When it came down to it — and truly it did — no one was better than Kathryn Plummer, who saved her best for last.

The Stanford senior outside hitter is the 2019 VolleyballMag.com national player of the year and tops our All-American teams. She was the choice of our panel of coaches and experts, edging out Baylor junior outside hitter Yossiana Pressley, who had a spectacular season herself.

Pressley’s coach, Baylor’s Ryan McGuyre, was a unanimous choice for national coach of the year.

Plummer missed 10 midseason matches for Stanford, which won its third national championship in four years. And like her team, Plummer went back-to-back as the VBM POY. Her stats from the six NCAA Tournament matches alone were staggering as Plummer averaged 6.75 kills, hit .416, and averaged 1.1 blocks and 2.6 digs.

“It’s an honor,” Plummer said Tuesday. “I’ve worked really hard and I’m really proud to get recognition. Not that I haven’t had recognition before, but this senior year was really satisfying to just be able to go out and have fun and play volleyball and not worry about everything that was on my shoulders.

“I’m very, very fortunate to have gone to Stanford, graduated from there and won another national championship. This whole last year was really fun.”

Kathryn Plummer passes against Penn State in the NCAA regional/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

For the season, even with missing all those matches, “KP” still led Stanford with 444 kills, more than 100 more than her closest teammate. Plummer, the 6-foot-6 product of Aliso Viejo, California, averaged 5.22 kills per set, hit .330 for the season, had 24 service aces, averaged 1.92 digs and had 47 blocks, five in the national semifinals and three more in the national-championship match victory over Wisconsin this past Saturday night.

“I don’t know that I’ve seen a player since Ogonna Nnamani (who had 61 kills in two final-four matches for Stanford when it won the 2004 title), who has dominated a tournament the way that she did this year,” Stanford coach Kevin Hambly said.

“And she started out playing that way until her injury. She was hitting above .340 and was playing at a whole different level. It was a bummer that the injury sidetracked that, but she was playing at a different level than any player that I’d seen in a long, long time.”

In that semifinal win over Baylor, Plummer had 26 kills, hit .353, and had nine digs and an ace. In the title match, she had 22 more kills, hit .459 and had an ace 10 digs.

“My family and my boyfriend, they were like, ‘I’ve never seen you look so focused.’ And I told them that I just wanted to do all that I can to make sure that we win. And I had a lot of opportunities to score and I wanted to take full advantage of them.

“It worked out. Definitely.”

Plummer, because she missed those matches, was ineligible to make the Pac-12 all-conference team or be honored by the AVCA — and she was the AVCA player of the year the past two years. What’s more, the AVCA voting is completed before play begins at the NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship. Plummer has signed with an agent and expects to be playing professionally in Europe next month.

Baylor volleyball 12/10/2019-Ryan McGuyre
Baylor coach Ryan McGuyre visits with his team at practice before the NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

McGuyre took Baylor to new heights as the Bears tied perennial winner Texas for the Big 12 title and went into the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 seed. The fifth-year coach, who was also the AVCA coach of the year, guided Baylor to a 29-2 finish, losing only to Texas and Wisconsin, as the Bears appeared in the NCAA final four for the first time.

Choosing these All-American teams gets harder every year because both the talent and competition levels continue to rise in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball.

Like last year — when we did it for the first time — we’ve got a fourth team, and easily could have had a fifth.

NCAA volleyball 11/21/2019-Yossiana Pressley-Baylor volleyball
Baylor’s Yossiana Pressley, hitting against Texas this season, is a first-team All-American/Baylor Athletics
2019 VolleyballMag.com All-Americans
First Team
Kara Bajema, Sr., OH, Washington
Dani Drews, Jr., OH, Utah
Leah Edmond, Sr., OH, Kentucky
Jenna Gray, Sr., S, Stanford
Morgan Hentz, Sr., L, Stanford
Sydney Hilley, Jr., S, Wisconsin
Kaitlyn Hord, So., MB, Penn State
Khalia Lanier, Sr., OH, USC
Regan Pittman, Jr., MB, Minnesota
Kathryn Plummer, Sr., OH, Stanford
Yossiana Pressley, Jr., OH, Baylor
Dana Rettke, Jr., MB, Wisconsin
Shelly Stafford, Sr., MB, Baylor
Jordan Thompson, Sr., OH, Cincinnati
Second Team
Brionne Butler, So., MB, Texas
Logan Eggleston, So., OH, Texas
Thayer Hall, So., OH, Florida
Hollann Hans, Sr., OH, Texas A&M
Nicole Lennon, Jr., OH, Rice
Madison Lilley, Jr., S, Kentucky
Hannah Lockin, Jr., S, Baylor
Kayla Lund, Jr., OH, Pitt
Mac May, Jr., OH, UCLA
Lindsey Ruddins, Sr., OH, UC Santa Barbara
Stephanie Samedy, Jr., OPP, Minnesota
Lauren Stivrins, Jr., MB, Nebraska
Kendall White, Sr., L, Penn State
Micaya White, Sr., OH, Texas
Third Team
Efrosini Alexakou, So., OH, St. John’s
Allie Barber, Sr., OH, Marquette
Gabby Blossom, So., S, Penn State
Grace Cleveland, So., OH, Purdue
Kylie Deberg, Jr., OH, Missouri
Maia Dvoracek, Jr., OH, Cal Poly
Madeleine Gates, Grad., MB, Stanford
Molly Haggerty, Jr., OH, Wisconsin
Alexis Hart, Sr., OH, Minnesota
Mary Lake, Sr., L, BYU
McKenna Miller, Sr., OH, BYU
Katie Oleksak, Sr., S, Colorado State
Polina Shemanova, So., OH, Syracuse
Lexi Sun, Jr., OH, Nebraska
Fourth Team
Rachel Giustino, Sr., OH, Murray State
Hanna Hellvig, Fr., OH, Hawai’i
Norene Iosia, Sr., S, Hawai’i
Magda Jehlarova, Fr., MB, Washington State
Kenzie Koerber, Jr., OH, Utah
Madi Kubik, Fr., OH, Nebraska
Lauren Matthews, So., MB, WKU
McKenna Melville, So., OH, UCF
Anett Nemeth, So., OH, Coastal Carolina
Berkeley Oblad, Sr., MB, Utah
Jamie Peterson, So., OH, Dayton
Karlie Taylor, Sr., OH, Northern Iowa
Brittany Witt, Sr., L, Creighton
Marissa Wonders, Sr., S, Towson
Honorable Mention
Anota Adekunle, So., MB, Rice
Lexis Akeo, Fr., S, Pitt
Preslie Anderson, Jr., MB, Cal
Dana Axner, So., L, FGCU
Taylor Bannister, Jr., OPP, LSU
Lydia Bartalo, Jr., OH, Denver
Maria Bellinger, Sr., OH, Delaware
Whitney Bower, Fr., S, BYU
Mariana Brambilla, So., OH, Georgia Tech
Jenna Bridges, Sr., MB, Hartford
Paige Briggs, Fr., OH, WKU
Anna Brinkmann, So., OH, Northern Kentucky
Hannah Brister, Jr., OH, Northwestern State
Lexi Broadwater, Sr., S, Kennesaw State
Lauren Chastang, Jr., OH, Kennesaw State
Camille Conner, Jr., S, Texas A&M
Devyn Cross, Sr., MB, Arizona
Gabby Curry, Jr., L, Kentucky
Emily DeWalt, So., S, Texas State
Ashlynn Dunbar, Grad., OH, Oklahoma
Skylar Fields, Fr., OPP, Texas
Olivia Finckel, Sr., OPP, Towson
Audriana Fitzmorris, Sr., OPP, Stanford
Grace Frohling, Fr., OPP, San Diego
Hannah Frohling, Sr., OH, Pepperdine
Yumi Garcia, Sr., L, Charlotte
Vicky Giommarini, Sr., OH, VCU
Emma Granger, Jr., MB, Robert Morris
Serena Gray, So., MB, Penn State
Tessa Grubbs, Sr., OH, Tennessee
Nicklin Hames, So., S, Nebraska
Lily Heim, So., S, SMU
Danielle Hart, So., MB, Wisconsin
Megan Hart, Sr., MB, NM State
Mariena Hayden, Jr., OH, UNLV
Kirstie Hillyer, Sr., MB, Colorado State
Kelsi Hobbs, Sr., OPP, Samford
Ann Hollas, Sr., S/OPP, Stephen F. Austin
Rachel Holthaus, Sr., OPP, Murray State
Cheyenne Huskey, Sr., OH, Texas State
Chichi Ikwuazom, Sr., MB, Columbia
Megan Jacobsen, Sr., MB, San Diego
Kailey Jo Ince, So., OH, Northern Colorado
Aiko Jones, Fr., OPP, Louisville
Paige Jones, So., OH, Michigan
Elizabeth Juhnke, Fr., OH, South Dakota
Tia Jimerson, Jr., MB, Ohio
Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres, So., S, Utah
Keyton Kinley, Jr., L, Oklahoma
Martha Konovodoff, Jr., L, Marquette
Rachael Kramer, Sr., MB, Florida
Grace Loberg, Jr., OH, Wisconsin
Olivia Lohmeier, Jr., OH, Morehead State
Alli Lowe, Jr., OH, Colgate
Maria Mallon, So., OH, Cincinnati
Kaylee Martin, Jr., OH, Illinois State
Laura Masciullo, Sr., OH, Hofstra
Zoe McBride, So., MB, Morgan State
Meghan McClure, Jr., OH, Stanford
CC McGraw, So., L, Minnesota
Matti McKissock, So., S, Georgia Tech
Mima Mirkovic, Jr., OH, Cal
Blake Mohler, Sr., MB, Purdue
Katie Myers, So., MB, Maryland
Chinaza Ndee, Jr., OPP/MB, Pitt
Liisel Nelis, Sr., OH, Sacred Heart
Caitlyn Newton, Jr., OH, Purdue
Manuela Nicolini, Sr., S, Fairfield
Charley Niego, So., OH, Notre Dame
Maggie O’Connell, Sr., OPP, Princeton
Jonni Parker, So., OPP, Penn State
Ella May Powell, So., S, Washington
Jacqueline Quade, Sr., OH, Illinois
Breana Runnels, Jr., OH, Colorado State
Daisy Schultz, Jr., S, Northern Colorado
Mikayla Shields, Sr., OPP, South Carolina
Savvy Simo, Sr., OH, UCLA
Savannah Slattery, Sr., OH, LMU
Ronika Stone, Sr., MB, Oregon
Alli Stumler, So., OH, Kentucky
Kazna Tarawhiti, So., OH, Utah Valley
Valerie Valerian, Jr., OH, North Texas
Layne Van Buskirk, Sr., MB, Pitt
Cortney VanLiew, Jr., OH, FGCU
Olivia Wassner, Jr., S, American
Mackenzi Welsh, Sr., S, Michigan
Hope Werch, Jr., OH, Marquette
Jylen Whitten, Fr., OH, Jackson State
Kashauna Williams, So., OH, Long Beach State
Taylor Wolf, Jr., OH, Green Bay
Siani Yamaguchi, Sr., S, Winthrop
Jaela Zimmerman, So., OH, Creighton

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