Stark Signs NLI with Volleyball

MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State volleyball head coach Suzie Fritz announced Rachel Stark (Minneapolis, Minnesota/Washburn) signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) on the second day of the Fall National Signing period on Thursday.

The 6-foot outside hitter lettered in volleyball for the last three years at Washburn, a stretch that ended this fall when she helped the Millers go 27-0 in the regular season, 6-0 in the Minneapolis City Conference, and reach the 6AAA Section Finals. Stark led the conference in kills and aces while finishing second in blocks and third in digs.

“Rachel is a springy, six-rotation player as well as a big jumper with a live arm and nice jump serve,” said Fritz. “She did not commit solely to volleyball until a little bit later than others, and did not play a high level of club volleyball until recently, so she’s a late bloomer. With that said, we think she can do a lot for us as she is just getting started. She’s in the early stages of what kind of player she can be at the collegiate level. She also attended a high-academic high school in Washburn, which showcases her ability to learn fast and her level of intelligence on and off the court.” 

Stark led Washburn in kills in each of the last two campaigns, including a senior year in which she was top-20 in the state with 313 kills during the regular season. She hit .385 to post the career-high in kills while also adding 151 digs and 50 blocks. Her 84 aces were second-best at the 3A level.

As a junior, Stark had 250 kills on a .286 clip, averaging 3.9 kills per set. She registered a team-best 52 aces as well as 138 digs and 39 blocks.

Last year, Stark played club volleyball for the Northern Lights 17-1 team.

“She’s a pure athlete,” said her Northern Lights head coach David Manka. “Easy off the ground, fast arm, can play six rotations. She always strives to make herself a better volleyball player, looking for an edge. Most importantly, she’s a great teammate. She makes the team better whether she’s on the court or not. K-State is a better team with her in the program.” 

She will become the third Minnesota native on the K-State roster, joining sophomore Kylee Zumach (Buffalo) and redshirt freshman Sami Flattum (Lakeville). Zumach and Flattum also played club volleyball for the Northern Lights program.

K-State (16-8, 8-4 Big 12) is in the midst of a five-match winning streak, putting it one match back of Iowa State for third in the Big 12 standings. The Wildcats will face the Cyclones in their next match on Wednesday, November 18 at 7 p.m. in Ahearn Field House.