Florida Gators volleyball signs four in the 2020 class

Special report on the Florida Gators volleyball team:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The nationally-ranked Florida volleyball program welcomed it’s 2020 signing class on Wednesday, as four high school seniors became Gators. Florida’s latest class features three top-40 seniors.


“The ’20 class checks all the boxes in each position: talent, athleticism, experience, and most importantly, character,” said head coach Mary Wise. “Combined they have won at each level: high school, club, and international.  We look forward to their arrival on campus both in January and this summer.”


Below are the details of the four signees’ – Birdie Hendrickson, Elli McKissock, Nnedi Okammor and Sofia Victoria – high school and club accolades.


Birdie Hendrickson | 6-2 | S | High School: Logan-Rogersville | Club: Springfield Juniors


Hendrickson’s High School Accolades

  • 2019 Under Armour First Team All-America
  • 2019 PrepVolleyball.com No. 12 Senior Ace
  • 2019 MaxPreps Preseason All-America
  • 2018 Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year
  • 2018 Class 3 Volleyball State Champion (hit 1,000 in Nov. 2018)
  • Three-time First Team All-State (2016, 17, 18)
  • Four-time First Team All-District (16, 17, 18, 19)
  • Four-time First Team All-Big 8 Conference (16, 17, 18, 19)
  • Three-time First Team All-Area Ozarks Ozone Sports (16, 17, 18)
  • 2017 Big 8 Player of the Year
  • Two-time MaxPreps Underclass All-American Team (16, 18)
  • 2018 Springfield Sports Commission Volleyball Player of the Year
  • 2016 Springfield Sports Commission Female Athlete of the Year Finalist
  • 2016 PrepVolleyball.com National Freshman of the Year Finalist
  • 2017 Ozarks Ozone Sports Offensive Player of the Year
  • 2016 Ozarks Ozone Sports Player of the Year
  • 2016 Ozarks Ozone Platinum Team
  • Two-time MaxPreps Missouri Player of the Week
  • Kohl 10 Sports Player of the Week
  • Six-time MaxPreps Player of the Match in 2019
  • Three-time MaxPreps Player of the Match in 2018
  • 2017 Carl Junction Tournament MVP
  • 2017 Park Hill All-Tournament Team
  • Ozarks Ozone Sports Player of the Week
  • All-Tournament Team (Fayetteville, Ark. Tournament)
  • Arby’s Player of the Week in 2016

Hendrickson’s Club Accolades

  • Finished third in the 18s National Division during the 2018-19 season
  • Named to the USAV Junior National 18s All-Tournament Team
  • PrepVolleyball.com 18s Club First Team All-America (Non-Open)
  • Finished ninth in the 17s National Division during the 2017-18 season
  • 2018 Athlete of the Year – Community Olympic Development Program
  • 2018 Player of the Year – Community Olympic Development Program
  • 2016 Player of the Year – Community Olympic Development Program

Hendrickson’s USA High Performances Accolades

  • USAV Women’s Junior National Training Team U20, Colorado Springs CO 07/2019
  • USAV Beach High Performance Championships U19, Santa Monica, CA 07/2019
  • USAV High Performance Youth National Team “Holiday” Training Block, Colorado Springs, CO 12/2016 USAV High Performance A1 Youth National Team, Fort Lauderdale, FL 07/2016
  • USAV High Performance Girls Future Select National Development Program, Grand Rapids, MI 2013


Hendrickson’s Off the Court Accolades

  • Also competed in Track & Field, where she was a nine-time All-Conference honoree, six-time All-District honoree and she was named All-State in both the 4×400 relay and high jump
  • National Honor Society member
  • Member of World Language Club
  • Member of the Family Career and Community Leaders of America
  • Involved in YoungLife, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Project Hope
  • Daughter of former Gator volleyball player Laura Dixon (86-89)
  • Father – Michael – was a professional tri-athlete
  • Grandfather – Brien – was a sprinter at the University of Nebraska
  • Sister – Hanna – plays volleyball at Western Colorado University

“If you look over the years at some of the best setters that have come through our program, the common denominators is that the great ones have always been athletic, and that is certainly Birdie. She is the do-everything for her high school – look at what she has done, not only in volleyball, but also track & field. When she finally has the opportunity to concentrate just on volleyball, there is no telling what her ceiling is. She is going to be one of the most athletic setters to come through our program” – Mary Wise


“Birdie’s versatility as a player makes her extremely unique. For her high school team she plays left side, passes all six rotations and is a key defender at middle back. In club, she sets and plays right side.  Her athleticism allows her to play in any position and play them all at a high level.  This versatility and athleticism is what will help her have an immediate impact as a Florida Gator. Birdie is also an amazing teammate, tremendous leader and she’s a fierce competitor.  These qualities along with her versatile skills and athletic ability make her extremely valuable on the volleyball court” – Lori Endicott-Vandersick, Community Sports Development Program  


Elli McKissock | 5-7 | L | High School: The First Academy | Club: Top Select 


McKissock’s High School Accolades

  • 2019 Under Armour First Team All-America
  • 2019 PrepVolleyball.com No. 40 Senior Ace
  • 2019 PrepVolleyball.com High School All-State Team
  • 2018 PrepVolleyball.com High School All-State Team
  • 2018 Dairy Farmer’s Florida 4A Player of the Year
  • 2017 PrepVolleyball.com High School All-State Team
  • 2017 3A Florida State Champion

McKissock’s Club Accolades

  • 2019 AAU 17U Open National Champion
  • 2019 AAU Nationals 17U All-American
  • 2019 USAV GJN 16U – 9th place
  • 2019 PrepVolleyball.com 17U Second Team All-America (Open Division)
  • 2018 AAU 16U Open National Champion
  • 2018 AAU 16U All-American
  • 2018 USAV GJN 16U – 3rd place
  • 2018 PrepVolleyball.com 16U First Team All-America (Open Division)
  • 2017 AAU 15U Open National Champion
  • 2017 AAU 15U All-American
  • 2017 USAV GJN 15U – 5th place
  • 2017 USAV GJN 15U All-Tournament Team
  • 2017 PrepVolleyball.com 15U First Team All-America
  • 2016 USAV 14U Open National Champion
  • 2016 AAU 14U Open National Champion
  • 2015 AAU 13U Club National Champion
  • 2014 AAU 12U Classic National Champion
  • 2014 AAU 12U All-Star Award

McKissock’s Off the Court Accolades

  • 2018 National Art Honor Society
  • 2015 Mayberry Leadership Award
  • 2015 Junior National Honor Society
  • Involved in: Fellowship of Christian Athletes Club, Wounded Warriors Club and Brant Lake Sports Academy
  • Sister plays volleyball at The Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Dad played football at The Citadel and uncle played football at Brown

“Elli was the youngest player in this class when we first saw her play, she was just a little thing playing for a club team. Even at that time, her skillset stood out. All she has done is separated herself in a position that has hundreds and hundreds of girls playing libero across the country. But with her foot speed, her ball control and her volleyball IQ, she is a special one. We can’t wait to get started with Elli as early as January” – Mary Wise


“Elli McKissock is a natural athlete that coaches long to work with. She has incredible range as a libero and her ability to read the hitter and reaction time are what set her apart from everyone else. She has a hunger for the ball and unyieldingly pursues any and everything that comes over the net. Her relentless work ethic and playful personality compliment her incredible talent. She’s high-spirited, enthusiastic and an incredible athlete who has a wonderful ability to bring out the best in those around her. Despite the score, Elli is in it for the long haul. She’s mentally tough and looks for the opportunity to come through for her team. She is not only competitive, but her love for the game is apparent as joy exudes from her face while she plays. While at the University of Florida, look for McKissock to make an impact starting with her freshman year and only growing throughout her time there”– Dan Hedger, The First Academy


Nnedi Okammor | 6-4 | MB | High School: Hebron | Club: TAV


Okammor’s High School Accolades

  • 2019 Under Armour Honorable Mention All-America
  • 2019 PrepVolleyball.com No. 31 Senior Ace
  • 2019 Northwest Varsity All-Tournament Team
  • Two-time First Team All-District (18, 19)
  • 2018 Texas Sports Writer Association Honorable Mention
  • 2018 AVCA Phenom List
  • 2017 Texas 6A State Champions
  • Three-time Academic All-District (17, 18, 19)

Okammor’s Club Accolades

  • 2019 GJNC 17 Open Champions
  • 2019 VolleyballMagazine.com Girls 25 Underclassmen to Watch List
  • 2019 PrepVolleyball.com Mid-Season All-American
  • 2018 PrepVolleyball.com Top-50 Juniors List

Okammor’s Off the Court Accolades

  • National Honor Society Member
  • Science National Honor Society Member
  • Won the EYAS Art Award in 2017
  • Involved in The Big Event (LISD Community Service) and Student Council
  • Also competed in basketball
  • Both of her parents were born in Nigeria

“The first time we ever saw Nnedi play was in a club volleyball tournament where she was just coming off of basketball. She was new to the game, but you could see in her feet, size and athleticism that there was a great volleyball player in there. From that point on, she has worked so hard to improve her game. Due to how high she can play above the net and how strong she is, Nnedi is a game-changer. We have had a lot of success with players from that part of the country and we are really excited that Nnedi is going to be a Gator” – Mary Wise


“Being new to the sport of Volleyball during her Freshmen year, Nnedi Okammor has made tremendous strides both athletically and personally in the past four years.  During playoffs in her sophomore year (2017), Nnedi made her presence known at the Varsity level by helping Hebron secure its third straight state title. We look forward to watching Nnedi take another huge leap as she finds her place in the Florida Gator lineup!  Good Luck Nnedi! Make us proud!  #HPND” – Karin Keeny, Hebron High School


Sofia Victoria | 5-11 | OH | High School: Notre Dame High School | Club: Puerto Rico U18 National Team


Victoria’s High School Accolades

  • Four-time PRHSAA All-Alliance Team (16,17,18,19)
  • Four-time PRHSAA Coaches All-Alliance Team (16,17,18,19)
  • Seven-time MVP at Invitational Tournaments with PRHSAA member schools
  • Led her team to a championship and two second place finishes at the PRHSAA Tournament
  • Four-time winner Notre Dame’s Volleyball outstanding athlete award (16,17,18,19)

Victoria’s Club Accolades

  • All-American Team 14U (Open Division) at 2016 AAU Girls Volleyball Tournament
  • MVP at Power League East Coast in 2016 – 15U (Open Division)
  • Second place All-Star Team at Power League Regional Challenge in 2017 – 15U (Open Division)
  • All-Star Team at the Jeep Volleyball Championship PUR – 15U (Open Division)
  • Led her team to a championship at the Jeep Volleyball Championship PUR – 15U (Open Division)
  • All-Star Team at Copa Angel Matos 2018 – 16U (Open Division)
  • Led her team to a championship at the Copa Angel Matos 2018 – 16U (Open Division)
  • 2018 MVP of the Power League – 16U (Open Division)
  • PR Spring Volleyball Challenge Champions – Guaynabo Mets (17U)
  • PR Showcase Tournament Champions (18U) – helped team go undefeated
  • Finished second at Power League PR (18U)
  • Finished first at the PR Jeep Volleyball Championship with the 17U Guaynabo City Mets (17U – Open Division)
  • Earned MVP and finished first at the Copa Federacion 2018 – Team Vaqueras Adults (she was the only 16U playing in the tournament)
  • Two-time Offensive Player of the Week (Copa Federacion 2018)
  • Invited to the PUR Adults National Team tryouts

Victoria’s National Team Accolades (With the Puerto National Team – Adults)

  • Earned a bronze medal at the FIVB Challenger Cup in 2018
  • Finished sixth at the 2018 Pan American Cup
  • 2019 Lima, Peru Pan American Games Qualifier
  • Earned a bronze medal at the 2018 Centro American Games

Victoria’s National Team Accolades (With the Puerto National Team – 18U)

  • Selected Team Captain for Puerto Rico 18U National Team to compete in the 18U Pan American Cup and 20U Pan Am Cup
  • Second best scorer at the Pan Am Cup 20U
  • New record holder for the most points in a single match with 31 points at 20U Pan Am Cup (vs. Chile)
  • Silver medalist at the 18U Pan Am Cup
  • Best scorer (26 points) at the match vs. Chile that qualified PUR team to the 18U World Championship
  • Played at the Girls 18U W Volleyball World Championships
  • Tied for third place best scorer of that tournament (124 points)
  • Competed at the 2015 High Performance – finished fourth with PUR 18U National Team

Victoria’s Off the Court Accolades

  • Four-time Honor Student-Athlete (16,17,18,19)
  • Involved in volunteering at retirement homes and summer camps for unprivileged children
  • Also played beach volleyball and track & field
  • Holds the PRHSAA Long Jump JV record since 2016 (5.07m)
  • Father, Luis, was a member of the PR National Baseball Team
  • During which he earned a bronze medal at the 1995 Pan American Games
  • Played Pro Baseball League in PR from 1994-12, earning one championship and three national finals
  • Made four All-Star teams, including being named MVP at the 2002 All-Star Game
  • Mother, Pilar E., was a member of the Youth Track & Field National Team
  • She is a PR Record Holder on triple jump from 1992-17
  • She was also a member of the LAI Champion Track & Field team with the University of PR (92-94)
  • Has competed with fellow Gators Naomi Santos & Aury Cruz in multiple international competitions
  • Sister, Pilar Victoria, played for Texas (13-14) Arkansas (15-17) and was an AVCA All-American and led the NCAA in kills per set during her senior season
  • She also earned two All-SEC First Team honors
  • She is currently playing her third season of pro volleyball in the Hungary league

“We have been watching Sofia for some time and initially it was her arm speed that gained our interest. What we have watched over time is her game evolve: her ball control, her defense, her serving. This is a six-rotation player that will come to us with international experience. Very different from players in the United States who, at the very best, get limited opportunities to play against older, more experienced players. Sofia has had that and we are going to benefit from that experience” – Mary Wise


“Sofía is a great competitor that enjoys playing on big scenarios. She likes to be the player “to go to” on tough moments as she has shown on national and international scenarios, Sofia will not let the team down at any moment. Her passion for the game led her to be part of the Puerto Rico National 18U, 20U, and Adult teams. Sofía will bring talent, power, and a great sense of belonging into one of the best programs of the nation. All these quality’s will contribute both, Sofía and the program, to reach their short- and long-term goals. There are no words that can explain what Sofía means to our Club and to our National teams. I can assure to all Gators Fans, they will enjoy and love Sofia’s volleyball game, representing the Gator Nation” – Abner Gonzalez, Puerto Rico U18 National Team

Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.