FloVolleyball Girls' High School All-Americans
Each team needed to have at least one libero, two setters, and three middle blockers. We didn't need a limit for outside hitters since the bulk of top honorees on the high school level tends to play that position.
Criteria included college commitment and club accomplishments, but much more weight was put on high school accomplishments and local honors, such as earning state or regional player of the year.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Paige Hammons, 6-foot-2, Outside Hitter, Senior(Sacred Heart Academy, Louisville, Kentucky)
One of several player of the year candidates who were members of the 2016 U.S. junior national team, Hammons also had the added accomplishment of leading her high school team to a state title. The outside hitter from Louisville, KY, was also MVP of the Nike Tournament of Champions held in Arizona, which her team won.
Hammons, who has signed with Florida, was named Miss Volleyball in Kentucky after tallying more than 600 kills and nearly 300 digs in her senior season. It's not as if Sacred Heart Academy played a cupcake schedule, either. In addition to the trip to Arizona, the Valkyries also played at the Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas and took on their usual local rivals such as Assumption and Mercy.
Florida only had one signee to get for its incoming freshman class and was able to land Hammons. She was widely considered one of the top 10 recruits in the country and was an all-tournament honoree at the Durango Fall Classic three times.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Bret Almazan-Cezar(Archbishop Mitty, San Jose, California)
Bret Almazan-Cezar has earned national coach of the year honors many times in his career, and after he led the Monarchs of Archbishop Mitty to the first-ever CIF Open Division state championship, we're adding one more to the list.
Prior to this season, Almazan-Cezar had led Mitty to four straight CIF divisional state titles. In all, Almazan-Cezar has more than 700 all-time wins in his 23-year coaching career with 12 state titles and 15 league championships.
Before coming to Mitty in 2000, Almazan-Cezar built a successful program at Lincoln High School in Stockton, CA. One of his players there was former U.S. women's national team libero Nicole Davis.
Preslie Anderson, 6-3, Middle Blocker, Senior(Hamilton, Chandler, Arizona)
This two-time all-state selection and Cal recruit led Arizona in kill efficiency, according to the Arizona Republic. She led her Hamilton team to a semifinal appearance in the 6A state tournament.
Jayme Cox, 5-3, Libero, Senior(St. Ursula, Toledo, Ohio)
Cox has experience with the U.S. junior national team as a libero and was regarded as the top player for one of the best teams in Ohio. The Michigan State commitment averaged 19.6 digs per match and was named all-state three times.
Candice Denny, 6-3, Middle Blocker, Senior(Archbishop Mitty, San Jose, California)
Arizona-bound Denny led her team to the CIF Open Division championship match and had 15 kills to defeat Santa Margarita for the title. The Bay Area News Group named her the South Bay/Peninsula Player of the Year.
Paige Hammons, 6-2, Outside Hitter, Senior(Sacred Heart Academy, Louisville, Kentucky)
The FloVolleyball National Player of the Year. See above for details.
Sydney Hilley, 6-0, Setter, Senior(Champlin Park, Minnesota)
We're listing Hilley as a setter, which is the position she'll play at Wisconsin and what she played on the U.S. junior national team. For Champlin Park this season, which was one of the top teams in the state, Hilley played outside hitter. She had 555 kills and was named the Minneapolis Star-Tribune Player of the Year for the second straight time.
Madison Lilley, 6-0, Setter, Senior(Blue Valley West, Overland Park, Kansas)
If it weren't for an upset loss that Blue Valley West suffered in the Class 6A state tourney to Olathe Northwest, snapping a 39-game win streak and preventing an unbeaten state championship season, Lilley might have been our national player of the year. Her team also would have finished in the top 10 in final national rankings. Even with the loss, the future Kentucky Wildcat had a sensational prep career and won a state title with her team last season.
Mackenzie May, 6-3, Outside Hitter, Senior(Wahlert, Dubuque, Iowa)
The talent pool in Iowa was deep this year, and May is a prime example of that. She earned the state player of the year honor after leading Wahlert to the D4 state title. A member of the U.S. junior national team, May will play next fall at UCLA.
Kylie McLaughlin, 5-10, Setter, Senior(Hebron, Lewisville, Texas)
McLaughlin helped Hebron knock off national No. 1 and previously unbeaten Oak Ridge in the Class 6A state semifinals and then shined when the Hawks won their second straight state title, ending the season ranked No. 7 in the ASICS Flo50 Girls' High School Volleyball Rankings. McLaughlin was named the Dallas Morning News Player of the Year.
Charley Niego, 6-0, Outside Hitter, Junior(Mother McAuley, Chicago, Illinois)
Niegro, a Notre Dame commit, led the consensus No. 1 high school team in the country in kills and digs during the 2016 season. Her mother, Therese Boyle-Niego, led Mother McAuley to back-to-back state titles in 1979 and 1980, and Niegro will have the chance to do the same next season.
Dana Rettke, 6-8, Middle Blocker, Senior(Riverside-Brookfield, Riverside, Illinois)
One of the top 10 recruits in the nation, Rettke graduated early and is already enrolled at Wisconsin, where she will begin her collegiate career in the fall. In her final high school season, Rettke averaged 5.8 kills per set.
Stephanie Samedy, 6-2, Opposite, Senior(East Ridge, Clermont, Florida)
Samedy beat out the players of the year in each class of Florida volleyball to earn the state's Miss Volleyball title. She averaged more than six kills per set and will play next at Minnesota.
Lexi Sun, 6-3, Outside Hitter, Senior(Santa Fe Christian, Solana Beach, California)
A finalist for the FloVolleyball National Player of the Year title, Sun went on a tear in the California sectional and state playoffs, leading Santa Fe Christian to its first-ever CIF San Diego Section Open Division title and then to the CIF Southern California Open Division semifinals, where the team lost to Santa Margarita. Sun, a Texas commit, has been favorably compared to former USA volleyball standout Logan Tom.
Carly Graham, 5-10, Setter, Junior(Oak Ridge, Conroe, Texas)
Perhaps the main reason why Oak Ridge was unbeaten and in position to finish No. 1 in the nation heading into the Class 6A state semifinals was the play of Graham at setter. A Rice commit, Graham has nearly 3,000 assists in her prep career with one season to go and was recently named the Houston Chronicle's Player of the Year.
Thayer Hall, 6-3, Outside Hitter, Junior(Dorman, Roebuck, S.C.)
All the boxes were checked for the Florida-bound Hall to make this All-America list. First, she was on a Flo50, nationally ranked team that went 46-2 and won a state title. Second, she has U.S. junior national team experience. And third, she's has been the player of the year in her state not once but twice.
Alexis Hamilton, 5-8, Libero, Senior(Assumption, Louisville, Kentucky)
Hamilton was runner-up to Paige Hammons of Sacred Heart Academy to be the Kentucky Volleyball Coaches Association Player of the Year. The Louisville-bound libero led her Assumption squad to a No. 14 ranking in the final Flo50 list.
Meghan McClure, 6-1, Outside Hitter, Senior(Santa Margarita, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)
McClure, the Orange County Register Player of the Year and generally regarded as the top honors candidate from the CIF Southern Section, had 483 kills, 233 digs, 61 blocks, and 24 aces for a team that was in the top five of the nation for most of the season and ended No. 4 in the Flo50. She will play next at Stanford.
Leketor Member-Meneh, 5-9, Outside Hitter, Senior(Lutheran South, St. Louis, Missouri)
Member-Meneh, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Metro Player of the Year, is a great all-around athlete, as evidenced by her 24 points per game scoring average from last season in basketball. Member-Meneh has signed with the University of Missouri.
Erin O'Leary, 5-10, Setter, Junior(Novi, Michigan)
The leading player from a team that went 52-1 on its way to winning a second straight Class A state title and ranking No. 12 in the final Flo50 national rankings, O'Leary could be a national player of the year next season if the Wildcats were to win a third title in a row. She has committed to Michigan.
Makena Patterson, 6-4, Middle Blocker, Senior(Xavier Prep, Phoenix, Arizona)
Patterson, the second All-American middle blocker from the Grand Canyon State, has already earned at least one other All-American honor and was all-tourney at the prestigious Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas. She will play next at Texas A&M.
Nia Robinson, 6-2, Outside Hitter, Senior(Cathedral, Indianapolis, Indiana)
Although head-to-head results prevented Cathedral from being ranked very high this season nationally, Robinson still led the Irish to another Class 4A state title to go with the one they won last year. The Northwestern recruit had almost 600 kills in her senior season.
Lauren Sanders, 6-5, Middle Blocker, Senior(Glacier Peak, Snohomish, Washington)
It was another solid season for Sanders as a true middle blocker as she collected numerous post-season honors. A player with U.S. junior national team experience, Sanders is headed to Washington in the fall.
Shannon Scully, 6-2, Outside Hitter, Senior(Mater Dei, Santa Ana, California)
Scully, the captain and team leader for the Monarchs, had more than 450 kills and was second on the squad in aces and digs. The Utah recruit was named to the All-Orange County and All-CIF Southern Section teams. Early in the season, after Mater Dei won the Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas, the Monarchs ranked No. 1 in the Flo50.
Ashley Shook, 6-2, Setter, Senior(Plainfield Central, Plainfield, Illinois)
This University of Texas recruit is best known for the two 18-Open National titles that she quarterbacked for her Sports Performance Volleyball Club team, but she was also fantastic for her high school team, earning all-state honors and the Herald News Player of the Year award. She had 2,236 assists with nearly 600 kills in her prep career.
Mariah Whalen, 6-1, Middle Blocker, Senior(Newman, Wausau, Wisconsin)
She may be from a small school, but Whalen is a big-time talent. She's been on the all-state team in Wisconsin for four consecutive years and has led Newman to four state titles in a row. Whalen, who had more than 2,700 kills in her prep career, graduated early and is already enrolled at Wisconsin, where she will play her first college season in the fall.
Brook Bauer (St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Florida) 6-1, Outside Hitter, Senior
Brynn Chandler (Torrey Pines, San Diego, California) 5-11, Setter, Senior
Devon Chang (Santa Margarita, Rancho Santa Margarita, California) 5-11, Setter, Junior
Katie Formico (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose, California) 5-9, Libero, Senior
Brooke Heyne (Skutt Catholic, Omaha, Nebraska) 5-11, Outside Hitter, Senior
Marlie Monserez (Bishop Moore, Orlando, Florida) 5-11, Outside Hitter, Junior
Jenny Mosser (Lakeville South, Lakeville, Minnesota) 5-11, Outside Hitter, Senior
Meredith Norris (Corunna, Michigan) 6-3, Outside Hitter, Senior
Tyanna Omazic (Northwest, Olathe, Kansas) 6-3, Middle Blocker, Senior
Sabrina Smith (Campolindo, Moraga, California) 6-4, Middle Blocker, Senior
Shannon Williams (Brecksville-Broadview Heights, Broadview Heights, Ohio) 5-8, Setter, Junior
Lauren Witte (Lake Catholic, Mentor, Ohio) 6-1, Middle Blocker, Senior
Dani Barton (Brighton, Salt Lake City, Utah) 6-0, OH, Sr.
Gabby Blossom (St. Joseph Academy, St. Louis, Missouri) 5-9, S, Jr.
Brooke Botkin (Pearland, Texas) 6-2, OH, Sr.
Raigen Cianciulli (Oak Ridge, Conroe, Texas) 5-5, L, Sr.
Shannon Crenshaw (Bishop Moore, Orlando, Florida) 6-3, OH, Jr.
Kathryn Decker (Jesuit, Portland, Oregon) 6-4, MB, Sr.
Camille DeDeaux (Pope John Paul, Slidell, La.) 5-10, RS, Jr.
Allye Beth Deaton (Midway, Waco, Texas) 6-0, OH, Sr.
Bryanna Deluzio (First Academy, Orlando, Florida) 5-9, S/OT, Sr.
Nadia Dieudonne (Sacred Heart Academy, Louisville, Kentucky) 5-8, S, Sr.
Tori Dilfer (Valley Christian, San Jose, California) 5-9, S, Sr.
Megan Faraimo (Cathedral Catholic, San Diego, California) 5-9, S, Jr.
Kendall Glover (Desert Vista, Phoenix, Arizona) 5-5, L, Sr.
Chapin Gray (Mountain Pointe, Phoenix, Arizona) 6-1, OH, Sr.
Nicklin Hames (Webb, Knoxville, Tennessee) 5-10, OH/S, Jr.
Dalaney Hans (Walton, Marietta, Georgia) 5-11, S, Jr.
Ellie Holzman (Mt. Carmel, New Orleans, Louisiana) 6-2, MB, Soph.
Christine Jarman (Boca Raton, Florida) 6-0, OH, Sr.
Garrett Joiner (Brentwood, Tennessee) 6-2, OH, Jr.
Saige Kaahaaina-Torres (Iolani, Honolulu, Hawaii) 5-11, OH, Jr.
Nancy Kane (Mother McAuley, Chicago, Illinois) 5-11, S, Soph.
Grace Loberg (Geneva, Illinois) 6-2, OH, Sr.
Hannah Lockin (Valley, West Des Moines, Iowa) 6-1, OH/S, Sr.
Brooke Moore (Assumption, Louisville, Kentucky) 5-11, OH, Sr.
Brooke Nuneviller (Corona del Sol, Tempe, Arizona) 5-11, OH, Jr.
Brie Orr (Eagan, Minnesota) 5-10, S, Sr.
Jena Otec (St. Pius X, Festus, Missouir) 5-10, OH, Sr.
Hannah Phair (Edison, Huntington Beach, California) 5-11, OH, Sr.
Ella May Powell (Fayetteville, Arkansas) 6-0, S, Jr.
Elizabeth Reich (Lewis-Palmer, Monument, Colorado) 6-1, MB, Sr.
Taylor Rowland (Cox Mill, Concord, North Carolina) 6-2, OH, Jr.
Cami Sanchez (Huntington Beach, California) 5-9, OH, Sr.
Sammy Slater (Ventura, California) 5-10, OH, Sr.
Katie Smoot (Notre Dame, Belmont, California) 6-1, OH, Sr.
Emma Solano (Amarillo, Texas) 5-8, OH/L, Sr.
Haley Warner (Fayetteville, Arkansas) 6-2, OH, Jr.
MUST SEE FloFilms of 2016
The Program: Penn State
Watch Episode One here.
All In: USA Women's National Volleyball Team
Watch Episode One here.