FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Jackie Quade, a sophomore outside hitter recruited by multiple Big Ten volleyball teams as well as current No. 2 Florida, has orally committed to Illinois.
The 6-foot-2 Quade said she informed Illini coach Kevin Hambly of her decision by phone Sunday night.
“I had talked to my club coach that day to tell him I knew where I wanted to go,” the Fort Wayne Carroll High School 15-year-old said Monday night. “He walked me through everything I needed to do, and in talking to him, I thought we should just do it.”
Quade said she took an unofficial visit to the UI in early May. She indicated she also visited Michigan State, Ohio State, Florida, Mississippi and Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne.
“I loved it from the start,” Quade said of her trip to Illinois’ campus. “I liked the coaches and the players, and all the academic programs are good, and they had a really good volleyball team. It just seemed like the perfect fit for me.”
As a freshman, Quade led Carroll in blocks and ranked third in kills while playing middle blocker for a team that advanced to the Class 4A semistate tournament.
This season, Quade moved to outside hitter but also has been utilized in the middle due to injuries, leading the Chargers to a current 25-5 record.
“For a young lady of her size, she’s very athletic, very dynamic,” Carroll coach Doug Helsom said. “She plays the front row and the back row, and for a young lady of her height, is very quick.”
Last summer, Quade played for the Fort Wayne Volleyball Club team that competed in the AAU 16 Open national tournament.
“Maturitywise, her game is several years beyond her age,” Helsom said.
Quade is the Illini’s first Class of 2016 commitment.