There are simply so many fabulous NCAA Division I women’s volleyball players.
But for all of the 2018 season, capped by winning her school’s second national title in three years, Stanford outside hitter Kathryn Plummer stood above the rest — figuratively and literally.
The 6-foot-6 junior is this year’s VolleyballMag.com national player of the year, highlighting our annual All-American list that has a different twist this season.
Somewhere along the way, someone decided that every sport would have three All-American teams plus honorable mention. That has always been the case in volleyball.
But we decided there are simply too many outstanding college volleyball players to stop at three teams, so we’ve added a fourth.
And, frankly, we thought about a fifth because the sport is so deep with talent. For that matter, our all-freshman first team alone would certainly rank right up there with the best squads in the country.
The first All-American team is a Who’s Who of the college game. the 14-player list includes all four of our POY finalists — Plummer, Nebraska’s Mikaela Foecke, BYU’s Roni Jones-Perry and Jordyn Poulter of Illinois — who, not coincidentally, competed in this year’s final four.
And so did Nebraska’s John Cook, our national coach of the year.
Cook took the Huskers to their fourth national semifinals in a row. He led a new-look team — with two freshman starters and a transfer — that made an unlikely run to the championship match. What’s more, he did it again with a relatively new staff, since his assistants keep moving on to head-coaching jobs. One of them, Chris Tamas of Illinois, was right up there in the voting for COY.
Please consider, too, that the VolleyballMag.com voting takes place after the national championship, whereas the AVCA All-American teams, POY and COY are decided beforehand. What’s more, our voting panel consists not only of coaches, but also media members and a few close followers of the sport.
We are excited to honor these great representatives of college volleyball. Our all-freshman teams will be announced Thursday.
Player of the year: Kathryn Plummer, Stanford Coach of the year: John Cook, Nebraska
Kathryn Plummer, Jr., OH, Stanford Mikaela Foecke, Sr., OH, Nebraska
Roni Jones-Perry, Sr., OH, BYU Jordyn Poulter, Sr., S, Illinois
Lyndie Haddock-Eppich, Sr., S, BYU
Morgan Hentz, Jr., L, Stanford
Mary Lake, Jr., L, BYU
Jacqueline Quade, Jr., OH, Illinois
Dana Rettke, So., MB, Wisconsin
Stephanie Samedy, So., RS, Minnesota
Samantha Seliger-Swenson, Sr., S, Minnesota
Lauren Stivrins, So., MB, Nebraska
Ronika Stone, Jr., MB, Oregon
Kendall White, Jr., L, Penn State
(ALL TIMES EASTERN)
Friday, March 22
Hawaii vs. Princeton, 6 p.m., TheW.tv
North Greenville vs. Barton, 7 p.m., Conference Carolinas Digital Network