OMAHA, Neb. — Three members of the 2018 Creighton Volleyball team have been recognized by the American Volleyball Coaches Association with All-America honors. Jaali Winters was named a Third Team All-American, while Madelyn Cole and Taryn Kloth each attained Honorable Mention All-America status.
This year marks the third straight season that Creighton has had three All-Americans, as last year Lydia Dimke, Marysa Wilkinson and Brittany Witt were recognized and in 2016 Dimke, Kloth and Winters were honored.
A senior outside hitter from Ankeny, Iowa, Winters set more than 90 school-records in her career, including marks for career kills (1,843), attacks (5,093), points (2045.5) matches played (139) and matches started (138). Winters was named BIG EAST Player of the Year and BIG EAST Tournament MVP in 2018, averaging 3.82 kills and 3.06 digs per set, and had seven double-doubles in eight contests against nationally-ranked foes in 2018.
Winters (2015, 2016, 2018) joins Kelli Browning (2012, 2013, 2014) as the second three-time AVCA All-American in program history, and is the first player named to one of the top three teams multiple times when you factor in her Third Team recognition in 2015. The only other Third Team honoree in program history besides Winters and Browning (2014) is Lydia Dimke (2016).
Kloth led Creighton with 4.15 kills per set and also ranked among the BIG EAST leaders by hitting .283. Her 490 kills are the most in CU history by a senior, and the Sioux Falls, S.D., native ranked fourth in school history with 1,427 career kills. Kloth was honored as an Honorable Mention choice for the second time, as she was first recognized in 2016. Kloth joins Browning, Dimke, Winters and Megan Bober as Creighton players to earn multiple All-America nods from the AVCA.
Cole earns All-Region acclaim for the first time, as the junior from Dallas, Texas, led the BIG EAST with 10.92 assists per set and ranked second with 51 service aces. She started all 34 matches for the Bluejays after transferring in from Marshall University. This is Cole’s first All-America honor. She’s the fourth Bluejay setter to ever be honored, joining Bober, Dimke and Michelle Sicner.
Creighton finished its 2018 season with a 29-5 record after winning BIG EAST regular-season and tournament titles for the fifth straight season. The Bluejays spent 12 straight weeks ranked in the top-10 of the AVCA poll and made a seventh straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Each of the three AVCA All-America Teams is comprised of 14 athletes. The Division I TeamSnap/AVCA National Player of the Year will be announced on December 14th at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet. This year’s class is led by the lone four-time AVCA All-American recipient in this year’s class: Minnesota Setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson. BYU Middle Blocker Heather Gneiting takes home the 2018 AVCA National Freshman of the Year.
The selections were made by the AVCA Division I All-America Committee: Chair: Cathy George, Michigan State; East Region: Christy Pfeffenberger, Xavier; East Coast Region: Michelle Collier, Georgia Tech; Midwest Region: Mike Gawlik, Central Michigan; North Region: Shane Davis, Northwestern; Northeast Region: Sabrina King, Princeton; Pacific North Region: Marc Swindle, Air Force; Pacific South Region: Brent Crouch, USC; South Region: Brandon Rosenthal, Lipscomb; Southeast Region: Tom Black, Georgia; Southwest Region: Lindsey Gray-Walton, Oklahoma.