Fritz adds Baka and Wilson to 2022 selection

MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State Head Volleyball Coach Suzie Fritz announced the additions of external hitter Elena Baka and outside hitter/opposite Dalia Wilson to the 2022 Wildcats roster.

Baka is coming to K-State after three seasons in Saint Mary’s, California, as the 6-foot-1 resident of Thessaloniki, Greece, will be eligible for two more years under NCAA COVID policy. Wilson is a 6-3 incoming freshman from Manisa, Turkey. Both will participate in the program this spring, prior to the spring training sessions.

“We were looking for a versatile outside batter with well-rounded skills,” Fritz said of Baka. “We feel we have found that in Elena. She is an accomplished player, both inside and out, bringing experience and competitiveness to our gym.”

In three seasons at Saint Mary’s, Baka totaled more than 660 kills in 66 games (2.73 kills per set), while adding 566 digs (2.33 per set). Baka appeared in each set as a freshman for the Gaels, finishing second on her team with 280 kills while adding 56 blocks.

As a sophomore, Baka was named to the Preseason All-West Coast Conference Team and earned an All-WCC Honorable Mention nod. She led the Gaels with 194 kills (3.08 per set) and 25 aces, finishing second with 161 digs.

Baka posted four double-doubles as a junior and tied her career high with 17 kills to go with 17 digs against San Jose State. She also led the Gaels with 28 aces and left SMC with 67 career aces.

Additionally, Baka played beach volleyball for the Gaels for two seasons, 16-11 over her freshman and sophomore campaigns. In the spring of 2021, Baka was the only SMC player to be named All-WCC First Team, taking victories over No. 11 Pepperdine and No. 12 Stanford.

“Dalia has had excellent competitive experiences as a young player in Turkey and Serbia,” said Fritz. “She adds a high level of athleticism and potential to our team. We were impressed by her dedication to her future development and her desire to learn and take on new challenges.”

Wilson most recently played for super league club Radnicki Blasters in Belgrade, Serbia in the Volleyball Association of Serbia. Prior to her time in Serbia, Wilson played junior club with Eczacibasi based in Istanbul, Turkey.

Wilson helped Turkey U16 national team win the 2019 European Championship and finished ninth in the 2019 World Championship. Her Turkish U18 national team finished second in the 2020 European Championship and her club Eczacibasi took eighth place in 2020. in the standings.

In the fall of 2021, her Serbian club Radnicki Blasters reached the Round of 16 in the annual Serbian Cup.

Baka and Wilson become the 13e and 14e international student-athletes in the history of the program and the first from their respective countries.

The duo joins three incoming freshmen in Aniya Clinton, Ava LeGrand and Brenna Schmidt to attend the 2022 signing class. LeGrand graduated early from Papillion-La Vista High School (Papillion, Nebraska) and joins the Baka and Wilson for spring training sessions. Clinton and Schmidt will arrive in the summer ahead of the fall 2022 campaign.

K-State closed the 2021 season with a 15-13 (6-10 Big 12) record, earning a big bid for the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship, the 18e all-time postseason appearance and 13e under Frits.

2022 K-State Volleyball Signing Class

Name Item. Height Place of residence / Previous school / Club
Elena Baka OH 6-1 Thessaloniki, Greece / Saint Mary’s
Aniya Clinton OH 6-2 Midland, Texas / Midland HS / Texas Advantage
Ava LeGrand s 6-0 Papillion, Neb. / Papillion-La Vista South HS / Nebraska Juniors
Brenna Schmidt MB 6-6 Eagle, Neb. / Elmwood-Murdock HS / Nebraska Juniors
Dalia Wilson OH / OPP 6-3 Manisa, Turkey / Radnicki Blasters

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