomore season in 2021. She directed the Tiger attack with 902 assists that season — the third-most in Class 4A — en route to a sectional runners-up finish.

NIU’s four newcomers will aim to help NIU improve upon its 8-22 record from this past season in 2024.

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