NASHVILLE – Head coach Brandon Rosenthal and the Lipscomb Volleyball program announced the signing of four standouts during the early signing period on Wednesday.
Residing in the states of Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee, the group includes Kamryn Bacus, Delaney Dilfer, Meg Mersman and Delaney Smith.
“This has been a unique class because of some rule changes all four came on their visit the same time, a practice that we don’t do very much," Rosenthal said. "It turned out to be a very positive thing as all four have supported each other throughout the high school and club seasons. It has been awesome to show up to one of their matches and see the others there to support each other. This class is extremely close and I believe that connection will pay off right away.”
Learn more about the 2020 recruiting class and see Rosenthal’s thoughts on the newcomers below.
Kamryn Bacus | 6-0 | Outside Hitter | Edmond, Oklahoma | Edmond North HS
- Prepped at Edmond North HS under the tutelage of Jaclyn Burroughs.
- Guided the Huskies to a Oklahoma 6A State Championship, where she was also named the Oklahoma State Player of the Year.
- Compiled 1753 kills, 1194 digs, 183 aces and 177 blocks as a four-year varsity starter.
- Two-time USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championship All-American.
- Three-time First Team All-Region and All-District, and was named All-State in 2019.
- 2018 Union Varsity Tournament MVP, and All-City Offensive Player of the Year.
- Led her club team to a USAV GJNC National Runner-Up finish in 2017.
- Selected as a three-time AVCA/MaxPreps Player of the Week (2017-18).
- 2018 PrepVolleyball.com Soph 79 Highest Honorable Mention, and 2019 Senior Ace.
- Plans to major in Communications and Sports Management at Lipscomb.
- Also recruited by Pittsburgh, Kansas State, Ole Miss, Liberty, California Baptist and Bradley.
- Daughter of Greg and Richelle Bacus, with two younger brothers (Gavin and Gibson).
- Her dad played collegiate soccer at West Texas A&M.
- Favorite television show is Friends.
- Favorite music group is the Jonas Brothers.
- Has a hidden talent of singing and loves to do calligraphy.
“Kam is long and an absolute force attacking wise. She reminds me a little bit of Kaycee Green, a former LUV’er. She can hit angles that most can’t because of her length. She has great pop on the ball and a great mind for the game. She is kind of a quiet and intense person, and she knows exactly what she wants. When she locks in, nothing is going to stop her in going after exactly what she wants. She’s a tremendous talent and I think she’s going to continue to elevate our game because of what she can do offensively.”
Delaney Dilfer | 5-10 | Setter | Austin, Texas | Vandegrift HS
- Prepped at Vandegrift High School under head coach Melissa Southall.
- Finished her senior season with 1,410 assists (10.7/set), 329 digs, 100 kills and 54 aces in 132 sets.
- Led VHS to back-to-back 6A Region II District 13 Championships in 2017 and 2018, while helping them to a school-record 40 wins in her sophomore campaign.
- A three-time All-State selection with the Vipers, and a two-time All-Region and All-District honoree.
- Named Team Captain each year with her club, and in 2018 and 2019 with VHS.
- As a four-year letter winner in volleyball, she holds the career and single-season assists record with the Vipers.
- Academic All-District in all four years of high school.
- Helped her club team – Austin Skyline – to a Regional Championship in 2019
- Daughter of Trent and Cassandra Dilfer.
- Has two older sisters, Tori and Maddie, and one younger brother, Trevin (deceased).
- Her father played collegiate football at Fresno State, before spending 14 years in the NFL where he won a Super Bowl as the starting quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens in 2000.
- Her mother was a collegiate swimmer at Fresno State.
- Her sister (Maddie) played volleyball at Notre Dame before transferring to Pepperdine, where she played both indoor and beach.
- Her other sister (Tori) plays volleyball at Louisville, after starting her career at TCU.
- Also recruited by Stanford, Arizona State, N.C. State, North Carolina, Loyola Marymount and the University of California, Berkeley.
- Plans to major in Education at Lipscomb.
- Favorite movie is Remember the Titans.
- Favorite book is The Giver.
“Delaney is one of the most athletic setters I’ve seen in the country in her class. She’s only been a full-time setter for the last couple of years, but follows a family line of setters. She comes from a very competitive and athletic family with Trent being a Super Bowl quarterback and Cass a collegiate swimmer. I think Delaney has picked up on all of the best qualities from them. Most people would easily point to her dad as the one that drives the competitiveness, but after being around them all, it’s easy to see it comes from Cass. Delaney is an absolute tremendous talent that will compete right away. She’s someone who is constantly searching to be better and wants that feedback. She will start early in January, and we are excited to have that opportunity to where we can work with her right away and plug her into our system.”
Meg Mersman | 6-2 | Middle Blocker | Greenback, Tennessee | Maryville HS
- Played under head coach Angel Babelay at Maryville HS where she helped guide the Rebels to a 31-8 record as a senior.
- Totaled 956 kills, 133 aces, 219 digs and 269 solo blocks in three years at MHS.
- Three-time All-District and Team Captain.
- Voted All-Region and Team MVP in 2019.
- Led the Rebels to a Blount County Championship in 2016 and a District Championship in 2019.
- Compiled a 4.0 GPA or higher in all four years of high school.
- Plans to major in Biology at Lipscomb.
- Also recruited by Ohio State, Miami, Alabama, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, Clemson and Duke among others.
- Daughter of Jill and Scott Mersman, with one older brother (Mitch).
- Favorite movie is Hocus Pocus.
- Favorite professional sports team is the Nashville Predators.
- Has a hidden talent of playing the piano.
- Her ambition is to become an orthopedic surgeon and open her own practice.
“Meg has been a force on the club and high school ranks in Tennessee. We’ve seen her quite a bit, but she’s always been young for her age and it’s been fun to see her through that maturation process. As her game developed, she’s really taken it to the next level. The thing that stands out about Meg is her ability to block balls. She’s an aggressive player. It will be fun to see her in the mix this January as she graduates high school early. She plays and lives life with a passion. She is going to compete right away.”
Delaney Smith | 5-8 | Libero | Cincinnati, Ohio | Saint Ursula Academy
- Played under Kevin Lucas at Saint Ursula Academy.
- Helped lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back district championships in 2018 and 2019.
- Selected to the All-District Team in 2018 and 2019.
- Holds the single-season ace record for her high school, set in 2019.
- GGCL service leader and digs leader in 2019.
- PrepVolleyball Defensive Dandies Third Team selection.
- Named Second Team All-League in 2018-19.
- Earned First Honors every semester and was a part of the National Honors Society.
- Plans to major in Education at Lipscomb.
- Also recruited by Villanova and Stetson.
- Daughter of Kevin and Jennifer Smith.
- Has two brothers (Reilly and Brendan).
- Favorite music group is One Republic.
- Favorite book is Love Does.
“We got to see Delaney for the first time when she came to one of our camps. She plays the game really smooth and is one of the more athletics kids I’ve seen. If you watch her play, she’s not going to wow you because she’s so calm and still, that she reads the game extremely well. She’s one of the faster kids I’ve seen, and she will run through a brick wall. Delaney is a kid that’s going to be extremely beneficial to our program and add something to the mix right away. She’s played mostly outside hitter and hasn’t had a chance to focus on defense, so it will be fun to watch her make that transition. She fits well within what we are trying to do here at Lipscomb.”