You could argue that from top to bottom, this is as strong of a freshman class that has ever entered NCAA Division I women’s volleyball.

The players coming into the college game are ready to not only play, but compete at the highest level. To wit, a freshman, Nicklin Hames, set Nebraska into the NCAA championship match. Another freshman, Holly Campbell, cracked the Stanford lineup and was a key factor as the Cardinal won it all.

But no freshman was more valuable to her respective team this season than Penn State’s Jonni Parker, who also appears on the fourth All-American team.

The 6-foot-1 right side is our national freshman of the year and highlights our first all-freshman team.

We’ve also added a second all-freshman team — which includes Parker’s Penn State teammates Serena Gray and Kaitlyn Hord — and the way things are going in NCAA volleyball, don’t be surprised if we add a third team in the future, the talent level is so deep.

Nebraska freshman Nicklin Hames guided the Huskers into the national-championship match/Ed Chan,

Freshman of the year: Jonni Parker, Penn State

First team
Brionne Butler, MB, Texas
Holly Campbell, MB, Stanford
Emily DeWalt, S, Texas State
Logan Eggleston, OH, Texas
Heather Gneiting, MB, BYU
Thayer Hall, OH, Florida
Nicklin Hames, S, Nebraska
Raquel Lázaro, S, USC
élan McCall, OH, TCU
McKenna Melville, OH, UCF
Brooke Nuneviller, L, Oregon
Jonni Parker, RS, Penn State
Adanna Rollins, OH, Minnesota
Polina Shemanova OH, Syracuse
Second team
Efrosini Alexakou, OH, St. John’s
Dana Axner, L, FGCU
Hayley Bush, S, Purdue
Grace Cleveland, MB, Purdue
Serena Gray, MB, Penn State
Paige Jones, OH, Michigan
Kaitlyn Hord, MB, Penn State
Abby Marjama, OH, UC Irvine
CC McGraw, Minnesota
Gloria Mutiri, RS, Kansas State
Charley Niego, OH, Notre Dame
Ella May Powell, S, Washington
Anyse Smith, OH, Colorado
Alli Stumler, OH, Kentucky

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  1. To write, “But no freshman was more valuable to her respective team this season Penn State’s Jonni Parker” is just ludicrous. If Parker did not play a single point this year for Penn State, I would be hard pressed to cite a single match, outside of the final Minnesota match that would have had a different outcome. She was very good, but to say she was ‘more valuable to her team’ than Nicklin Hames was to Nebraska, is again, ludicrous. If you removed Hames from Nebraska’s line-up and Atherton had stayed and was the setter , or Smith had been the setter, Nebraska would have been no better than Michigan. . .who got, what? Seventh in the B1G? They may have been a Sweet 16 team, but no better. Hames had 25. . .again, she had 25 double doubles this season. She was, IMO, the best on floor defensive setter in the country. (look at the match point against Illinois in the national semi; not only did she dig Quade’s down the line shot she also controlled it and made a perfect pass to Maloney. If you want to give an award to Parker for being the best freshman, do it, but don’t say she “was more valuable to her team this season” than Nicklin Hames was to Nebraska, because that, is, objectively, false. Come on.


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