FORT MYERS, Fla.- After leading the Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers to the NJCAA National Championship and earning both NJCAA and AVCA National Player of the Year honors, sophomore Barbara Koehler will be taking her talents from the Sunshine State to the Sunflower State next season after signing her National Letter of Intent with Wichita State University.
Koehler's sophomore season with the Bucs was nothing short of spectacular, leading FSW to a 27-1 overall record, their third straight Suncoast Conference Championship, and their first NJCAA National Championship in program history. She finished in the top 10 in the country, averaging 3.74 kills per set while her .324 hitting percentage was the best of any of the top 10 attackers in the NJCAA ranks. But it wasn't just the offensive side of the net Koehler excelled on. She finished with 2.68 digs and 0.48 blocks per set on the season and dialed up 0.54 aces per set as well which ranked in the top 20 nationally. For her efforts, she was named both the NJCAA and AVCA National Player of the Year. Koehler came up big when the Bucs needed her the most, leading FSW to a dominating postseason in which they dropped just one set in six matches, all against nationally ranked foes. She had double digit kills in all four matches for the Bucs at the NJCAA National Tournament including a 12 kill, 15 dig double-double in the National Championship match against Miami Dade to earn her National Tournament MVP honors. She finishes her FSW career as the Bucs all-time leader in kills with 590 and aces with 78 and ranks third in digs with 462.
Koehler will join a WSU squad coming off of an 18-13 campaign and a postseason appearance in the NIVC in 2022. The Shockers were 13-6 in American Conference play, good for fourth place after storming to the finish line winning their final four games and seven of their last eight. WSU is led by veteran Head Coach Chris Lamb who will be entering his 24th season for the Shockers in 2023. Lamb was the Volley Mag National Coach of the Year in 2017 and has led Wichita State to 20 or more wins in 15 of the past 20 seasons.
Koehler's signing with the Shockers marks the third straight season FSW has sent a player to the American Conference after Kianie Cummings (East Carolina-2020) and Elissa Alcantara (Cincinnati-2021). Koehler becomes the seventh NCAA Division I signee in the past two years and the 13th in the past three years for the Bucs. She is the Bucs second Division I signee this season, joining teammate Julia Lawrenz who inked with Hawaii this fall.