In years past, VolleyballMag.com has published our annual final club rankings that takes a look at the top club teams from both the girls and boys circuits.
This year, we’ve completely blown that concept up and are debuting our first club All-American awards for both the girls and boys. You are about to dive into the girls club All-American awards and the boys will follow next week.
As is custom with our other indoor college and high school awards, we present not only the individual All-American awards, but club player of the year, club coach of the year and club team of the year.
The All-American awards were voted on solely by an elite list of coaches from the top club programs in the country who submitted their nominations and thoughts on the top players on the club circuit. Again, we’re only talking the club season here and not the high school season (we do our high school All-American awards in early winter) or our signature Fab 50 rankings (early spring), that takes the whole ball of wax into consideration when you are talking top recruits/prospects in the country from the senior class. Also, this list is a bit more, shall we say, exclusive, with seven All-American honors bestowed in each age division ranging from 15s to 18s.
For our big awards, the Michigan-based Legacy Volleyball Club is the home of this year’s 2019 VolleyballMag.com club player of the year in University of Michigan-bound outside hitter Jess Mruzik (article to be published 8/9).
Our girls club coach of the year may as well be termed the Bill Belichick of club volleyball. Texas-based TAV 17’s guru Ping Cao recently won his sixth open title as a coach in the last nine years. He’s one of the best around, and one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet (article to be published 8/11).
And team of the year honors go to Southern California-based Tstreet 16 Mike, which won a junior national 16 Open title in Indianapolis. Tstreet posted an impressive 66-3 mark this season (article to be published 8/10).
(College commits in parentheses)
Jess Mruzik, 5-11, OH, Legacy (Michigan)*
Molly Phillips, 6-4, MB, Texas Image (Texas)
Kennedi Orr, 6-0, S, Northern Lights (Nebraska)
Rylee Rader, 6-3, MB, KIVA (Ohio State)
Jessica Robinson, 6-3, MB, Legacy (Michigan)
Azhani Tealer, 5-10, RS, Texas Image (Kentucky)
Jenna Wenaas, 6-1, OH, TAV (Minnesota)
*2019 VolleyballMag.com girls club player of the year
18s Quick Analysis
Our 18s All-Americans list has a distinctive youth flavor to it. Mruzik, Orr (a sophomore this past season), Rader and Wenaas all were non-seniors last school year. Phillips, Robinson and Tealer were 2019 VolleyballMag.com Girls Fab 50 selections. Wenaas was part of the TAV 18 Black team that won the junior nationals 18 Open title, beating Phillips’ and Tealer’s TIV squad for the crown. Wenaas was named 18 Open MVP. Wenaas also is part of the 2019 U.S. women’s junior national team.
In addition to Mruzik, fellow Michigan-bound teammate Robinson helped Legacy to the 18 Open title at AAU nationals, running the table at 8-0 there.
This list also includes the senior-to-be Rader, KiVA 18 Red’s standout middle, who has committed to Ohio State.
“I don’t know if there is an award she has not won,” KiVA coach Alan Davis said.
Rader helped KiVA finish no less than fifth in a tournament this year (KiVA played in events such as Bluegrass, Triple Crown, JVA World Challenge and AAU nationals). She finished with 336 kills, while hitting .461. Davis, who called that hitting percentage “crazy,” noted Rader led the team by kills by nearly 100 and passed at a 2.15 clip on a 3.0 scale, seeing some serve-receive time for the first time this season.
Special mention in this group goes to Munciana DS-libero and Ohio State-bound Kylie Murr, who has appeared in every possible VolleyballMag.com youth awards presentation this year. Additional special mentions to Elevation’s Maggie King, Texas Image’s Audrey Nalls and TK’s Gabby Gonzales.
Anna DeBeer 5-11, OH, KiVA (Louisville)
Madie Endsley, 6-2, OH, Coast (Washington)
Emily Londot, 6-3, RS, Mintonette Sports m. 71 (Ohio State)
Kami Miner, 6-0, S, Long Beach (Uncommitted)
Iman Ndiaye, 6-1, RS, TAV (Penn State)
Reagan Rutherford, 6-0, S-RS, Houston Skyline (Kentucky)
Madison Williams, 6-2, OH, TAV (Texas)
17s Quick Analysis
Ndiaye and Williams were key cogs in TAV 17 Black, under the direction of 2019 VolleyballMag.com girls club coach of the year Ping Cao, winning the 17 Open title at junior nationals. “Biggest physical presence on the right side,” said one opposing coach about Ndiaye, the 17 Open MVP in Indianapolis. “We couldn’t hit around here and she terminated every time she hit the ball against us.”
Londot, out of the Ohio-based Mintonette club, also received a ton of praise for her play during the club season, and was designated 17s player of the year by our friends over at PrepVolleyball.com. Londot helped Mintonette win the AAU 17 Open national title with a perfect 11-0 mark.
The same coach that commented on Ndiaye had this to say about KiVa’s DeBeer. “Best outside attacker we played all year,” the coach stated. “Just like Emily (Mintonette’s Londot), everyone knew where the ball was going, but we couldn’t stop her on angle, line shots or back-row attacks.”
Here’s KiVA coach Anne Kordes on the six-rotation DeBeer’s exploits this season. “She is one of the most terminal outside hitters I have ever coached,” she said. “She had every shot and can score with ease. It was incredible to witness. At only 5-11, she doesn’t look as terminal as she is until she jumps and swings. She’s an all-around incredible player. She’s a special talent.”
Special mention at 17s to Houston Skyline’s Madisen Skinner (Kentucky), Legacy setter Alexa Rousseau (Northwestern commit), Mintonette’s Scotty Johnson (MVP at AAUs), Triangle’s Jade Demps, Milwaukee Sting’s Aubrey Hamilton (Notre Dame), Houston Juniors’ Ally Batenhorst (Nebraska) and Long Beach’s Nalani Isola (Texas).
Lauren Bays, 5-8, Libero, Tstreet (Washington)
Jada Allen, 6-0, MB-OH, Munciana (Uncommitted/unknown)
Brooklyn Borum, 6-0, OH, Sports Performance (Uncommitted/unknown)
Kalissa Greene, 6-0, S, A5 (Uncommitted/unknown)
Sami Francis, 6-5, MB, Coast (Uncommitted/unknown)
Charitie Luper, 5-9, OH, TAV (UCLA)
Lexi Rodriguez, 5-6, Libero, Sports Performance (Nebraska)
16s Quick Analysis
Borum was the MVP of the 17 Open division at AAUs, helping suburban Chicago-based Sports Performance win the national title. She had 677 kills this season, 77 blocks, 53 aces and passed at a 2.08 clip on a 3.0 scale. “Brooklyn always plays her best in the biggest matches,” coach Erik Vogt said. “She carried a large load for the team offensively all year.”
Joining Borum on the All-American list is teammate Rodriguez, who one nominating coach placed in a category of one of the best players in all divisions—period. She had 814 digs this season and passed at 2.45. “Lexi is one of the best passers I have ever seen at this age level,” Vogt noted. “Defensively, she shut down most hitters we faced.”
Bays was part of a Tstreet 16 Mike team out of Southern California that won the 16 Open junior nationals title and was named the 2019 VolleyballMag.com girls club team of the year. Bays earned tournament MVP honors in Indianapolis.
Allen was a key piece to the puzzle for the Munciana Ninjas, which finished tied for third at AAUs. “Jada was our soundboard on and off the court,” Ninjas coach Randy Gardner said. “She started the season in the middle of the court but transitioned to the outside as the season grew on because of injuries and her development of her ball control and OOS (out of system) game. She has a nasty slide that she scored at will with throughout the fourth day of nationals.”
A5’s Greene was put in elite company by coach Gabe Aramian. “Kalissa is categorically seen as one of the top setters in the country, has good size, great athleticism and an understanding of the game that is rarely matched,” he said.
Coast coach Rodrigo Suelotto gave high praise to Francis for her efforts in Indianapolis. “Sami had an outstanding junior nationals performance,” he said. “Besides guiding the team as a true captain, she led our hitting and blocking stats.” Francis hit .450 in the tournament and had 18 total blocks.
At 16s, additional shout outs to 6-5 A5 middle blocker Jacque Boney (Michigan commit), A5 South middle Ngozi Iloh, Milwaukee Sting outside hitter McKenna Wucherer, Tstreet’s Katelyn Smith (USC) and Rachel Fairbanks, Madfrog’s Lyric Stewart (Georgia) and Kalani Whillock, Coast’s Gala Trubint, Munciana’s Camryn Haworth, Sunshine Westside’s Elia Rubin and Nebraska Premier’s Lindsay Krause, along with Houston Skyline’s Brooke Frazier.
Bri Anderson, 5-9, OH, OT Melito (Undecided/unknown)
Alexis Dacosta, 5-10, OH, Houston Skyline (Baylor)
Adonia Faumuina, 6-1, S-RS, Long Beach (Undecided/unknown)
Jordan Middleton, 6-0, MB-OH, AZ Storm (Undecided/unknown)
Kathryn Randorf, 6-1, MB, AVC CLE (Undecided/unknown)
Maddie Waak, 5-11, S, Houston Skyline (LSU)
Lovie Wallace, 6-0, MB, Munciana Lorax (Undecided/unknown)
15s Quick Analysis
Dacosta and Waak were part of a Houston Skyline team that won the 15 Open title at junior nationals with a roster loaded with already-college-committed talent. Dacosta was named the MVP in Indianapolis at 15 Open along with three of her teammates.
The 15 Open all-tournament team also featured OT Melito’s Anderson, Long Beach’s Faumuina, AZ Storm’s Middleton and AVC’s Randorf.
Speaking of Middleton, she was far and away the player nominating coaches at this age level pointed to when listing the top players they saw on the circuit.
Wallace helped her Munciana Lorax team win the AAU 15 Open national crown and was named the tournament MVP in the process.
Special mentions at 15s go to Coast’s Rylee Schultz, Surfside 15-MB Legends’ Kelli Belardi, AVC’s Caroline Jurevicius, Sports Performance’s Ella Wrobel, Club V’s Kinley Swan and AZ Storm’s Anita Babic.