The 2016 American Family Insurance ALL-USA girls volleyball team was selected based on in-season performance, level of competition and strength of schedule. The ALL-USA Player of the Year is Lexi Sun from Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach, Calif.).
COACH OF THE YEAR: Zach Young, Lafayette (Wildwood, Mo.)
LOOKBACK: ALL-USA Preseason Volleyball Team
Click the gallery below to meet Player of the Year Lexi Sun:
School: Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach, Calif.)
Position: Outside hitter
Lexi Sun spent the summer of 2015 playing for the USA Volleyball Under-18 Girls National Team and was the team’s leading scorer at the World Championships in Peru.
That followed a long season with her club team, COAST Volleyball Club, as well as a busy sophomore year with her high school team in which she continued to establish herself among the nation’s best. Needing a rest, Sun decided not to play high school volleyball for Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach, Calif.) as a junior.
Sun spent the summer of 2016 playing for the USA Volleyball Women’s Junior National Team. That again followed a long season with her club team. But miss out on her senior year with Santa Fe Christian? Not a chance.
“A lot of thought and time was put into to playing or not,” Sun said. “It was definitely a good decision to come back and play my senior year with my best friends and to be able to represent my school.”
Sun has more than proven that she made the right call. She led the Eagles (32-8) to unprecedented heights this season: a San Diego Section Open Division championship and the semifinals of California’s Open Division state tournament, where they lost to Santa Margarita Catholic (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), ranked No. 3 at the time in the USA TODAY Sports/American Volleyball Coaches Association Super 25.
“Lexi [was] the biggest driving force in our success this season,” first-year Santa Fe coach Amanda Miles said. “She not only led us physically but she was our most vocal captain. Although I have only had Lexi for a few short months, she has made a strong impact on me as a coach and helped create a season I will never forget.”
Miles, and assistant coach Drew Burdette, had quite the influence on Sun, as well.
“I loved having Coach Amanda and Coach Drew this season; and without them, we wouldn’t have had the success we had this year,” Sun said. “They came in and turned the program around and made it such a memorable season for my last year.”
A 6-foot-2 outside hitter, Sun delivered 31 kills in a 3-0 state quarterfinal victory over Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) on Nov. 22 that had Monarchs coach Dan O’Dell looking on in awe.
“She was everything I knew she would be,” O’Dell told OCVarsity.com. “I was joking with her dad before the match, saying if we can keep her at nine kills per set or below, it will be pretty good for us. But if she got 10 or higher, that’s not going to be good.”
Sun, who will play for the University of Texas next fall and is ranked as the top player in the Class of 2017 by PrepVolleyball.com, finished the season with 630 kills, a .556 kill percentage and a .431 hitting percentage. She also recorded 288 digs, 60 blocks and 45 service aces. She finished her three-year prep career with 1,360 kills and 687 digs.
She’s excited for what the future holds.
“I’m looking forward to my club season this year,” Sun said, “so I can prepare to win a national championship at Texas next year.”