Utah junior Dani Drews' first-team selection highlighted the Utes' historic showing in the 2019 All-America awards, announced Wednesday by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
Drews became only the second first-team All-American in the program’s history, following Adora Anae in 2017. The AVCA selected 14 first-team players. The Utes previously had three second-team picks (including Drews in 2018).
Drews, Oblad and Koerber will be honored this week during the Final Four in Pittsburgh.
The Utes were rewarded for a third-place finish in the Pac-12, the program's best performance in nine years of conference membership. Utah's 24-10 season ended with a five-set loss at No. 3 seed Stanford in the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 last week, after the Utes had advanced by beating Illinois and BYU in Provo.
Drews, from Brighton High School, is a member of the family that produced two NFL draftees from Utah in April, linebacker Cody Barton and offensive lineman Jackson Barton. Drews broke a school record with 643 kills this season, including 33 kills vs. USC — a school record for a match in the rally-scoring scoring era. “Dani worked hard this past year to improve every aspect of her game and has become one of the top all-around players in the country,” Ute coach Beth Launiere said in a school news release.
Oblad returned for her senior season after being injured last year. She finished her career as the fourth player in Ute history with 1,000 kills and 500 blocks. Launiere cited the middle blocker's “incredible passion” as a team leader.
Koerber was the only athlete to be voted both a Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week. "Kenzie carried a huge load for us both offensively and defensively, highlighted by being one of the top blockers in her position in the country,” Launiere said.
In her first year as a starting setter, Ka’aha’aina-Torres set a school record with 1,518 assists.