Camryn Hausler was offered a spot on Wright State’s women’s volleyball team unexpectedly when she visited the Dayton, Ohio, school for the first time with her mom in February.
When Hausler visited for the second time, this time with her dad, the Crystal Lake Central junior had her mind made up. Hausler committed to coach Allie Matters and the NCAA Division I Raiders, announcing her decision via Twitter last week.
Hausler, a three-year starter for the Tigers, also was talking to Valparaiso, Illinois-Chicago, Northern Illinois and Illinois State.
Hausler was impressed with the size of the Horizon League school, and the newer facilities. The volleyball team has its own gym. Most importantly, she felt most comfortable with the coaching staff.
“They are younger, so you can connect with them really well,” Hausler said. “To me, throughout the whole recruiting process, finding the right coaches was the most important thing to me. And [Matters and assistant Dan O’Keefe] are both really cool people, really into the game and really smart coaches.
“When I saw the campus and the size of it, I was totally shocked by it, and l loved it. It’s all new.”
The Raiders finished 15-14, going 7-9 in the Horizon League under Matters in her first season at Wright State. She previously served as an assistant coach at Seton Hall for seven years. Hausler’s Sky High club teammate, Huntley junior Taylor Jakubowski, committed to Seton Hall as a freshman.
Hausler is a two-time Northwest Herald All-Area second-team pick. Last season, the 5-foot-11 Hausler was moved from her natural position, outside hitter, to setter to fill a need for Central, which graduated its top two setters.
Hausler excelled at her new position, while still putting up the numbers of a top hitter, recording 337 assists, 198 kills, 178 digs, 90 blocks and 25 aces. Central was 31-6 and placed third in the Fox Valley Conference at 13-3.
Hausler said going from hitter to setter was easier than going back to hitter for the club season. She’ll play at her natural position at Wright State, Hausler said. She wasn’t sure if her versatility helped in recruiting, but she knows it didn’t hurt.
“I loved doing it. It was so much fun,” Hausler said of playing setter for the first time. “It was a lot of working on timing. ... Going back [to outside hitter] during club, I was kind of all over the place, but with time I’m back to my normal self.”
Central’s season ended with a 25-13, 25-19 loss to FVC champion Prairie Ridge in the Class 4A sectional finals. Prairie Ridge went on to place fourth at state. The Tigers have gone 90-19 since 2016 and return their entire starting lineup.
“Prairie Ridge was an amazing team, and they really deserved it,” Hausler said. “I definitely think we ended the season as a different team, and we had a great bond, so I couldn’t be mad about it.
“We’ve all had amazing club seasons. I’m excited to see us all come back together and see how much we’ve improved.”