The top liberos in college volleyball is probably one of the most highly anticipated lists I make every year, but it's also the toughest. You can't look at just numbers and stats when picking top liberos — a lot of factors can come into play and skew those numbers. Strength of opponents for one and how strong of a block each team has are two huge factors, for example.
There are so many impressive defensive players so far this season, so I listed as many as I could that have impressed me so far this year.
Here are the top liberos in 2022, so far:
Lexi Rodriguez — Nebraska
Lexi Rodriguez is a sure thing on this list. The Husker sophomore won 2021 AVCA National Freshman of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year last season for her efforts. She has been big-time this year as well, with a little over four digs per set and north of 150 total digs. She leads a defense at Nebraska that ranks second in the nation in opponent hitting percentage.
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Elena Scott — Louisville
Elena Scott leads a great defense at Louisville — the No. 2 team in the nation currently. She is averaging over four digs per set and 165 total digs on the season. She is a tough server, for certain. Last season she went on a 16-point service run at Notre Dame (!). She has 15 aces so far on the season in 2022, and leads the Cards' defense which has a .154 opponent hitting percentage this year.
CC McGraw — Minnesota
CC McGraw has been a talented libero over the past four seasons of college volleyball. The fifth-year senior ranks in the top five at Minnesota in total digs and is a huge leader for the Gophers. She is a scrappy player that will lay out for balls and do anything to keep the play alive for her team. Pay attention to McGraw in her very last season on the collegiate stage.
Zoe Fleck — Texas
Zoe Fleck is INSANELY good. Before transferring to Texas, she was a two-time Pac-12 libero of the year. Now, she is averaging 4.63 digs per set with over 160 digs on the season so far. She has a .965 reception percentage and is leading the defense for what is by far the best team in the nation to this point. Texas has played its fair share of tough teams, so Fleck has already faced some of the best hitters and offenses in the nation.
Kylie Murr — Ohio State
Kylie Murr is an energetic, scrappy and determined libero at Ohio State. She is a big-time leader for that program and brings the energy day in and day out. She is now top five at OSU in total digs.
Elena Oglivie — Stanford
Elena Oglivie makes the list again this year as the libero at Stanford. The Cardinal have surged into the top 10 this year with some huge wins. You can't do that without stellar defense. When Stanford took down Nebraska, Oglivie posted 21 digs to go with six assists. She has a .961 reception percentage this year and has been phenomenal for Stanford.
Maddie Schermerhorn — Purdue
Maddie Schermerhorn stepped in this year and filled in for the big shoes left by Jena Otec last year. She is averaging 4.49 digs per set this season with a .952 reception percentage and over 160 digs. She is also a tough server — Schermerhorn posted three service aces in the big sweep over Minnesota. Her teammate, Ali Hornung, is another impressive defensive player this year. Both have already taken home Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.
Annie Benbow — San Diego
San Diego has skyrocketed this season and cracked the top five in the AVCA poll. They have taken down numerous highly ranked teams this year, and they have had a great libero anchoring the backcourt. Annie Benbow is averaging 3.69 digs per set with over 160 total digs and a .949 reception percentage.
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Maddy Bilinovic — Penn State
Penn State is another team that has overperformed in terms of preseason expectations this season. PSU took down Stanford and Oregon and has been in and out of the top 10. She has a .983 reception percentage and over 170 total digs on the season so far.
Ella Larkin — LSU
LSU is currently unranked in the top 25, but I was impressed by Ella Larkin at libero. Plus, this team has had some big wins. In the five-set win over Kentucky this season, Larkin posted 17 digs to go along with five assists. She is averaging 4.25 digs per set and has over 200 digs so far on the season.
Hattie Monson — Notre Dame
Hattie Monson is another libero that made my list last year. She is posting around 4.35 digs per set so far this year for the Irish and more than 180 digs on the season.
Here are a few other top liberos this season:
- Carly Skrabak — Marquette
- Eleanor Beavin — Kentucky
- Elli McKissock — Florida
- Vanessa Ramirez — Utah