Sterling’s Lexi Rodriguez, St. Thomas More’s Caroline Kerr named AVCA All-Americans

Former St. Thomas More star Colleen Kerr (right) was named a second-team Division I All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. (Photo by Dave Ruggles)

Two Illinois products were among the 42 players named to the 42nd annual All-America teams for NCAA Division I women’s volleyball announced by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

The 2023 class, which features 14 players on the first, second and third teams, represents 23 schools. Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Stanford and Texas each had two players on the first team, and the Cardinal and Huskers have the most total All-Americans with four apiece.

Louisville, Oregon, Pittsburgh and Wisconsin each placed three players on the first three teams. There were an additional 56 players named honorable mention.

Magda Jehlářová of Washington State, a 2023 first-teamer, becomes a four-time All-American. Picking up their third All-America awards are USC’s Skylar Fields, Kentucky’s Emma Grohm, Stanford’s Kendall Kipp and Nebraska’s Lexie Rodriguez.

Third-team selection Melanie Parra of TCU is the Horned Frogs first-ever AVCA All-American.

Nebraska’s Lexi Rodriguez

Rodriguez, a 5-5 junior libero who helped lead Sterling to back-to-back IHSA Class 3A championships in 2018 and 2019, earned her third AVCA All-America honor in three years after being a first-team selection in 2021 and a second-team choice last season.

Heading into the NCAA semifinals, she averaged 3.56 digs and 1.26 assists per set with a .980 reception percentage, and leads a Husker defense that ranks third nationally in opponent hitting percentage. The two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honoree also has 145 assists to go with her 416 digs this fall.

Caroline Kerr, a redshirt freshman at the University of Tennessee who guided (Champaign) St. Thomas More to an IHSA Class 1A championship in 2021, added AVCA All-American to a list of 2023 honors that includes AVCA All-Region and All-Southeastern Conference selections.

In her first season at the helm of the Tennessee offense, the 5-11 Kerr found her way into the nation’s top five in assists per set average. She posted a season-best 56 assists in the thrilling, five-set regional battle with Texas and finished the season with 1,245 assists and 210 digs.

Tennessee’s Caroline Kerr

The 2023 All-America selections were made by the AVCA Division I All-America Committee: Erin Lindsey, Santa Clara (chair); Marci Byers, Virginia Tech; Betsy Freeburg, University of Alabama-Birmingham; Katelyn Harrison, Belmont; Branden Higa, California Baptist; Christy Johnson-Lynch, Iowa State; Kim Lambert, Delaware; Eve Rackham, Tennessee; Caitlin Schweihofer, Rutgers; Matt Ulmer, Oregon; and JT Wenger, University of Texas-Arlington.

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