Earlier this week, we started introducing you to the outside hitters on this year’s AVCA Under Armour All-America First Team. What follows are the profiles of the remaining five athletes, who are secondary only alphabetically.
Riley James | 5-10 | Barnstable, Massachusetts | Barnstable | Bryant
Bryant University is having a great year. The Bulldogs made the NCAA Division I women’s volleyball tournament for the first time since moving up from Division II in 2012, and outside hitter Riley James is the program’s first Under Armour First Team All-America.
James won a state championship with her Barnstable High School team as a freshman and sophomore and was named Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year at the end of her sophomore season. Although Barnstable girls volleyball boasts an incredible track record with 18 state championships, earlier this year James became the first player in program history to surpass 1,500 career kills.
In James’ senior season, the Red Raiders didn’t lose a set until the state championship match, where they lost to Newton North in four. James collected a team-high 435 kills on the season, hitting a blistering .456.
Kendall Kipp | 6-4 | Newport Beach, California | Corona Del Mar | Stanford
One of three Stanford-bound outside hitters to be named First Team All-America, Kipp hails from Newport Beach, California. The versatile hitter played middle on the U.S. Girls Youth National Team in 2016 and 2017, and has played outside, middle, and opposite for her high school team.
This fall, Kipp, a captain since her sophomore year, led Corona Del Mar to the Division I CIF state tournament, recording a team-high 505 kills.
Madi Kubik | 6-2 | West Des Moines, Iowa | Valley | Nebraska
PrepVolleyball ranked Madi Kubik as the No. 4 player in the Class of 2019. A a member of the U.S. Girls Junior National Team, Kubik helped the USA win gold at the 2018 NORCECA Women’s U20 Continental Championship, recording nine kills and two blocks in the championship match against Dominican Republic.
The 2017 Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year led her high school team to a 41-4 record and a state championship this fall, averaging 5.16 kills per set at a .382 clip.
“Madi is undoubtedly one of the best players in the country,” Nebraska head coach John Cook said of his future player. “Her experience with Team USA will be a very valuable addition to our program. With an outside graduating after this season, Madi will have a chance to compete for a starting spot right away. She is a complete volleyball player and can play all six rotations. She is an exceptional passer as well as a force at the net.”
Caroline Meuth | 6-0| San Antonio, Texas | Churchill | Notre Dame
On October 5, Caroline Meuth set a new school record for kills in a match, tallying 35 versus powerhouse Reagan High School. But with an average of 5.3 kills per set in her senior season, that total wasn’t too far out of the ordinary. By the end of the season, Meuth had collected 652 total kills, and she led her team to the second round of the Texas 6A state tournament.
"Caroline is a special girl in many ways,” Notre Dame head coach Mike Johnson said in a signing day press release. “She is a powerful athlete who can hit the ball as hard as anyone in the country. She has shown the courage and the willingness to take a big swing, and that combined with her physical gifts will allow her to score points at the very highest level.”
Temitayo Thomas-Ailara | 6-2 | Chicago Heights, Illinois | Marian Catholic | Northwestern
Not only does Temitayo Thomas-Ailara jump high and have a full arsenal of shots, but she’s solid on defense and deadly from behind the service line. Don’t believe us? Check the stats. In her senior season, Thomas-Ailara racked up 384 kills (hitting .356), 62 aces, 182 digs, and 434 service receptions.
Thomas-Ailara has been known to take over matches and she led her team to a 27-7-1 record this fall, as well as an appearance in the Illinois Class 4A state tournament. Her sophomore season, Marian Catholic won the 3A state championship and she was named MVP. Last year, Thomas-Ailara earned another MVP honor after leading Michio Chicago 17 National to the 17 National title at USAV Nationals.
"Temi is a tenacious competitor with an athletic ability to match,” Northwestern head coach Shane Davis said. “We're excited to keep this homegrown talent close to home."