Uploaded: Mon, Nov 17, 2014, 11:48 am
Stanford men’s volleyball head coach John Kosty has announced the signing of three prep standouts to National Letters of Intent. Jordan Ewert (Antioch), Matt Klassen (Milwaukee, Wis.), and Ryan Smith (Clovis) will join the Cardinal in the fall of 2015.
“We feel fortunate to sign these three outstanding scholar-athletes,” said Kosty, who is in his ninth season at the helm of the program. “They give us a trio of outside hitters that will have a large impact in the MPSF. More importantly, they are true Stanford students and embody everything that we look for in terms of work ethic, great citizenship, and love of the Stanford culture.”
A 6-foot-4 outside hitter out of Deer Valley High, Ewert has been an integral part of the success of the USA High Performance program. A member of the pipeline for three years, he guided his teams to gold medals in each of the last two summers. In 2013, Ewert was named the MVP of the USA HP Championships as he led his USA Select Red team to first place in the International Division. In 2014, he became a starter for the USA Boys Youth National Team and was named the best receiver at the NORCECA Continental Championships. That squad became only the third USA Youth team to win a gold in program history.
“Jordan has proven that he is one of the top high school players in the nation,” noted Kosty. “He is a highly skilled athlete that can do just about anything on the court. He possesses wonderful instincts for the game, but more importantly he knows how to win. What makes Jordan great is his ability to play big in the biggest moments. He has the chance to make a significant impact for us.”
Ewert has also had tremendous success in junior club play. A longtime member of Pacific Rim Volleyball Club, he was named to the 17 & under all-tournament team at the U.S. Junior National Championships as his team captured gold.
Klassen is a 6-6 outside hitter/opposite from Brookfield East High. He was a Greater Metro Conference first-team selection during his junior year as he led his team to an appearance in the state championship semifinal. He was also a key figure on the West Allis Lightning 17-U club team that finished in 10th place at the U.S. Junior National Championships.
“Matt is a physical hitter with size that will do well at the next level,” explained Kosty. “He is strong, jumps well, and hits a heavy ball. He has a very high ceiling and is a great recruit for us. Matt is the type of outside hitter that we love recruiting. He has great versatility and can play the opposite hitter position or one of the outside hitter positions. Whichever he ends up playing, he will be a person who will be able to score points for us.”
A teammate of Ewert on the Pacific Rim squad, Smith is another versatile perimeter hitter with great experience from Buchanan High. A native of Fort Worth, Texas, he moved to central California to gain greater growth in the sport. A 6-7 outside hitter/opposite, Smith was a one of the key players for his high school squad which won the Central Section last season, and was ranked third in the nation by MaxPreps.com. In the summer of 2013, he teamed with Ewert on the USA Select Red team to win the gold medal at the 2013 U.S. High Performance Championships against national and international teams. He also won gold at the 2014 U.S. Junior National Championships with the Pacific Rim 17-U club team.
“Ryan has unbelievable determination and has shown that he is willing to take big chances to reach his goal,” said Kosty. “He has grown quite a bit in height, which gives him the potential to be a dominant net presence. He already possesses a live arm and good jumping ability. He has been used primarily at the passing outside hitter position, but is versatile enough to play opposite as well. We believe that Ryan will be a difference-maker for us.
“The modern men’s volleyball game has become very outside hitter focused,” added Kosty. “To be successful at our level, the outside hitters must take on a heavy burden of passing, serving, defending and attacking out of the front and back rows. With the signing of Jordan, Matt and Ryan, in addition to the players currently on our roster, we feel we have the pieces needed to be successful. We expect that these young men will help us vie for an NCAA title while performing at an exceptionally high level in the classroom and the community.”
– Stanford Athletics