Stanford volleyball has one of the most successful histories of all-time. They have won nine national championships and have appeared in 17 national championship matches. They have also appeared in every NCAA tournament since the tournament was founded in 1981. Not bad right?
So you'd think the most successful volleyball program ever would have some pretty amazing players, right? Well, you thought right. There were many, and a lot of them were AVCA National Players of the Year, AKA the best player in the country.
This all-time list was put together by focusing on AVCA All-America selection, AVCA National Players of the Year, all-time record-holders at Stanford, national championships, and Olympic or professional experience.
Here is the all-time starting lineup for Stanford volleyball:
Ogonna Nnamani | Outside hitter, 2001-2004
Nnamani won two national championships, and led the 2004 championship team as the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, and tallied 29 kills in that championship match. That year, the Cardinal were the 11th seed in the NCAA tournament, and Nnamani set an NCAA tournament record for kills leading to an unexpected NCAA championship. Nnamani still remains as the all-time career kills leader at Stanford, with 2,450 kills. Her senior year, she was named AVCA co-National Player of the Year. Nnamani had an extremely decorated Stanford career, but then also went on to play for the U.S. National team in 2002 and also played in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. This one was a no-brainer for the all-time lineup.
Logan Tom | Outside hitter, 1999-2002
Tom had an extremely successful college volleyball career. She wasn't AVCA National Player of the Year once, but twice in her junior and senior seasons. She became the third player in NCAA history to be named a first team All-American for four consecutive years. She leads Stanford all-time in career kills per set with 5.02 and was inducted into the Stanford hall of fame. She’s also second at Stanford in all-time service aces. At 19, Tom became the youngest woman ever to be selected for an American Olympic volleyball team when she competed at the 2000 Games in Sydney. This is all before she graduated. She then went on to play in the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympic Games and was named the "Best Scorer" in 2008.
Kathryn Plummer | Outside hitter, 2016-2019
Plummer is another two-time AVCA National Player of the Year, but from more recent Cardinal teams. She won three national championships, capping her career with back-to-back titles. In her final season, she averaged 5.22 kills per set, finishing with a career average of 4.48 kills per set. That will take a spot on the all-time Stanford kills per set list.
Foluke Akinradewo | Middle blocker, 2005-2008
Akinradewo was also AVCA National Player of the Year in 2007. She is the all-time hitting percentage leader at Stanford, at 44.6 percent. She broke the Pac-10 and Stanford single-season hitting percentage record by more than 50 points. By the time she finished her collegiate career, she had the best career hitting efficiency of any NCAA DI player. Now that kind of efficiency and accuracy is a major asset on this all-time lineup.
Kim Oden | Middle blocker, 1982-1985
The next middle blocker on the all-time lineup is the all-time Stanford career blocks leader. Oden played in a different era, but her total blocks record has still yet to be beaten. She finished her collegiate career with 665 total blocks. She is also eighth on the Stanford all-time career kills record list with 1,751 and was a two-time AVCA National Player of the Year. Oden had a decorated Olympic and professional career as well. She went on to play for U.S. National Team and was named the Olympic team captain in 1988 and 1992. In the 1988 Olympics, she was voted "Best Hitter," with the highest hitting percentage during the games. So now she wasn't just one of the best college players in the country, but in the Olympics too. I'll take it.
Bryn Kehoe | Setter, 2004-2007
At setter, Kehoe still holds the Stanford all-time career record for assists and assists per set. She finished her Cardinal career with 5,956 assists and 13.32 assists per set. The next runner up, doesn't even really come close. She was a three-time AVCA All-American, and led the entire nation with 14.40 assists per game in her senior season.
Morgan Hentz | Libero, 2016-2019
Hentz finished her time with the Cardinal in 2019, leaving Stanford as the all-time career digs leader with 2,310. She averaged 4.72 digs per set for her career, breaking Gabi Ailes's digs record in November 2019. Hentz is also a three-time first-team All-American, and won three national championships at Stanford.
Another name that absolutely deserves a mention is Kerri Walsh Jennings. No matter how many spots were available on this potential all-time lineup, Walsh-Jennings will forever go down as one of the greatest Cardinal to ever take the court and still one of the best volleyball players in the entire world. She suffered a shoulder injury in 1997, but was a two-time NCAA champion, four-time First Team All-American and the 1999 Co-National Player of the Year. She is the most decorated professional beach volleyball player in the history of the sport, and a five-time Olympian (indoor 2000; beach 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016.
Who's your pick to be in the all-time starting lineup for Stanford? We'd love to hear from you. Tell us at NCAASupport@turner.com.