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.
Krystal Rivers, senior middle blocker at Alabama
- Broke Alabama’s record for career kills, ending her career with 2,148 total and a .315 hitting average.
- Ranked second in the NCAA in kills per set (5.88), points (803.5), and total kills (705). Ranked third in points per set (6.7) and total attacks (1,628).
- Named SEC Player of the Year.
- Alabama finished 20-11 and did not advance to the NCAA Tournament.
Jaali Winters, sophomore outside hitter at Creighton
- All-Big East First Team.
- Averaged 4.07 kills per set and 4.44 points per set. Her season-high kill total of 28 came in October against St. John’s.
- Was key in Creighton’s second-round upset of No. 5 Kansas in the NCAA Tournament, with 23 kills and 14 digs.
- Creighton finished 29-7 and fell to Texas in the Elite Eight.
Rhamat Alhassan, junior middle blocker at Florida
- Two-time All-American.
- Ranked ninth in the NCAA in hitting percentage (.416) and 11th in blocks per set (1.45). Those stats are good for seventh-highest single-season averages in Florida history.
- Florida finished 27-4 and fell to Florida State in the second round.
Mikaela Foecke, sophomore outside hitter at Nebraska
- Notched 343 total kills on .304 hitting this season. Her season-high was 20 kills in October against Minnesota.
- Reached double-digit kills in 15 matches.
- Was the most outstanding player of the 2015 National Championship.
- Nebraska finished 31-3 and lost to runner-up Texas in the Final Four.
Alex Holston, senior right-side hitter at Florida
- Averaged 4.31 points per set and 3.86 kills per set on a .369 hitting percentage.
- Ranked 32nd in the NCAA in hitting percentage.
- Her season-high 24 kills came against Florida State in the second-round loss.
Katie Staiger, redshirt junior outside hitter at Baylor
- Set a school record for single-season kills during a match against Iowa State in November.
- First Baylor player to be named to an All-America team by the AVCA (second team).
- Ranked first in the NCAA in total attacks (1,773); third in points (768.5), total kills (698), and attacks per set (13.85); and fourth in kills per set (5.45) and points per set (6).
- Baylor finished 22-12 and fell to UCLA in the second round in the Bears’ first postseason berth since 2011.
Caroline Knop, junior libero at Florida
- In her first season at Florida (she transferred from Michigan) recorded 459 digs for a 4.37 per-game average.
- Her season-high 31 digs came against Ole Miss in September.
- Notched six aces against South Carolina in November — 20th-most in a three-set match in the NCAA this season.