2017 Underclass All-American Volleyball Team

2017 Underclass All-American Volleyball Team

2017 Underclass All-American Volleyball Team

Walton's Gonzales named top junior; Shaffmaster sisters from New Castle named top sophomore, freshman


The MaxPreps 2017 National Underclass Volleyball Players of the Year have a lot in common. 

For starters, they win.

Gabby Gonzales, the National Junior Player of the Year, was the power behind Walton (Marietta, Ga.) and its state large school championship and MaxPreps national title after winning 40-of-41 matches and several major tournaments.

And for the first time, the MaxPreps National Sophomore and Freshman of the Year are not only from the same team, they are sisters — Melanie Shaffmaster and Mabry Shaffmaster.

The sisters led New Castle (Ind.) to a 34-6 season and the state 3A title.

In leading Walton to its 11th state title overall and sixth in seven seasons, the 6-foot-4 Gonzales had big numbers as a junior: 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.

Melani Shaffmaster, a 6-foot-3 do-it-all anywhere on the court player, was the 2016 MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year. She 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.

Mabry Shaffmaster, a 6-foot-1 hitter, isn't far behind her older sister in kills (445 for a 3.8 per set average), and leads in service aces (99-60) and percentage of service aces (22.5-18).

Here are the rest of the MaxPreps 2017 Underclass All-Americans:
Graphic by Ryan Escobar
2017 MaxPreps Junior All-American Volleyball Team 

In addition to Gonzales, the Junior All-American team includes:

MB — Ellie HolzmanMt. Carmel (New Orleans), 6-2
Holzman finished this 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. In the title match, Holzman recorded 36 kills to earn MVP honors. 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 has committed to Illinois. She was a finalist for MaxPreps' National Junior Player of the Year.

MB — Fallon StutheitJohnson-Brock (Johnson, Neb.), 6-2 
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, she will play at Nebraska.

MB — Gracie Van DrielRose Hill (Kan.), 6-2
The Kansas pledge totaled 385 kills with a .523 hitting percentage, 66 blocks and 52 aces as Rose Hill won the state 4A 1 championship for the second straight season and finished 40-4. She was the 4A I Co-Player of the Year.

OH — Logan EgglestonBrentwood (Tenn.), 6-2 
Despite missing half the season, Eggleston led Brentwood in kills (6.1 per set average) and averaged 2.7 digs and 4.7 serve receptions. The 40-6 Bruins lost just twice with Eggleston on the court and won their fifth straight state title. She missed the first part of the season competing for the United States in Argentina in the FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship 2017. It marked her second consecutive year playing for Team USA.

OH — Kayleigh HamesWebb (Knoxville, Tenn.), 6-1 
Hames teamed with her sister, Nicklin (first team All-American), to lead Webb to its fourth-straight title. She averaged 5.2 kills, 3.0 serve receptions and 2.5 digs per set. She also served for 53 aces. Hames has committed to Pepperdine.

OH — Jessica NungeCastle (Newburgh, Ind.), 6-2
Committed to Florida State, Nunge totaled 583 kills, blocked 86 shots and served 57 aces. Nunge led Castle to its state record 24th successive sectional championship. She was named the Evansville Courier & Press Metro player of the year.

OH — Allyson SeveranceNorth Branch (Mich.), 6-1
In her three varsity seasons, North Branch has won 182 matches with this 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 — May PertofskySierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.), 6-2
Pertofsky, a first team all-CIF Southern Section selection, averaged 4.9 kills and hit 47.2 kill efficiency in leading Sierra Canyon to the state 2A title. She has committed to Michigan.

OH — Riley JamesBarnstable (Hyannis, Mass.), 5-10
In three seasons, James has played in 75 winning matches and lost just three. That loss this season came in the state 3A semifinals. And 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.

OH — Madeline ChinnNotre Dame Prep (Pontiac, Mich.), 6-3
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.

OH — Megan TaylorPaintsville (Ky.), 6-0  
A two-time All-State selection, Taylor averaged 6.3 kills (67.9 kill percentage) to lead the Tigers to a 33-5 season. She also served 104 aces, blocked 102 shots and had 213 digs (2.0 average). She has committed to Marshall.

OH — Madi KubikValley (West Des Moines, Iowa), 6-1
Kubik led West to the state Class 5A title game when she hit .333 with an average of 5.5 kills per set. She was a U.S. as a member of the Girls Youth National team.

OH — Jenaisya MooreNorthwest (Germantown, Md.), 5-10
Moore had 33 kills and 16 digs as Northwest downed Anarundel in four sets to cap an unbeaten season and capture its third Maryland 4A title in succession. The ultra-athletic Moore averaged 5.7 kills and 3.9 digs per set over the season.

OH — Riley WagonerDublin Coffman (Dublin, Ohio), 6-0
With Wagoner in the front row, the Shamrocks made it to the state semifinal match 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 AlanisRowe (McAllen, Texas), 6-1 
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.

OH — Kendall KippCorona del Mar (Newport Beach, Calif.), 6-4
Kipp, a six-rotation player, had a team-high 429 kills. She also had 120 digs, 70 blocks and 48 aces. She is a member of the USA 18 Girls team.

S — Camille NazorAssumption (Louisville, Ky.), 6-1
Nazor, who has committed to Duke, was the quarterback for the 42-3 Rockets (No. 3 in the final MaxPreps Xcellent Rankings). She totaled 982 assists in 84 sets for a 11.7 per set average as the Rockets won the state championship (their 20th overall). Nazor also blocked 41 shots and recorded 60 kills.

S — Lexis AkeoKamehameha Kapalama (Honolulu), 5-8
Akeo led the Warriors to the 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 WhitmireProsper (Texas), 5-10
Whitmire played a key role in leading Prosper to 46-6 season and the state 5A title when she averaged 11.8 assists per set. She also served for 312 points and has committed to Connecticut.

L — Anna MacDonaldBlessed Trinity (Roswell, Ga.), 5-5 
MacDonald led Blessed Trinity to a 59-6 season and fourth-straight state 4A title. 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 LaskyBronson (Mich.), 5-5
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 — Kenzie KnucklesYorktown (Ind.), 5-9
Knuckles, who was a finalist for the MaxPreps National Sophomore Player of the Year a year ago, led Yorktown to a 36-3 season. She averaged 4.8 kills and 4.3 digs per set. The future Nebraska Cornhusker also served at a 96.3 percent.

A-A — Devon NewberryMarymount (Los Angeles), 5-9
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 Marymount won 31 matches. Newberry, who was named first team CIF-Southern Section, has committed to play beach volleyball at UCLA.

A-A — Savannah VachOviedo (Fla.), 5-10
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 state 9A regional finals.

2017 MaxPreps Sophomore All-American Volleyball Team
Alexa Edwards, St. Francis
Photo by Anthony Brunsman
Alexa Edwards, St. Francis
MaxPreps National Sophomore Player of the Year
A-A — Melani ShaffmasterNew Castle (Ind.), 6-3
Shaffmaster is MaxPreps National Sophomore Player of the Year after leading New Castle to the state 3A championship. Shaffmaster, last year's 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.

MB — Emani' FosterNorthern Vance (Henderson, N.C.), 5-11
Foster led in all team categories, but assists. The big number is 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 LondotUtica (Ohio), 6-2 
Another sophomore already over the 1,000 career mark, Londot averaged 7.3 kills per set and a 45.8 kill percentage, 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. She was named All-Ohio.

MB — Marriah BussLincoln Lutheran (Neb.), 6-1 
Buss averaged 7.3 kills per set, served 45 aces, blocked 48 shots and averaged 2.6 digs and 3.4 serve receptions per set for the Warriors (31-6), who finished third in the state C tournament. In 15 matches, she averaged better than eight kills in a set.

MH — Sophie FischerNation Ford (Fort Mill, S.C.), 6-4
Fischer, a first team 5A All-State selection, had 580 kills (4.9 per set average) in leading Nation Ford to a 27-win season. She added 288 digs (2.4), 351 (3.0) and 85 blocks. Committed to the University of North Carolina, Fischer was also named Region 4-5A player of the year.

OH — Raina TerryHighland (Marengo, Ohio), 6-2 
Terry led the Fighting Scots to a 24-2 season when she averaged 7.4 kills, blocked 43 shots, and served an ace 30 percent of the time. She was named All-Ohio.

OH — Amy BuffiniMaranatha Christian (San Diego), 5-7
Buffini averaged 4.5 and 2.7 digs per set and served for 77 aces in leading the Eagles to the state D5 championship. Buffini was at her best during the state tournament when she averaged six kills per set in 16 sets.

OH — Taylor HeadWest Orange (Winter Garden, Fla.), 5-10 
Head led in kills (4.2 average), aces (78) and was second in digs and serve receptions for the unbeaten and state champion Warriors.

OH — Makayla SorensenBonneville (Idaho Falls, Idaho), 5-9
Sorenson had her second consecutive season with 400-plus kills and 300-plus digs. She finished this season with 490 kills, 44 aces, 315 digs and 41 blocks as Bonneville won 41 times. Sorensen is the Idaho Falls Post Register's 2017 All-Area Volleyball Player of the Year.

OH — Alexa EdwardsSt. Francis (Sacramento, Calif.), 5-11 
Edwards led the Troubadours to 34 wins and a half-dozen playoff games when she averaged 4.17 kills, 3.4 serve receptions and 3.3 digs per set. She also served 45 aces (93 percent) and blocked 50 shots. St. Francis was eliminated in the playoffs by eventual large school state champion Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.). 

OH — Kalynn MeyerSuperior (Neb.), 6-3 
Meyer was named the 2017 All-Tribland volleyball player of the year when she racked up 545 kills (5.8 kills per set), 193 total blocks (2.0 per set), 59 ace serves and 375 digs. Meyer is also an elite thrower in track and field and posted the second-best javelin mark in the nation. She has committed to Nebraska.

OH — Rylee Rader, Assumption (Louisville, Ky.), 6-1
Rader saved her best 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.

OH — Ansley TullisPope John Paul II (Slidell, La.), 6-0
The returning All-State selection improved on her numbers from a year ago finishing with 416 kills, 299 digs and 86 aces as the Jaguars claimed a fourth-straight state title. She captured player of the year honors on The New Orleans Advocate's All-Metro Volleyball Team for Small Schools.

OH — Shelby O'NealClemens (Schertz, Texas), 6-0
A two-time San Antonio Express-News All-Star pick, O'Neal led Clemens to a 40-win season when she averaged 5.1 kills, 2.3 digs and 2.7 serve receptions per set. She also served for 266 points and 105 aces to go along with 72 blocks. She has committed to Texas A&M.

S — Mia TuanigaMater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 5-9
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. She was named first team all-California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section D1 as Mater Dei finished as state open division runner-up.

S — Logan CaseUrsuline Academy (Cincinnati), 5-8
Case served 96 percent and dished out 1,153 assists for a per set average of 11.9 as the Lions went 28-1 and won the state title. On six occasions, she totaled more than 50 assists in a match. Case also averaged 3.7 digs and in her final 52 sets.

S — MJ HammillCenter Grove (Greenwood, Ind.), 6-1 
Hammill quarterbacked the Trojans to 26 wins as she averaged 9.9 assists, 2.0 kills and 2.6 digs per set. She also blocked 122 shots. Hammill, who has committed to Wisconsin, was at her best in four state tournament matches, averaging 13 assists per set.

S — Alexis McMurtrey, Bonneville (Idaho Falls, Idaho), 5-5
McMurtrey served for 53 aces and 264 points, but more importantly handed out 11.1 assists per set and recorded 2.8 digs per set as Bonneville repeated as 5A state champion and posted 41 wins, including 24 straight to end the season. McMurtrey was at her best in the Bees' four state tournament wins when she averaged better than 13 assists per set.

S — Kelsie SelmanAll Saints (Fort Worth, Texas), 5-6
The national leader in assists with 2,070 (12.7 per set average), Selman led All Saints to the TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools) state 5A title. She also served for 70 aces, blocked 56 shots averaged 3.8 digs in 163 sets.

L — Gianna BartaloLewis-Palmer (Monument, Colo.), 5-6
Named first team All-State, Bartalo was a back-row menace, averaging four digs and 3.7 serve receptions per set. She also served 54 aces for 237 points, both team highs, as the Rangers repeated as 4A state champions and ran their win streak to 58. Bartalo has never played in a losing high school game.

A-A — Alexa RousseauBloomfield Hills (Mich.), 6-2 
The Blackhawks finished with 35 wins as Rousseau averaged 6.9 assists and two kills per set. Her 62.2 kill percent and .495 hitting percentage were tops on the team. She also blocked 59 shots and served 94 aces and for 324 points.

A-A — Sydney DowlerGreen Hope (Cary, N.C.), 5-10
Dowler led Green Hope to a 31-2 season and another 4A state title when she averaged 1.5 kills, 2.0 digs and 8.4 assists. She also served 63 aces (team-high 222 service points). In five state tournament matches, she averaged 10 assists per set. Dowler was named state tournament MVP for the second time.

A-A — Tayler AldenOconomowoc (Wis.), 6-0 
Alden guided the Raccoons to the state semifinals by recording 1,153 assists in 109 sets for a 10.6 per set average. She also averaged 2.3 digs and had 185 kills, 38 blocks and served 60 aces for 238 points. She was named second team All-State as six different outside hitters logged more than 100 kills during the season this year.

2017 MaxPreps Freshman All-American Volleyball Team
Taylor Simpson, Sierra Canyon
Photo by Ming Chun Lin
Taylor Simpson, Sierra Canyon
MaxPreps National Freshman Player of the Year
OH — Mabrey Shaffmaster, (New Castle, Ind.) 6-1
Following in her older sisters footsteps, Shaffmaster is the 2017 National Freshman of the Year. She totaled 445 kills (3.8 per set average), 60 blocks and 99 aces as New Castle won the state 3A title.

MB — Allysa BatenhorstSeven Lakes (Katy, Texas), 6-4
In leading Seven Lakes to the Texas 6A final match, Batenhorst led the Spartans in kills (4.6 per set), digs (2.6), blocks (53), aces (43) and serve receptions (6.0). She earned 6A All-State honors, the only freshman to do so.

MB — Samantha FrancisLa Jolla Country Day (Calif.), 6-4
Francis made an immediate impact in the middle for the 27-win Torreys recording team highs in kills (3.1 average and 50.1 kill percentage) and blocks (115).

MH — Atlantis ClendeninRockville (Ind.), 6-1
Clendenin scored a lot for Rockville, averaging 3.8 kills and serving for 133 aces (an ace 36.2 percent of the time). She also averaged 2.6 digs and 1.9 serve receptions for the 24-11 Rox.

OH — Lindsay KrauseSkutt Catholic (Omaha, Neb.), 6-3
Krause led Skutt to another state title and 35-8 season when she averaged 3.6 kills (48.8 kill percent) per set. Named first team All-Super State first team, Krause has committed to Nebraska. Krause averaged 17 kills per match in three state tournament matches, including 18 in the four-set victory over Duchesne in the final. She was the only freshman named to the Super State team.

OH — Jacque BoneyMarist (Atlanta), 6-3
With Boney recording a 55.6 kill percentage and averaging 4.4 kills per set, the War Eagles went 40-3 and won the state 4A title. She also blocked 83 shots and was named first team All-State.

OH — Anna BallengeeBarr-Reeve (Montgomery, Ind.), 5-9
Ballengree averaged 5.4 kills, 4.0 serve receptions and 3.7 per set as the Vikings reached the state 1A semifinals.

OH — Madi MaloneNewark (Ill.), 5-11
Malone shattered Newark single-season record with 448 kills (5.6), leading the 34-5 Norsemen to their first state appearance. She also had team-high 60 aces and just seven serving errors to go with team high 276 digs and 30 blocks.

OH/MB — Olivia KellerBeyer (Modesto, Calif.), 6-1
Keller's hitting ability — 61.7 kill percentage — got the attention of opponents in a hurry. She led the Patriots to a 23-8 record as she averaged 5.3 kills per set and was lone freshman on the Modesto Bee's all-area squad.

OH — Natalie GlennCarroll (Southlake, Texas), 5-10
Glenn finished with 466 kills (3.9 per set average) and 518 digs (4.3), and had 18 double-doubles. She made 10 or more digs 27 times, and 10 or more kills 22 times. Glenn was District 5-6A Newcomer of the Year as Carroll went 38-8.

OH — Starr WilliamsColony (Ontario, Calif.), 6-3
The Long Beach State pledge led the Titans (22-7) to their best season in school history. Williams led the team in kills with 229 (.425 percentage.) and also led in blocks with 21, 30 aces and in digs. She earned All-California Interscholastic Federal honors.

OH — Addie VanderWeideChristian (Grand Rapids, Mich.), 5-11
VanderWeide led Christian to a deep playoff run and a 43-7 record when she averaged 3.6 kills per set and served for 258 points with 44 aces and a 95 percent serving clip. She also averaged 4.1 serve receptions and 2.1 digs per set.

OH — Saskia HernandezWestminster Christian (Miami), 5-10
A third-year varsity player, Hernandez average 4.4 kill, 4.0 digs and 3.8 serve receptions for the 20-win Warriors.

S — Kennedi OrrEagan (Minn.), 6-0
Committed to Nebraska, Orr was a finalist for National Freshman of the Year. She played a key role in Eagan's 30-2 season. She averaged better than three kills and digs per set and dished out 586 assists in 89 sets. She also served at a 95-percent rate. She was first team all-state and all-metro.

S — Grace MetcalfDorman (Roebuck, S.C.), 5-5
Metcalf jumped into the quarterback role, dishing out 1,218 assists (10.1 per set average) in helping lead Dorman to a high national ranking and the state 5A championship. She also served for 298 points on 93 percent serving with 59 aces. She added 215 digs.

S — Peyton GriffinJesuit (Portland, Ore.), 5-11
Griffin didn't waste any time stepping in and contributing: 997 assists (11.3 per set average) and served at a 96.7 clip for 47 aces and 231 points. She wa snamed first-team All-Metro.

S — Taylor Simpson, Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.), 5-10
Simpson quarterbacked the Trailblazers to the state D2 championship. She dished off 1,226 assists (10.1 per set average), had 1.5 digs, blocked 56 shots and served 58 aces.

S — Arora LevengoodTuscarawas Valley (Zoarville, Ohio), 5-8
The Trojans won their first 28 games before losing in the state tournament. Levengood averaged 11.4 assists per set for a team that averaged 13.8 kills per set. 

L — Samantha NaberBurlington (Wis.), 5-6
Naber was chosen All-State second-team; first-team All-Southern Lakes Conference and top libero in the SLC. She helped the Demons win WIAA D1 state title as she totaled 319 digs and 34 aces.

A-A — Brooke MosherWaterloo (Wis.), 5-11
With per set marks of 4.0 for assists, 4.0 for kills, 2.7 serve receptions, 2.0 digs and 107 service aces and 51 blocks, Mosher rarely left the court during the Pirates 27-win season. She received All-State honorable mention honors.

A-A — Ali HornungProvidence (Clarksville, Ind.), 5-9
Big sister Marissa gets most the attention, but Ali made an immediate impact for the 37-2 Pioneers digging (3.2 per set), receiving (4.3) and killing (3.2). She also added 42 blocks and served 96.5 percent. She was second team all-state.

A-A — Parker BrackenJackson Academy (Miss.), 5-9
Bracken helped Jackson Academy to a 31-7 overall record and a MAIS State Championship as a freshman with 380 kills, 53 blocks, 266 digs and 75 serving aces. Named first team All-Sstate Mississippi, Backen was among the national leaders in hitting percentage with a 61 percent kill ratio.

A-A — Camryn TurnerSeaman (Topeka, Kan.), 5-7
A big leaper, Turner earned a spot on the All-City first team and was named the city Newcomer of the Year. Turner registered 198 kills (5.5 per set average), dished 388 assists (10.8) and recorded 146 digs (4.1) while serving at 96.4 percent with 25 aces.