Machaela “Mac” Podraza will play her fifth and final college season with Penn State women’s volleyball after the program announced her graduate transfer from Ohio State Monday.
Let that sink in.
The reigning Big Ten Setter of the Year and three-time AVCA All-American from Sunbury, Ohio, visited Penn State’s campus last weekend to tour Rec Hall with the coaching staff, meet the team, and try on her new uniform.
— Penn State Women’s Volleyball (@PennStateVBALL) January 23, 2023
Podraza also watched the Nittany Lions beat Michigan 30-8 in Friday night’s wrestling match at the Bryce Jordan Center, then saw the men’s hockey team beat Notre Dame 3-2 Saturday at Pegula Ice Arena.
As a senior in 2022, Podraza, who checks in at 6-foot-2, led the Buckeyes to the Elite Eight in Austin, Texas, where they lost to the eventual national champion Longhorns in four sets. Podraza had 4,001 assists, 779 digs, 273 kills, 241 total blocks, and 43 aces during her decorated Ohio State career.
Podraza was a three-time first-team All-Big Ten selection and three-time AVCA all-northeast region honoree with the Buckeyes.
Here’s the link to Mac Podraza’s full bio on the Ohio State website:
You can access her stats by clicking on “Stats” on the Menu Bar below her photo and Player Profile.
Podraza represented Mintonette Sports on the club circuit, leading her 16s team to a USA volleyball girls junior national championship. A member of the 2019 recruiting class, Podraza lettered all four years at Big Walnut High School. She originally committed to Maryland before flipping to Ohio State.
Podraza is the third player to join Penn State via the transfer portal this offseason, following Michigan outside hitter Jess Mruzik (also a 1st-Team All Big Ten player in 2022) and Arizona State setter Ella Snyder in picking the Nittany Lions. Snyder is enrolled in classes this semester and will participate in spring practice, while Podraza and Mruzik will arrive on campus after the spring.
Podraza’s addition to the Nittany Lions is easily one of the biggest storylines in college volleyball heading into the 2023 season, as Penn State must replace standout setter Seleisa Elisaia, who is now playing professionally in Puerto Rico with teammate Kashauna Williams.
Podraza and Williams were among 38 players selected to last summer’s U.S. collegiate national team, which trained June 19-25 in Anaheim, California.
Schumacher-Cawley and her staff identified Elisaia and Williams as high-priority targets in the transfer portal last offseason, and both were crucial to Penn State’s success in a 26-8 run to the Sweet 16. Landing Podraza further established Schumacher-Cawley’s status as one of the top recruiters in the country.
Here’s a video of Podraza and the Buckeyes taking down Minnesota in the 2022 NCAA Tournament:
Russ Rose coached against Podraza’s mother, Chris, when she played for the University of Minnesota. Mac’s commitment to the Nittany Lions immediately vaults them into the Big Ten title picture and national championship contention in Schumacher-Cawley’s second season.