The 2016 NCAA season was the first in the history of our humble, but growing, community here at VolleyMob. Our staff is made up of longtime coaches, players, and supporters of the game, but this was our first chance to really attack the sport from a different perspective — from the media side — and we could not have been more fortunate. The 2016 season was as interesting of a season as we can remember, with the Stanford roller coaster and the general uncertainty all season about who the best teams in the country were.
This week, we will present our inaugural end-of-season VolleyMob awards, starting with our Third-Team All-America honors. For each level of All-America recognition, we’ve selected six players plus a libero. The week will culminate with us naming our National Freshman and National Player of the Year.
Molly Haggerty, freshman outside hitter at Wisconsin
- Named 2016 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and AVCA Northeast Region Freshman of the Year.
- Recorded a season-high 27 kills against Texas A&M in September — fourth-most kills in a three-set match in the NCAA.
- Led the Badgers with 3.41 kills per set.
- Wisconsin finished 28-5, falling to eventual national champion Stanford in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
Kadie Rolfzen, senior outside hitter at Nebraska
- Became the second Nebraska player to earn four spots on AVCA All-American teams (third team in 2013 and 2014, first team in 2015 and 2016).
- Led Nebraska with 3.16 kills per set and 2.58 digs per set.
- Finished her career with 1,564 total kills — good for sixth all-time at Nebraska.
- Nebraska finished 31-3, falling to Texas in the Final Four.
Haleigh Washington, junior middle blocker at Penn State
- Ranked third in the NCAA in hitting percentage with 0.43.
- Led Penn State in blocks (140) and ranked second in total kills (291), digs (72), and aces (24).
- Recorded a season-high 10 blocks against Iowa in November — ninth-most in a three-set match in the NCAA.
- Penn State finished 24-10, falling to Nebraska in the Sweet Sixteen.
Taylor Sandbothe, senior middle blocker at Ohio State
- Now holds the school record for most career blocks with 564.
- Ranked 11th in the NCAA in total points (622).
- Finished with a career-high 506 kills, 34 aces, and 108 digs.
- Ohio State finished 22-13, falling to Wisconsin in the Sweet Sixteen.
Danielle Rygelski, senior outside hitter at St. Louis
- Ranked first in the NCAA in kills per set (6.01), points per set (6.79), points (808), and total kills (715). Ranked third in aces (65), and fourth in total attacks (1,620) and attacks per set (13.61).
- Her total kills is an NCAA record in the rally scoring era.
- Achieved 2,000 career kills, a school record.
- St. Louis finished 18-14 and did not advance to the NCAA Tournament.
Amy Boswell, senior middle blocker at BYU
- Finished the season with a team-high .372 hitting percentage. She finishes her career with a .345 percentage, good for second all-time at BYU.
- Led BYU in blocks per set with 1.26.
- Against Cal State Northridge in September, recorded the second-best single-match hitting percentage with 15-19 attempts in the NCAA (0.882).
- BYU finished 29-4, falling to Texas in the Sweet Sixteen.
Cassie Wait, senior libero at Kansas
- Named Big 12 Libero of the Year.
- Ranked 24th in the NCAA in digs per set (5.1) and 32nd in total digs (581). Both of those led the Big 12.
- Finished second on KU’s career digs list with 1,931.
- Kansas finished 27-3, falling to Creighton in the second round.