Every December on the Friday night between the NCAA semifinals on Thursday and Saturday’s championship match, the AVCA Under Armour All-America Match brings together 24 of the top-performing high school senior volleyball players from across the country.
This year, inside the Target Center in Minneapolis, the future of the nation’s top college programs put their talent on display for a crowd of more than 2,000, but one star outshone even her extremely skilled teammates and opponents.
Stanford signee Kendall Kipp championed Team West’s straight-set victory over Team East (25-17, 26-24, 25-17), extending Team West’s lead in the series (since 2011, when the AVCA began splitting the teams according to geography) to 6-2.
Kipp led all players with 14 of Team West’s 38 kills and had just one error, hitting .394, a particularly impressive number when you consider that before arriving in Minneapolis on the Wednesday before the match, she had never hit off of setters Izzy Ashburn (Wisconsin), Emily Fitzner (Indiana) or Madi Whitmire (UConn).
Team East had no answer for Kipp — a stone-cold serve receiver, intimidating blocker (three blocks in the All-America match), and solid server (two aces in the match) — and Team West went to her over and over again.
Nebraska commit Madi Kubik and Northwestern signee Temitayo Thomas-Ailara led Team East with seven kills each, and Kubik, who also added 10 digs and a block, was named team MVP. Southern California-bound middle Madison Horin led Team East with three blocks and an equal number of aces, but Nebraska signee Riley Zuhn, the tallest player on the court at 6-6, tallied five block assists and solo block to lead the match.
Baylor-bound middle Kara McGhee earned the Gatorade Heart and Hustle Award.
TEAM EAST Name, High School, Hometown, Position, Height, College
Caitie Baird, Perry Meridian, Indianapolis, Indiana, OH, 6-4, Stanford
Emma Ellis, Charlotte Catholic, Charlotte, North Carolina, OH, 6-2, Purdue
Gabby Gonzales, Walton, Marietta, Georgia, OH, 6-4, Ohio State
Courtney Gorum, Grassfield, Chesapeake, Virginia, MB, 6-3, Wisconsin
Madison Horin, Munster, Munster, Indiana, MB, 6-3, Southern California
Riley James, Barnstable, Hyannis, Massachusetts, 5-10, Bryant
Makenzie Knuckles, Yorktown, Yorktown, Indiana, DS, 5-7, Nebraska
Madi Kubik, Valley, West Des Moines, Iowa, OH, 6-2, Nebraska
Anna MacDonald, Blessed Trinity, Roswell, Georgia, L, 5-8, Wisconsin
Camille Nazor, Assumption, Louisville, Kentucky, S, 6-1, Duke
Temitayo Thomas-Ailara, Marian Catholic, Chicago Heights, Illinois, OH, 6-2, Northwestern
Savannah Vach, Oviedo, Oviedo, Florida, S, 5-10, Miami
Head Coach: Zoe Bell, Ardrey Kell, Charlotte, North Carolina
TEAM WEST Name, High School, Hometown, Position, Height, College
Izzy Ashburn, Champlin Park, Champlin, Minnesota, S, 5-11, Wisconsin
Natalie Berty, Mater Dei, Santa Ana, California, OH, 6-3, Stanford
Lauren Clark, Champlin Park, Champlin, Minnesota, 6-0, Penn State
Emily Fitzner, Torrey Pines, San Diego, California, 6-1, Indiana
Kamaile Hiapo, Skyline, Mesa, Arizona, DS, 5-7, Arizona
Kendall Kipp, Corona Del Mar, Newport Beach, California, OH, 6-4, Stanford
Kara McGhee, Clark, San Antonio, Texas, MB, 6-4, Baylor
Caroline Meuth, Churchill, San Antonio, Texas, OH, 6-0, Notre Dame
Georgia Murphy, The Woodlands, The Woodlands, Texas, L, 5-4, Oregon
Shea Rubright, West Valley, Yakima, Washington, MB, 6-4, Minnesota
Madison Whitmire, Prosper, Prosper, Texas, S, 5-10, UConn
Riley Zuhn, Fossil Ridge, Fort Collins, Colorado, MB, 6-6, Nebraska
Head Coach: Heath Kufahl, Christian Heritage Academy, Del City, Oklahoma