The start of Division I volleyball is just around the corner, and while the nets go up and players begin practice, fans should take a look at the stand-out women who can lead their teams to victory. An abundance of talented players hold vital roles on their teams. However, these are five ladies that are sure to assist in their teams’ rise to the top.
No. 6 Kadie Rolfzen | Nebraska HuskersThis senior outside hitter from Papillion, Neb. was named a first-team AVCA All-American last year, giving her a total of three All-American honors, after leading her team to its fourth national title in program history. She also remained part of the all-conference team for three straight season, and she led her team with averages of 3.3 kills per set and 2.82 digs per set. With 23 honors and awards listed on her Nebraska bio, Rolfzen is sure to impress Huskers’ volleyball fans in 2016.
No. 13 Molly Lohman | Minnesota GophersJunior middle blocker Lohman may not have as many titles and honors as other listed, but she should not be forgotten. This past June, she toured as a member of the U.S. Collegiate National Team Europe Tour, keeping her practiced throughout the summer for this upcoming fall. She led the Gophers in blocks, averaging 1.34 per set. Still, when looking at her numbers from her freshman year, she continues to improve and will be a name to know this year.
No. 3 Alex Holston | Florida GatorsIn 2014, Holston was named the SEC Player of the Year, and while her stats in 2015 didn’t win her the title for a second year, she did help lead the Gators to finish first in the team’s conference. And, similar to other players on this list, the senior right-side hitter kept her skills sharp while playing in the Pan Am Cup in the Dominican Republic, bringing home a bronze medal. So, as long as she continues to improve, Holston’s leadership will help the Gators rise up in the rankings.
No. 6 Brittany Abercrombie | Southern California TrojansThis junior opposite hitter was chosen as a sophomore to the Pac-12 All-Conference Team and was awarded AVCA Pacific South All-Region honorable mention. She remains a consistent offensive threat, posting 2.44 kills per set and a 0.292 hitting percentage in 2015. Coming off a year where the Trojans finished with a 33-3 record, Abercrombie, with her consistent look, should be able to help advance her team farther this year.
No. 11 Chiaka Ogbogu | Texas LonghornsThis senior middle blocker has collected her share of awards in past seasons, and this year should be no different. After being named a 2015 AVCA First-Team All-American, the NCAA Austin Regional Most Valuable Player, to the 2015 All- Big 12 First Team and to the 2015 All-Southwest Region Team, Ogbogu is sure to drive up the scoreboard in the Longhorn’s favor. She continues to dominate offensively, averaging 1.74 kills per set. However, while averaging 1.08 blocks per set, she also remains a strong defender, forcing fans to remember her name.
UPDATE: Texas Athletics released the follow statement on Aug. 19: Chiaka Ogbogu has some academic issues she is seeking to resolve and is not participating in any team activities at this time.