Gandara Adds Eight in Latest Recruiting Class

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Miami volleyball head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara released the signing of eight new Hurricanes set to join the team for the 2021 fall season.

“This is one of our biggest classes in the past few seasons and I’m excited to see the way they transition into our style of play and see where our team grows and improves from last season,” Gandara said.

Hanna Bissler, Ashley Carr, Kendall Lukachek, Alanys Viera, McKayla Vincent and Peyman Yardimci are set to join Yaidaliz Rosado and Nyah Anderson on campus for Miami’s newest class. Rosado and Anderson joined the squad in the spring 2020 season after arriving to campus early but did not compete in the second half of the season.

Bissler, a libero out of Chardon, Ohio, brings her four-time high school MVP, PrepVolleyball.com’s Player of the Week and Senior Honors Award accomplishments to Miami’s defensive side. At five-foot-nine, Bissler hopes to continue developing her skills as a defensive player and help Miami return to the NCAA tournament.

“Hanna has a quiet intensity about her,” Gandara said. “There isn’t an interaction with her where you don’t feel like she means business. She has a lot of room to grow as a passer and defender, but her serve will likely help right away. We’ll look to her as a voice of maturity in a big class. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Hanna had the biggest impact from a leadership perspective in the entire class.”

As a late addition to this year’s class, Carr fills a much needed role in the middle blocker position for the Canes. At six-foot, Carr’s comfortability attacking off one foot excited the Miami coaching staff. The Glenview, Ill., native brings All-Conference honors and academic success after four year on her high school’s honor roll.

“One of her great qualities is her ability to fit in naturally,” Gandara said. “She doesn’t have to compromise herself to be an important part of a productive group.”

Vincent will join Carr and Janice Leao as a middle blocker for the Canes at six-foot-four.  The Orlando, Fla., native has a mature attitude that will show early on the court for the young Miami team.

“Size and length are always at a premium in our sports and McKyala has both,” Gandara said. “She is still a relatively young player, but she’s had excellent coaching in her career and is a rock solid person, too.”

Lukachek’s love for Miami’s program hasn’t wavered and continues to be a big asset for this class. The six-foot-two outside hitter from Plano, Texas, won four medals at USA Volleyball Junior Nationals and succeeded in the classroom, graduating Cum Laude from Scottsdale Christian Academy.

“Kendall came to our amp when she was very young, so we were very familiar with her elite,” Gandara said. “Finding people who want to be a part of what you’re doing and don’t look at you as just another option is refreshing and critical for culture building.”

Viera joins Rosado from Puerto Rico as a five-foot-five setter to study behind Savannah Vach. The 2020 PrepVolleyball.com All-American also boasts MVP AAU Nationanl Championship honors, is a six-time AAU National Championship MVP and was her high school’s MVP all four years.

“One thing we really value in setters is creativity and Alanys is the most creative setter we’ve ever had,” Gandara said. “She is the youngest child of two volleyball coaches, so she’s tough, resourceful and a total volleyball nut. She’s been committed to us for a while and we’re thrilled to finally get her on campus and coach her.”

At six-foot, Yardimci will join Miami as the lone opposite of the group. Hailing from Istanbul, Turkey with youth and junior national team experience and the U18 Balkan Championships MVP award, Yardimci will have an immediate impact for Miami’s offense.

“She was among the most widely sought-after international recruits in her class,” Gandara said. “It’s been a few years since we’ve had a true opposite, so to bring in one of the world’s best at the college age is really exciting. No freshmen is guaranteed playing time and few achieve a spot in the lineup early, but it isn’t hard to envision her having an immediate impact.”

Anderson, the six-foot outside hitter, and Rosado, the five-foot-eight defensive specialist, joined the Canes in January and have already proven that they will have an early impact next season.

“Nyah [Anderson] is a pretty complete outside hitter – she can hit high and hard – and can receive serve comfortably and has rapidly improved as a blocker,” Gandara said. “Yai does everything you want from an elite libero. She’s got work to do to become more extroverted, but her skills and mindset are special.”