Eggleston, Busboom Kelly, Sis top VolleyballMag.com 2021 All-American teams
December 24, 2021
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