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NKU volleyball adds three recruits for 2021; Thomas More wrestlers earn NAIA national ranking

NKyTribune staff

Northern Kentucky University volleyball head coach Liz Hart has added a trio of recruits for next season as Joy Banks, Sequoia Hunt and Lucy Cluxton will join the Norse in the fall.

“Our 2021 class is loaded with very talented, high-level athletes,” Hart said. “We can’t wait to add them with our returners to see what they will achieve.”

Oldham County High School volleyball star Sequoia Hunt has signed with NKU. (Photo by Sam Draut, The Oldham Era)

Banks, a native of Macedonia, Ohio, comes to NKU following a prep career at Nordonia High School. The outside hitter was recently named to the Under Armour All-America honorable mention team, OHSVCA All-Ohio Division 1 first team and highlighted the Suburban League first team as the league’s Player of the Year.

Banks eclipsed the 1,000-kill plateau as Nordonia’s all-time kills leader with 1,254 terminations. While Banks’ numbers improved all four years as a Knight, she saved her best season for last, averaging 5.7 kills per set while hitting .401 and contributing 3.5 digs per set as a senior.

“Joy is a polished six-rotation outside with a wide range of shots and a very powerful arm,” Hart said. “She has competed on a nationally ranked club team for multiple years and is used to being the go-to hitter in pressure situations. Joy’s many accomplishments and awards reflect her obvious talent.”

Hunt is a 5-foot-10 middle blocker from Oldham County High School. She was named the 2020 KVCA 8th Region Player of the Year and a KVCA All-State honorable mention recipient.

Hunt recorded 113 kills and a .330 hitting percentage in Oldham County’s 12-match season this fall. She also earned KHSAA Academic All-State honorable mention recognition.

“We are excited to recruit a middle like Sequoia,” Hart said. “In our program, we value the ability to run one-foot attacks and quick sets which are two of Sequoia’s strongest attributes. Sequoia’s club training has helped her compete at a high level nationally.”

(Pictured left to right): Paul Cluxton, NKU recruit Lucy Cluxton and Katie Cluxton. (Seton HS photo)

Cluxton is a familiar name to Norse basketball fans, and Lucy is the daughter of NKU Hall of Famers Paul Cluxton and Katie (Kelsey) Cluxton. A 5-foot-9 defensive specialist/libero at Seton High School in Cincinnati, Cluxton earned second team All-GGCL and third team all-district honors.

During her senior campaign, Cluxton amassed 191 digs, 187 kills and 44 aces.

“Lucy is a fierce competitor with a lot of drive,” Hart said. “Lucy’s athleticism helps her be a gritty defender, reliable passer and aggressive server. We are excited to add more Norse legacy to the volleyball program. 

NKU posted a 19-13 record in 2019 and captured the Horizon League Tournament championship. The Norse also earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time as an NCAA Division I program.

THOMAS MORE WRESTLERS HONORED: The Thomas More wrestling team is receiving votes in the NAIA Top 20 Poll, while junior Wilder Wichman and senior Andrew Taylor are ranked in their respective weight classes.

Thomas More received 17 votes in the NAIA national rankings. Wichman is ranked ninth at the 157-weight class. He won his match against Montreat as he registered a 20-5 technical fall. Wichman qualified for the NAIA national championship last season at 157 and posted a 1-2 record at the championship.

Taylor is ranked 16th at the 184-weight class. He recorded a pin in 2:36 in Saturday’s match against Montreat. Last season, Taylor qualified for the NAIA national championship at the 174-weight class.

(Information compiled from NKU Athletics Communications, Thomas More and staff reports)

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