Women's volleyball: Names to know this upcoming season
After another exciting volleyball season last year, the upcoming season is just around the corner.
Stanford won its first national title since 2004 when the Cardinal defeated Texas 3-1 at the national championship in Columbus, Ohio.
With another season coming up, many teams will be missing key components to their rosters last year. However, many squads will look to their top performers from last year to make an impact this upcoming season.
Before the new season begins, here are some names to know ahead of the season:
Ali Bastianelli | Illinois | Middle Blocker | Junior
Bastianelli started in all 31 matches for Illinois and led the nation in blocks with 201 total blocks and blocks per set (1.79). She made the All-Big Ten team as well as earned AVCA All-America honorable mention. Now officially an upperclassman, look out for the 6'4" Michigan native making a name for herself in the Big Ten this season.
Katie Staiger | Baylor | Outside Hitter | Redshirt Senior
In her final season, look for Staiger to make the most of her time on the court. Last season she was named to the AVCA Second Team All-American after recoding one of the best single-season performances in program history. The Texas native tallied 698 kills on the season, a program record, as well as the second-most kills in Big 12 history. Her total kills ranked third in the nation, while she was fourth in kills per set with 5.45. She was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week six times last season.
Allie Monserez | Florida | Setter | Redshirt Junior
Monserez led the nation in assists per set (12.36) making her the second SEC player and first Gator in history to do so. Her play helped the Gators rank fifth in the nation in hitting percentage. The Florida native recorded 50-plus assists in eight matches. Her stat line for last season: 38 kills, 219 digs, 68 blocks, and 94.5 points for the season - pretty impressive.
Kathryn Plummer | Stanford | Outside Hitter/Setter | Sophomore
Plummer was honored as the AVCA Freshman of the Year as well as making the All-America First Team. It's going to be tough to beat her success from her first year on campus, which concluded in Stanford winning the national championship. She recorded a team-best 11 double-doubles on the season and tallied 431 kills in 2016, with an average of 3.34 per set. Prior to her time at Stanford, Plummer became the only volleyball player is history to win a world championship in both indoor and beach.
Simone Lee | Penn State | Outside Hitter | Senior
Lee played in all 34 matches for Penn State and led the team with 503 kills, while in addition recording 17 service aces, 194 digs and 63 total blocks. Her performance last season earned her AVCA First Team All-American honors. One of her most memorable moments was when the Wisconsin native posted 30 kills against top-ranked Nebraska during the regular season. Lee will be expected to have another successful season in Big Ten play.
Kelsie Payne | Kansas | Right Side Hitter | Senior
Payne produced another successful season helping the Jayhawks to a 15-1 Big 12 record and 27-3 overall. With the Payne, the Jayhawks also won the Big 12 championship, which marked the first in program history. An athletic hitter with the ability to be a strong offensive threat led to Payne putting up great numbers last season with 418 kills and 209 digs. She was also named to the AVCA First Team All-American.
Courtney Schwan | Washington | Outside Hitter | Senior
After winning the Pac-12 Player of the Year and making the AVCA All-America First Team, Schwan will have another year to impress out on the court. She helped the Huskies win the Pac-12 title and led the team in kills per set (3.71), hitting percentage (.302) and digs per set (2.73).
Samantha Seliger-Swenson | Minnesota | Setter | Junior
Seliger-Swenson was awarded the Big Ten Setter of the Year award and led the Golden Gophers with 16 double-doubles last season. Minnesota advanced to the semifinals for the second straight year last season, but fell to the eventual champion Stanford. With the Gophers graduating six seniors last year, the team will count on Seliger-Swenson to have another great season.
Haleigh Washington | Penn State | Middle Blocker | Senior
Washington was selected to the AVCA First Team All-American after she played in all 34 matches for the Nittany Lions. She led the team in blocks for the season with 140 and her .430 hitting percentage ranked third in the NCAA.