USA TODAY High School Sports is proud to announce its second annual American Family Insurance ALL-USA High School Volleyball Team. PrepVolleyball.com founder John Tawa selected the teams based on players’ performance during the 2014 high school season. Three teams of seven players were selected.
Teams at the top of PrepVolleyball.com’s national high school rankings are well-represented. No. 1 Louisville Mercy’s Meredith Jewell, a senior outside hitter and 2014 Miss Kentucky Volleyball, is on the Second Team. Louisville Mercy middle blocker Lexie Hamrick, the state tournament MVP, landed on the Third Team.
No. 2 Redondo Union is represented by outside hitter Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani, a top senior recruit, and Norene Iosia, one of the top underclass setters in the country. No. 3 Mount Notre Dame is represented by Coach of the Year Joe Burke, and No. 4 Lewis-Palmer is represented by First Team hitter Alexa Smith.
Iowan Mikaela Foecke is the 2014 National Player of the Year. Foecke didn’t just lead Holy Trinity Catholic to an Iowa state title, she carried the team, averaging almost 10 kills per set in three state tournament matches. No one hits harder than this Nebraska signee, who has an outstanding work ethic and the ability to excel anywhere along the front row.
Outside Hitter: Alexa Smith, 6-1, Sr., Lewis-Palmer (Monument, Colo.)
The 2013 PrepVolleyball.com National Junior of the Year excelled again this fall, leading undefeated Lewis-Palmer to a repeat state title in Colorado’s Class 4A and a consensus top five national ranking. Smith, a Purdue signee who is ranked as the No. 7 recruit in the Class of 2015, led the Rangers in kills, aces and digs. The USA Junior National Team member was named Colorado 4A Player of the Year.
Outside Hitter: Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani, 6-4, Sr., Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, Calif.)
The No. 5 recruit nationally, Bedart-Ghani, an imposing hitter who has signed with Texas, missed the early part of the season because of a foot injury. When she returned, Redondo Union took off, winning its own Power Classic, the Southern Section title in brutal Division 1AA and its first California Division I title. For the season, Bedart-Ghani averaged 3.9 kills and 1.7 digs per set while adding 83 blocks. More importantly, her ability to take big swings and terminate on the biggest points led Redondo to a dream season and a No. 2 national ranking while playing a vicious schedule.
Middle Blocker: Mikaela Foecke, 6-3, Sr., Holy Trinity Catholic (Fort Madison, Iowa)
The No. 2 recruit nationally in the senior class and a member of the USA Junior National Team, Foecke rounded out her all-world resume with an Iowa state title this past fall. The Nebraska signee helped the Crusaders win the Iowa 1A title, dominating the competition to the tune of 821 kills (6.6 per set) while adding 170 aces, 270 digs and 95 blocks. Foecke was named Elite All-State Co-Player of the Year, Iowa Class 1A Player of the Year, All-Hawkeye Player of the Year and State Tournament MVP after averaging almost 10 kills per set in three tournament matches.
Middle Blocker: Tionna Williams, 6-2, Sr., Concordia Lutheran (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
Williams used her speed and extraordinary leaping ability to take Concordia to its first Indiana title in Class 3A. The No. 6 recruit in the country and a Wisconsin signee, Williams amassed 537 kills, 294 digs, 109 blocks and 66 aces for the 32-6 Cadets in 2014. She was named First Team All-State, the Indiana Class 3A Mental Award Winner and — for the second straight year — Fort Wayne-area Player of the Year.
Setter: Jordyn Poulter, 6-1, Sr., Eaglecrest (Centennial, Colo.)
The top senior setter in the country, Poulter had a remarkable year for the Raptors, who entered the Colorado 5A tournament seeded first despite having little experience and suspect ball control. The Illinois signee and USA Junior National Team star, rated the No. 3 recruit in the country, was a leader in every sense of the word. She elevated a young team well beyond where it should have gone and averaged a team-leading 10 assists per set in the process. The Colorado 5A Player of the Year also led Eaglecrest in aces and blocks and was second in kills, averaging more than three per set, despite setting exclusively.
Setter/Right Side Hitter: Jenna Tunnell, 5-11, Sr., Desert Vista (Phoenix)
A lefty setter/hitter with a fast arm and big jump, Tunnell made a massive impact in her only year with the Thunder after transferring from Boulder Creek and having to sit out the 2013 season. She led Desert Vista to its first Arizona Division I title while pacing the team in kills, averaging 2.8 per set. Tunnell, who has signed with Pepperdine and plans to play both indoor and sand volleyball, also was second in assists, averaging 4.5 per set, and finished among the top four in blocks (87), aces (41) and digs (199). She was named Big Schools Player of the Year by the Arizona Republic as well as East Valley Tribune Player of the Year.
Libero: Amber MacDonald, 5-4, Sr., Blessed Trinity (Roswell, Ga.)
A Top 100 Senior Ace who has signed with Wisconsin, MacDonald’s back-row prowess this fall helped Blessed Trinity win a second Georgia AAA title in the past three years. MacDonald, who is a sensational passer, averaged 5.1 digs per set for the Titans in 2014 and set a school single-season record for aces with 144. Three times an All-State performer, MacDonald finished No. 2 all-time in the state in digs and No. 5 all-time in aces.
Coach of the Year:
Joe Burke, Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati)
Burke has led the Cougars for six years, has three Ohio Division I titles to his credit and a shiny 143-24 record over that span. His 2014 team finished 27-2 and lost only to the No. 1 and No. 6 teams nationally. The loss to No. 6 Toledo St. Ursula was later avenged in the state semifinals and knocked the Arrows from the unbeaten ranks. “In all three of his state championships, he beat an outstanding team of mine,” St. Ursula coach John Buck said. “He is a classy guy, coaches his kids and not the match. I really look forward to our match-ups. He has his team prepared and his team wins and loses with class. He doesn’t duck anyone; he goes out and tries to play the best schedule he can to prepare his team for the state run. My hat’s off to him!”
Merideth Jewell: Outside Hitter, 6-0, Sr., Mercy Academy (Louisville, Ky.) — Committed to Morehead State.
Carly Skjodt: Outside Hitter, 6-1, Sr., Carmel (Ind.) — Michigan
Jess Schaben: Middle Blocker, 6-2, Sr., Harlan (Iowa) — Iowa State
Audriana Fitzmorris: Middle Blocker, 6-5, Jr., St. James (Lenexa, Kan.) — Not committed.
Samantha Seliger Swenson: Setter, 5-11, Sr., Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) — Minnesota
Jenna Gray: Setter/Right Side Hitter, 6-0, Jr., St. James Academy (Lenexa, Kan.) — Not committed.
Jamye Cox: Libero, 5-3, Soph., St. Ursula (Toledo, Ohio) — Michigan State
Alyssa Enneking: Outside Hitter, 5-11, Sr., Clear Falls (League City, Texas) — Oklahoma
Gia Milana: Outside Hitter, 6-1, Jr., Romeo (Mich.) — Maryland
Lexie Hamrick: Middle Blocker, 6-3, Sr., Mercy Academy (Louisville, Ky.) — North Carolina
Shelly Fanning: Middle Blocker, 6-2, Sr., Cypress Ranch, (Cypress, Texas) — Baylor
Norene Iosia: Setter, 5-9, Jr., Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, Calif.) — Hawaii
Kathryn Plummer: Setter/Right Side Hitter, 6-5, Jr., Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) — Not committed.
Alexis Dirige: 5-2, Jr., Libero, Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) — Washington State