What a season, what a finish, what a remarkably talented group of NCAA Division I volleyball players, and what a list we have compiled.
Choosing this season’s 2021 VolleyballMag.com All-American teams was no small challenge, nor was it easy to decide on our national player, coach, and freshman of the year.
Our four All-American teams and honorable mentions follow.
Our national player of the year is Texas junior Logan Eggleston. Eggleston led the Longhorns to a 27-2 finish and was pretty spectacular along the way. The 6-foot-2 outside hitter led talent-laded Texas with 387 kills (3.91/set) while hitting .308. She also had 44 aces, was second on the team with 2.72 digs/set, and had 64 blocks, nine solo. She was the Big 12 player of the year for the second straight year.
Eggleston was hardly a runaway. The other two finalists — Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke, the AVCA national player of the year, and Minnesota’s Stephanie Samedy — were right there. They both had tremendous seasons and were worthy of the top honor. Our voters also gave nods to Wisconsin’s Lauren Barnes, Louisville’s Tori Dilfer and Anna Stevenson, UCLA’s Mac May, and Utah’s Dani Drews.
Our national coach of the year is Dani Busboom Kelly of Louisville. Busboom Kelly, in her fifth year, led the Cardinals to a 32-0 start, and Louisville had the greatest season in program history, advancing to the national semifinals for the first time. Mississippi State’s Julie Darty Dennis, who took her program to the greatest season that school ever had, and Nebraska’s John Cook were our other finalists. But our voters also gave nods to Wisconsin’s Kelly Sheffield, Pittsburgh’s Dan Fisher, and Georgia Tech’s Michelle Collier.
The VBM national freshman of the year is Creighton outside hitter Norah Sis. The 6-foot-2 product of volleyball-rich Papillion-La Vista High School didn’t go far from her Nebraska home for college. Papillion is about 13 miles from Omaha. Sis led Creighton (which finished 31-4) with 435 kills (3.75/set), hit .261, was third on the team with 343 digs (2.96/set), and had 70 blocks, seven solo. The other finalists were Stanford setter Kami Miner and Nebraska libero Lexi Rodriguez. Our panel also gave votes to Nebraska’s Alley Batenhorst, Wisconsin’s Julia Orzol and Anna Smrek, Creighton’s Kendra Wait, Kentucky’s Emma Grome, and Caroline Bien of Kansas.
Worth noting about our All-American teams is that we are not beholden to who was or was not nominated, nor who was or was not eligible under AVCA guidelines, so there are players on our list who did not make the AVCA All-American list. We also ensured that we had a libero and setter on each of our four teams.
We are the only entity that we know of that has gone to four All-American teams. In our sport, we could easily have five or more teams, especially after a season that was the most talent-rich, experienced and best in NCAA volleyball history.
2021 VolleyballMag.com All-Americans
Lauren Barnes, Gr., L, Wisconsin
Julia Bergmann, Jr., OH, Georgia Tech
Mariana Brambilla, Sr., RS, Georgia Tech
Anna DeBeer, Soph., OH, Louisville
Tori Dilfer, Gr., S, Louisville
Samantha Drechsel, Sr., OH, Washington
Dani Drews, Gr., OH, Utah
Logan Eggleston, Jr., OH, Texas
Sydney Hilley, Gr., S, Wisconsin
Mac May, Gr., OH, UCLA
Yossiana Pressley, Sr., OH, Baylor
Dana Rettke, Gr., MB, Wisconsin
Stephanie Samedy, Sr., RS, Minnesota
Anna Stevenson, Gr., MB, Louisville
Caitie Baird, Soph., OH, Stanford
Brionne Butler, Sr., MB, Texas
Grace Cleveland, Sr., RS, Purdue
Carly Graham, Sr., S, Rice
Kendall Kipp, Jr., RS, Stanford
Madi Kubik, Jr., OH, Nebraska
Kayla Lund, Gr., OH, Pittsburgh
Lauren Matthews, Sr., MB, Western Kentucky
McKenna Melville, Sr., OH, UCF
Leketor Member-Meneh, Sr., OH, Pittsburgh
Caitlyn Newton, Gr., OH, Purdue
Brooke Nuneviller, Jr., OH, Oregon
Lexi Rodriguez, Fr., L, Nebraska
Lauren Stivrins, Gr., MB, Nebraska
Brooke Botkin, Gr., OH, USC
Whitney Bower, Jr., S, BYU
Zoe Fleck, Sr., L, UCLA
Emma Grome, Fr., S, Kentucky
Claire Hoffman, Jr., OH, Washington
Kenzie Koerber, Gr., RS, BYU
Nicole Lennon, Sr., OH, Rice
Marlie Monserez, Sr., S, Florida
Jonni Parker, Sr., RS, Penn State
Rylee Rader, Soph., MB, Ohio State
Norah Sis, Fr., OH, Creighton
Alli Stumler, Sr., OH, Kentucky
Azhani Tealer, Jr,, MB, Kentucky
Taylor Wolf, Sr., RS/S, Marquette
Kayla Caffey, Gr., MB, Nebraska
Emma Clothier, Jr., MB, Florida State
Skylar Fields, Jr., OH, Texas
Marin Grote, Jr., MB, Washington
Kaitlyn Hord, Sr., MB, Penn State
Magda Jehlarova, Jr., MB, Washington State
CC McGraw, Gr., L, Minnesota
Kami Miner, Fr., S, Stanford
Chinaza Ndee, Gr., RS, Pittsburgh
Asjia O’Neal, Jr., MB, Texas
Jamie Peterson, Sr., OH, Dayton
Mac Podraza, Jr., S, Ohio State
Ella May Powell, Jr., S, Washington
Avery Skinner, Gr., OH, Baylor
Rachel Ahrens, Sr., OH, Pepperdine
Taylor Alt, Soph., OH, Toledo
Caroline Bien, Fr., OH, Kansas
Karson Bacon, Soph., MB, Oregon
Gabby Blossom, Sr., S, Penn State
Abby Bottomley, Sr., L, Creighton
Hayley Bush, Sr., S, Purdue
T’Ara Caesar, Sr., OH, Florida
Miajavon Coleman, Sr., OH, Coppin State
Megan Cooney, Gr., RS, Illinois
Leanna Deegan, Sr., OH, Lafayette
Emily DeWalt, Sr., S, Texas State
Kennedy Eschenberg, Gr., MB, BYU
Yanlis Feliz, Soph., OH, Chicago State
Lauren Forte, Sr., MB, Florida
Grace Frohling, Jr., RS, San Diego
Kate Georgiades, Soph., L, Houston
Heather Gneiting, Jr., MB, BYU
Serena Gray, Sr., MB, Pittsburgh
Petra Indrova, Jr., RS, Bowling Green
Thayer Hall, Sr., OH, Florida
Nicklin Hames, Sr., S, Nebraska
Mariena Hayden, Gr., OH, UNLV
Amber Igiede, Soph., MB, Hawai’i
Iman Isanovic, Jr., OH, Arizona State
Cierra Jenkins, Soph., S, Brown
KJ Johnson, Jr., OH, Fairfield
Janice Leao, Jr., MB, Miami
Sadie Limback, Sr., OH, Omaha
Emily Londot, Soph., RS, Ohio State
Danielle Mahaffey, Sr., MB, Tennessee
Laney Malloy, Sr., OH, Southeast Missouri
Marina Markova, Jr., OH, Syracuse
Dylan Maberry, Soph., OH, High Point
Matti McKissock, Sr., S, Georgia Tech
Ari Miller, Jr., MB, Milwaukee
Georgia Murphy, Soph., L, Oregon
Jess Mruzik, Soph., OH, Michigan
Kylie Murr, Jr., L, Ohio State
Dani Nay, Soph., OH, Weber State
Jena Otec, Gr., L, Purdue
Tamara Otene, Soph., OH, Illinois State
Faith Panhans, Jr., S, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Marija Popovic, Sr., DS, Iowa State
Hannah Pukis, Jr., S, Washington State
Rachelle Rastelli, Sr., RS, St. John’s
Savannah Rennie, Gr., MB, Marquette
Morgan Romano, Jr., RS, Rider
Breanna Runnels, Gr., OH, Tennessee
Hannah Sedwick Sr., S, Baylor
Erin Shomaker, Jr., OH, FGCU
Madi Skinner, Soph., OH, Kentucky
Danielle Tedesco, Gr., MB, UAlbany
Temi Thomas-Ailara, Jr., OH, Northwestern
Amaya Tillman, Jr., MB, Louisville
Pia Timmer, Jr., OH, Washington State
Madi Tyus, Sr., OH, St. Francis
Savannah Vach, Soph., S, Miami
Brooke Van Sickle, Sr., OH, Hawai’i
Miëtte Veldman, Soph., OH, James Madison
Gabby Waden, Sr., RS, Mississippi State
Kendra Wait, Fr., S, Creighton
Dominique Washington, Gr., OH, Florida A&M
Kayla White, Gr., OH, UNC Greensboro
Jaela Zimmerman, Sr., OH, Creighton
I generally like to read and watch your contributions-even with the constant and clear anti-Nebraska bias. But your 2021 AA teams have crossed the line.
I could write 2500 words but I will just single out the most misbegotten award and waste no other time.
Your naming of Creighton’s Nora Sis as FoY is ludicrous.
In short, she played in a second tier conference against second tier players and at the end when she was forced to lead her team against Kansas because Zimmerman was out, she hit less than .200. Put this record against Lexi Rodriquez and it is clear why Rodriquez was a first team AVCA AA. In every possible metric Rodriquez had a support freshman year. Rodriquez’s play altered the entire 2021 season. Without Rodriquez, Nebraska certainly does not make it to a final four or championship game. Also when Nebraska played Creighton, Sis hit in negative numbers.
But Lee, your and Selima’s inbred dislike for Cook and Nebraska led you to discredit this once quality site with this bizarre pick. I met Ed a couple times and he was a very good man, he would be embarrassed by this. Sorry, but I won’t bother to visit this site again.
Thanks for the comment and we will miss you.
Despite our “inbred dislike for Cook and Nebraska,” it’s worth noting that not only was Nebraska’s John Cook our national coach of the year in 2018 (the AVCA coach of the year was BYU’s Heather Olmstead), he was one of our three finalists this year.
Also this year we had Nebraska’s Lauren Stivrins on our second VolleyballMag.com All-American team. She was not eligible for the AVCA All-American team but we made sure she was on ours. What’s more, Madi Kubik and Lexi Rodriguez were also on our second team, Kayla Caffey was on the fourth team, and Nicklin Hames got honorable mention.
Lexi Rodriguez is a fine player who had a fabulous freshman year for a team that was well represented on the VolleyballMag.com All-American teams. But we have no second thoughts about naming Creighton’s Norah Sis as the VBM national freshman of the year.