LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The University of Louisville volleyball team has been picked second in the ACC Coaches Preseason Poll with Tori Dilfer, Aiko Jones and Anna Stevenson being named to the Preseason All-ACC squad.
Led by All-American Aiko Jones, the University of Louisville climbed to their highest finish in program history, toppling No. 2 Texas in Austin for a trip to the Elite Eight In 2019. In 2020, Louisville volleyball returns six starters besides, Dilfer, Jones, and Stevenson, the Cards return starting libero Alexis Hamilton, outside hitter Claire Chaussee, and middle blocker Amaya Tillman, who was named to the ACC All-Freshman team in 2019. UofL adds a Top 20-ranked recruiting class to the squad, including native Louisvillian Anna DeBeer, who was Kentucky's Ms. Volleyball, and was named the top female athlete in the state of Kentucky by MaxPreps.
Anna Stevenson, a graduate of Laurens District High School, started all but one match in 2019 at middle blocker. and earned second team All-ACC honors. Hitting .273, she had 14 matches of .300 hitting or better, highlighted by her 14-3-28 (.393) effort against No. 2 Texas that sent UofL to its first Elite Eight. At Syracuse, she hit .600 (13-1-20) and a sizzling .857 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against Samford (12-0-14). She had two aces against Xavier and a total of 12 assists. She far and away led the team in blocking, with a total of 140, 40 more than the next Cardinal. She had a season-high 10 at Boston College and was never held blockless by an opponent. She had nine at Notre Dame, and eight apiece at home against Virginia and Pitt. She had seven at Cincinnati and versus NC State. Anna is a Red and Black Scholar, on the All-ACC Academic Volleyball Team and is a member of the ACC Honor Roll.
Tori Dilfer was named NCAA All-Texas Region for helming the team's Cinderella run to the Elite Eight. started the season at setter when UofL was running a 6-2 offense. The Cardinals moved to the 5-1 later in the season with Dilfer at the helm and she led them to their first Elite Eight Appearance. She had a total of 880 assists (8.38 per set) and was second on the team in aces with 28. She had a season-high three aces against Xavier, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Samford. She had a season-high 57 assists at Miami and had more than 40 on eight other occasions. She hit a perfect 100 percent at Duke with a 4-0-4 night. She racked up 39 total blocks with her season-high coming against NC State when she notched five against the Pack. An outstanding student, Tori made the ACC Honor Roll, the All-ACC Academic Team and is a Red and Black Scholar.
Aiko Jones had a breakout season in her first year, earning First Team All-ACC, AVCA All-East Region, AVCA HM All-American honors as well as being named to the NCAA Texas All-Regional Team. In the regular season, she was named to the All-LUV and All-Cardinal Classic teams. She started every set of every match and led the team in kills, and attacks while hitting .258 for the season from the right side. She was third on the team with 27 aces and third in digs with 151 and second in blocks with 97. She had a season-high 23 points when she was unstoppable against the No. 2 ranked Longhorns of Texas with 23 which tallied up to .375 hitting (23-5-48) to lead UofL to its first Elite Eight appearance. She had two double-doubles: a 18 kill, 10 dig performance at Syracuse and 10 kill, 10 dig output at Pitt. She had 21 matches with double-digit kills. She had 20 kills at Miami and at Western Kentucky to lead the Cardinals to the Sweet Sixteen. She had 19 kills at Virginia Tech, and 18 at Boston and Syracuse. In all, she was responsible for 460 of the Cardinals' points. As strong in the classroom as she is on the court, Aiko is a member of the ACC Honor Roll, was named to the ACC All-Academic Team and is a Red and Black Scholar.
2020 ACC Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll
- Pitt (192 points, 11 first-place votes)
- Louisville (175 points, two first-place votes)
- Georgia Tech (172 points, two first-place votes)
- Notre Dame (158 points)
- Florida State (145 points)
- Syracuse (126 points)
- North Carolina (121 points)
T8. Boston College (89 points)
T8. Miami (89 points)
- Duke (82 points)
- NC State (70 points)
- Clemson (68 points)
- Virginia (42 points)
- Wake Forest (28 points)
- Virginia Tech (18 points)
2020 ACC Volleyball Preseason All-ACC Team
Amaka Chukwujekwu, Boston College, Sr., MB
Taryn Knuth, Florida State, Sr., MB
Jasmyn Martin, Florida State, Sr., OH
Julia Bergmann, Georgia Tech, So., OH
Mariana Brambilla, Georgia Tech, Jr., OH
Matti McKissock, Georgia Tech, Jr., S
Tori Dilfer, Louisville, Sr., S
Aiko Jones, Louisville, So., OPP
Anna Stevenson, Louisville, Sr., MB
Elizaveta Lukianova, Miami, Sr., OH
Destiny Cox, North Carolina, Jr., OH
Melissa Evans, NC State, Sr., OPP
Charley Niego, Notre Dame, Jr., OH
Zoe Nunez, Notre Dame, Jr., S
Lexis Akeo, Pitt, So., S
Kayla Lund, Pitt, Sr., OH
Chinaza Ndee, Pitt, Sr., RS
Polina Shemanova, Syracuse, Jr., OH