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The 2018 preseason MaxPreps All-American volleyball team features lots of familiar faces, including the sophomore and junior Players of the Year from 2017 and a handful of returning players from last year's All-American squad.
Gabby Gonzales, the National Junior Player of the Year, is a 6-4 middle hitter who lead Walton (Marietta, Ga.) to the MaxPreps national championship a year ago. She has committed to Ohio State.
Melani Shaffmaster, who has committed to Minnesota, is a 6-3 all-around player and the National Sophomore Player of the Year last season. She helped power New Castle (Ind.) to a 34-6 mark and the state 3A championship.
Three schools — Walton and Assumption (Louisville, Ky.) and Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) — have two players each on the preseason squad. Joining Gonzales is senior setter Caroline Cheney and from Assumption are junior Rylee Rader and senior setter Camille Nazor. From Mater Dei are Natalie Berty and Mia Tuaniga.
Walton and Assumption are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the MaxPreps' 2018 Preseason Top 50 Rankings.
The preseason All-American squad represents 18 states with California leading with five selections.
The players selected come from schools of all sizes from 4,200 Rowe (McAllen, Texas) to 124 enrollment Johnson-Brock (Johnson, Ne.).
MaxPReps 2018 preseason All-American high school volleyball team
MH — Gabby Gonzales, Walton (Marietta, Ga.), 6-4, Sr.
Gonzales played key role in leading Walton to its 11th state title and MaxPreps National Title. A first team All-State pick, she recorded 558 kills (5.5 kills per set) and had 220 digs. On four occasions, she averaged more than 8.5 kills per set in a match. Pledged to Ohio State, Gonzales was named the Marietta Daily Journal's Player of the Year.MB — Ellie Holzman, Mt. Carmel (New Orleans), 6-2, Sr.
Holzman finished thie 2017 season with 744 kills, 440 digs, 128 blocks and 40 aces in leading Mt. Carmel to the state large school championship and a 41-7 record. She was named The Times Picayune's Large School Player of the Year and was named MaxPreps National Sophomore of the Year in 2016. Louisiana's 2016 Gatorade Player of the Year, Holzman has committed to Illinois. She was a finalist for the MaxPreps National Junior Player of the Year.MB — Fallon Stutheit, Johnson-Brock (Johnson, Neb.), 6-2, Sr.
Stutheit led the Eagles to 34-1 record and the state D title as she averaged 5.9 (52.7 hitting percent) kills per set. She also served 92.2 percent with 68 aces (201 points), blocked 52 shots and recorded 241 digs (2.7 per set). Named to the Super All-State first team, Stutheit will play at Nebraska.MB — Molly Phillips, Mansfield (Texas), 6-4, Sr.
Phillips is a member of the USA Girls National Team and, as a junior, she recorded 655 kills (5.3 average), served 61 aces, blocked 89 shots and averaged two digs per set. She had double-digit kills in 34 games with 20 or more 12 times. She is committed to Texas.MB — Emani' Foster, Northern Vance (Henderson, N.C.), 5-11, Jr.
In 2017, Foster led her team in all categories except assists. The big number was her 7.2 kills-per-set average. Foster accounted for 70 percent of her team's kills. In 83 sets, she also served 87 aces, blocked 66 shots, recorded 4.9 digs and 4.1 serve receptions per set.MH — Emily Londot, Utica (Ohio), 6-2, Jr.
In just two seasons, Londot has more than 1,000 kills, averaging 7.3 kills per set at a 45.8 kill percentage. She served 94.6 percent and blocked 103 shots in 86 sets. The Ohio State pledge also averaged 3.6 digs and 3.3 serve receptions per set for 22-4 Utica. A member of the US Girls National Team, she has committed to Ohio State.MB — Marriah Buss, Lincoln Lutheran (Lincoln, Neb.), 6-1, Jr.
Buss averaged 7.3 kills per set, served 45 aces, blocked 48 shots, averaged 2.6 digs and 3.4 serve receptions per set. In 15 matches, she averaged better than eight kills in a set. She has committed to Wichita State.OH — Madi Endsley, Temecula Valley (Temecula, Calif.), 6-3, Jr.
In leading the Golden Bears to a 29-5 season, Endsley averaged 4.9 kills and 2.3 digs to go along with 77 aces. She is a member of the U.S. girls national junior team and has verbally committed to Nebraska.OH — Kayleigh Hames, Webb (Knoxville, Tenn.), 6-1, Sr.
Hames teamed with her sister, Nicklin (first team All-American), to lead Webb to its fourth-straight title in 2017. She averaged 5.2 kills, 3.0 serve receptions and 2.5 digs per set. She also served for 53 aces and has committed to Pepperdine.OH — Natalie Berty, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 6-3, Sr.
Berty had a 48.5 kill percentage and averaged four per set in leading Mater Dei to a 38-win season and the California large school championship match.
OH — Jessica Nunge, Castle (Newburgh, Ind.), 6-2, Sr.
Committed to Florida State, Nunge totaled 583 kills, blocked 86 shots and served 57 aces in 2017. Nunge led Castle to its state record 24th successive sectional championship. She was named Player of the Year by both the Evansville Courier and Press Metro.OH — Allyson Severance, North Branch (Mich.), 6-1, Sr.
In her three varsity seasons, North Branch has won 182 matches with last season's 67-5 being the best. No surprise that the future Miami University player totaled some big numbers: 776 kills (4.6 per set mark), 110 aces, 55 blocks, 338 digs (2.2) and 590 serve receptions (3.8).OH — Mary Shroll, Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.), 5-8, Sr.
The 2017 2A Athlete of the Year at Empire Prep transferred to Coronda Del Sol. A year ago, she led the state in kills (663) and kill percentage (.510). Her 7.8 kills per set led the state by almost two kills per set and her 63.3 kill percent was among the best in the nation. Shroll, who also averaged 4.7 digs and 6.1 serve receptions per set, has committed to Loyola Marymount.
OH — Riley James, Barnstable (Hyannis, Mass.), 5-10, Sr.
In three seasons, James has played in 75 winning matches and lost three. The only loss last season came in the state 3A semifinals, aAnd not before James once again put up monster numbers as she averaged 6.9 kills, 5.0 serve receptions and 3.6 digs per set. She has committed to Bryant.OH — Madeline Chinn, Notre Dame Prep (Pontiac, Mich.), 6-3, Sr.
Chinn led the Fighting Irish to a 64-win season and the state B title when she averaged 4.3 kills (51.2 kill percent), 2.1 digs and 2.1 serve receptions. Chinn also served for 79 aces and 256 points and blocked 126 shots in 152 sets. She was a first team All-State honoree and has committed to Purdue.OH — Madi Kubik, Valley (West Des Moines, Iowa), 6-1, Sr.
Kubik led West to the 2017 state Class 5A title game when she hit .333 with an average of 5.5 kills per set. She was a a member of the USA Girls Youth National team and has committed to Nebraska.
OH — Jenaisya Moore, Northwest (Germantown, Md.), 5-10, Sr.
Moore had 33 kills and 16 digs as Northwest downed Anarundel in four sets to cap an unbeaten 2017 season and capture its third Maryland 4A title in a row. Moore averaged 5.7 kills and 3.9 digs per set over the season and was named Maryland's Gatorade Player of the Year.OH — Riley Wagoner, Dublin Coffman (Dublin, Ohio), 6-0, Sr.
With Wagoner in the front row, the Shamrocks made it to the state semifinal match in 2017 for the second year in a row . She averaged 5.1 kills, 3.4 digs and 4.2 serve receptions as the youthful Shamrocks finished 25-3. Waggoner, who was named All-Ohio, has committed to Hawaii.
OH — Jackelyn Alanis, Rowe (McAllen, Texas), 6-1, Sr.
Alanis put up a unique double, averaging 7.1 kills and digs per set. And she did that in 116 sets as Rowe went 32-7. She is off to a hot start in 2018 averaging 8.8 kills per set.OH — Kendall Kipp, Corona del Mar (Newport Beach, Calif.), 6-4, Sr.
Kipp, a six-rotation player, had a team-high 429 kills as the Sea Kings won 23 times in 2017. She also had 120 digs, 70 blocks and 48 aces. A member of the USA 18 Girls team, Kipp has committed to Stanford.
OH — Rylee Rader, Assumption (Louisville, Ky.), 6-1, Jr.
Rader saved her best 2017 performance for last when she was top hitter in the state tournament to lead the Rockets to their 20th state volleyball title. The Ohio State pledge averaged 3.3 kills (58.8 percent kill and .525 hitting percentage). In three state tournament matches (8 sets), she totaled 37 kills and was named tournament MVP.
S — Camille Nazor, Assumption (Louisville, KY), 6-1, Sr.
Nazor, who has committed to Duke, was the quarterback for the 42-3 Rockets (No. 3 in the final 2017 MaxPreps Xcellent 25 rankings). She totaled 982 assists in 84 sets for a 11.7 per set average as the Rockets won the state championship. Nazor also blocked 41 shots and recorded 60 kills.
S — Lexis Akeo, Kamehameha Kapalama (Honolulu), 5-8, Sr.
Akeo led the Warriors to the 2017 state large school championship by averaging 12.3 assists per set. She has pledged to attend Pittsburgh. She was the setter for an offense that featured nine players averaging better than one kill per set and 15.6 as a team. Akeo also averaged 3.0 digs per set.
S — Madi Whitmire, Prosper (Texas), 5-10, Sr.
Whitmire played a key role in leading Prosper to 46-6 season and the 2017 state 5A title when she averaged 11.8 assists per set. She also served for 312 points and has committed to Connecticut.S — Ariana Hebert, Teurlings Catholic (Lafayette, La.), 5-8, Sr.
Hebert led the Rebels to a perfect season and fifth straight state title. She was the Most Valuable Player in the state title game. Despite an ankle injury limiting her to 35 matches, she recorded 78 kills, 211 digs, 55 aces and dished out 911 assists.S — Mia Tuaniga, Mater Dei (Santa Ana), 5-9, Jr.
Tuaniga averaged 1.4 kills, 2.0 digs and 7.9 assists and also blocked 79 shots while serving 62 aces and for 187 points for the state 2017 runner-up squad. More importantly, Mater Dei averaged 13.3 assists with Tuaniga as the playmaker. She was named first team all-California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section D1 as Mater Dei finished 37-6 and open division runner-up. She has committed to Long Beach.S — Loren Scott, Lincoln (Tallahassee, Fla.), 6-1, Sr.
Scott led the Trojans to the state 8A playoffs where they lost to state runner-up and crosstown rival Leon. She led state setters in assists with an average of 12.9 per set (1,149 total). She also served 45 aces, blocked 70 shots, had 302 digs and 152 kills in 89 sets. She has committed to Mississippi State.
S — Caroline Cheney, Walton (Marietta, GA), 5-10, Sr.
Cheney, a Virginia verbal, recorded 1,134 assists (11.5 per set average) for the defending national champs, who won 40 of 41 matches last season and the state large school championship. Twenty times last season, Cheney averaged better than a dozen assists per set (all victories).L — Natalie Robinson, Lutheran South (St. Louis), 5-6, Sr.
Robinson averaged 8.1 digs and 6.2 serve receptions as the Lancers were 3A state runner-ups in 2017 and finished 32-5-3 for the season.L — Anna MacDonald, Blessed Trinity (Roswell, Ga.), 5-5, Sr.
MacDonald led Blessed Trinity to a 59-6 season and fourth straight state 4A title in 2017. She averaged 6.7 digs per set and accounted for 390 service points on 91.2 serving percentage with 114 aces. MacDonald, who has committed to Wisconsin, also returned 834 serves for a 5.6 per set average.L — Kiera Lasky, Bronson (Mich.), 5-5, Sr.
Lasky was named the 2017 Class C Player of the Year by Michigan High School Volleyball Insider when she helped Bronson win a third straight Class C title this season. Lasky, a three-sport all-star, finished with 768 digs and 139 aces served.A-A — Celia Cullen, Brighton (Mich.), 6-1, Jr.
Cullen has a verbal to Michigan State and is a member of USA Girls Team. Brighton runs a 6-2 offense and Cullen's all-court presence stands out. In 2017, the all-stater served 114 aces, had 201 digs, 51 blocks, 315 kills (43 percent kill percent) and 344 assists.A-A — Devon Newberry, Marymount (Los Angeles), 5-9, Sr.
Newberry again delivered for Marymount, averaging 3.3 kills, 2.6 digs and 4.6 serve receptions and she served for 43 aces and 199 points as the Sailors won 31 matches a year ago. Newberry, who was named first team CIF-Southern Section, has committed to play beach volleyball at UCLA.A-A — Savannah Vach, Oviedo (Fla.), 5-10, Sr.
Committed to Miami, Vach totaled 318 kills (3.8 average), 539 assists (6.4 average), 31 aces, 237 digs (2.8 average) and 45 blocks as the Lions went 25-4 and reached the 2017 state 9A regional finals.A-A — Melani Shaffmaster, New Castle (Ind.), 6-3, Jr.
Shaffmaster was MaxPreps National Sophomore Player of the Year in 2017 after leading New Castle to the state 3A championship. Shaffmaster, the 2016 National Freshman Player of the Year, put up monster stats for the second-straight season: 456 Kills (3.9 per set average and 52.2 kill percent in 873 attempts), served 74 aces, recorded 101 blocks, had 219 digs and 952 assists (8.2 avg.). She has committed to Minnesota.A-A — Kenzie Knuckles, Yorktown (Ind.), 5-8, Sr.
Knuckles, who was a finalist for the MaxPreps National Sophomore Player of the Year, led Yorktown to a 36-3 season in 2017. She averaged 4.8 kills and 4.3 digs per set. The future Nebraska Cornhusker also served at a 96.3 percent.