Mizzou volleyball head coach Wayne Kreklow has announced that both Kira Larson (Fargo, N.D.) and Alexa Ethridge (Lee’s Summit, Mo.) have joined the Mizzou volleyball team for the upcoming 2015 season. Larson and Ethridge both come from Nebraska where they helped the Huskers advance to the Elite Eight last season. Larson will come into Mizzou as a redshirt sophomore while Ethridge will be a junior.
“We are very excited to add two really good volleyball players to our roster, but we are even more excited because both Alexa and Kira are great people too,” Kreklow said. “When we look to add transfers, we always want to make sure that they will be a good fit. Obviously, we thought that both Kira and Alexa could help us, but the important thing is to make sure they will mesh with our team. Both of these kids have tremendously high character and I am excited to have them as part of our program.”
Larson was a blue-chip recruit coming out of high school, rating No. 23 nationally by PrepVolleyball.com in 2013. She was the USA Today North Dakota Volleyball Player of the Year in 2012 and an AVCA Under Armour All-American as well. She took a redshirt in 2013 and saw her first action in 2014, playing in 15 matches, starting two. She posted 13 kills and 10 blocks on the year in limited playing time. She also played sand volleyball at Nebraska and was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree last season.
Larson was a multi-sport athlete in high school, resetting the North Dakota state record in the high jump, winning four state championships in the event. She was also a member of a North Dakota State Championship basketball team.
“Kira’s greatest attribute is her athleticism and size,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said. “She is very good off of one foot and is an imposing figure at the net. She is also a proven winner and was a highly sought-after recruit out of high school. She will add great leaping ability, a fast arm and she can play in the middle or on the right side. She should contribute at a high level right away for us.”
Ethridge, a Missouri native, was a setter in high school at Lee’s Summit North where she broke the state record for career assists in her senior season. She has played in 63 career matches at Nebraska, pulling in 74 career digs while playing the role of serving specialist for the Huskers. She was third on the team with 13 aces in 2014 and led the team in serving percentage. Like Larson, she also played sand volleyball and was a 2014 Academic All-Big Ten honoree. She was twice named to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll as well.
“Alexa is a fiery competitor that will help us in the back row and on the service line next season,” Kreklow said. “She brings plenty of high-level experience, and as a Missouri native I know she is excited about playing in her home state. Alexa was exceptional in the classroom at Nebraska and we expect her to be great on the floor and in the classroom over the next two years.”
Larson and Ethridge are the second and third players to transfer to Mizzou this season, joining setter Courtney Eckenrode (The Woodlands, Texas) who comes to Mizzou after playing at San Diego State. Those three will be joined by high school All-American Alyssa Munlyn (Suwanee, Ga.) and Iowa’s all-time high school digs leader Riley Sents (Grundy Center, Iowa) as a talented class of newcomers. The Tigers return plenty of talent around those five players as well, including two-time AVCA All-American Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii).