Team huddle

May, Samedy and Rettke lead inaugural Volleyball College Draft Class

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2021 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Athletes Unlimited
Dec 18, 2021
  • Nine Top NCAA Players Invited to Join 44 of the Sport’s Best for Athletes Unlimited’ s Second Volleyball Season Starting March 16
  • Tickets for All 30 Games on Sale

Athletes Unlimited completed its inaugural Volleyball College Draft this evening on Facebook and YouTube inviting nine of the NCAA’s top players to join contracted returnees and free agents to that comprise 44 of the sport’s best competitors for its second season to be held at Fair Park Coliseum in Dallas, Texas, March 16 – April 16

Top graduating seniors including UCLA’s Mac May, University of Minnesota’s Stephanie Samedy and Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke lead the class of nine athletes which include seven 2021 All-American selections. 

All 30 Athletes Unlimited volleyball games will broadcast or stream around the world as part of an unprecedented distribution package that will be announced in the near future. For updated ticket information and COVID-19 safety protocols, please visit https://auprosports.com/tickets/volleyball/. 

“Athletes Unlimited is excited to celebrate some of the best players in the 2021 graduating class and recognize their incredible collegiate careers,” said Cassidy Lichtman, head of the Volleyball Player Executive Committee. “This is really the first class in decades to have the opportunity to play in their home country straight out of college, and we hope to see them all in an Athletes Unlimited jersey in the future!” 

“I want to congratulate the talented collegiate players selected to join our world-class roster of players from around the globe, including USA Team Captain, Gold medalist and Athletes Unlimited defending champion Jordan Larson who will compete during our second volleyball season starting March 16,” said Jon Patricof, CEO and Co-Founder of Athletes Unlimited. “We also look forward to hosting fans at all 30 of our games at Fair Park Coliseum this season to watch these incredible athletes in person.”

The draftees were introduced by members of the Athletes Unlimited Volleyball Player Executive Committee and there is no specific ranking in the order of the athletes. 

2022 Athletes Unlimited Volleyball Draft Class: 

Mac May (Dubuque, Iowa), Outside Hitter, UCLA 

Introduced by Cassidy Lichtman 

Mac May is the only player in UCLA history to have led the team in kills in four seasons. She is a two-time Pac-12 Player of the Year, becoming the second player in program history to win the award twice. On November 26, 2021, May surpassed 2,000 career kills, making her the first Bruin to achieve the feat in the rally scoring era (fourth in history). 

She earned AVCA and Volleyball Magazine All-American honors in 2021 (spring) and 2019. She has also been named AVCA All-Region twice and All-Pac-12 three times. 

May completed her career at UCLA as the all-time leader in sets played (115), third in kills (2,065) and third in aces (178). She was named an AVCA First-Team All-American following the 2021 season. 

Stephanie Samedy (Clermont, Fla.), Opposite, University of Minnesota

Introduced by Cassidy Lichtman 

Stephanie Samedy became the first ever freshman at Minnesota to garner First Team All-America honors in 2017, leading the team with 478 kills and all Big Ten in kills per set (4.05). She was also named a unanimous All Big Ten and Freshman All-Big Ten selection. 

In four seasons since, Samedy has continued to grow her footprint in collegiate volleyball history. She is a four-time First-Team All-Big Ten selection and is the only player, besides Dana Rettke, to earn AVCA All-American honors five times. 

In 2021, she was named Big Ten Player of the Year, Honda Award Finalist and Senior CLASS Volleyball Player of the Year. 

Samedy is the second player in conference history to eclipse 2,000 kills and 1,500 digs. 

Dana Rettke (Riverside, IL), Middle Blocker, Wisconsin 

Introduced by Jordan Larson 

Since her freshman season, Dana Rettke has established herself as one of the most dynamic players on the court at Wisconsin. Following her freshman campaign, in which

she tallied 386 kills, she was named 2017 AVCA Freshman of the Year – the first in Badger history – and Big Ten Freshman of the Year. 

Rettke has continued her success in each season since. She became the first four-time, first-team All-American in program history, and was named 2019-20 Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year and 2019 Big Ten Player of the Year. 

In 2021, Rettke became the only five-time AVCA first-team All-American. She is the Wisconsin career leader in hitting percentage (.419), first in total blocks (691), third in kills (1,659), second in points (2,142.5), second in points per set (4.53) and third in blocks per set (1.48). 

Lauren Stivrins (Scottsdale, AZ), Middle Blocker, Nebraska 

Introduced by Jordan Larson 

In five years with the Huskers, Lauren Stivrins posted 1,236 kills and 547 total blocks. She is a three-time AVCA All-American (2018, 2020 First Team; 2019 Second Team), making her the first Nebraska middle blocker to achieve the honors since Melissa Elmer (2003-05). 

As a senior in 2020, Stivrins was a unanimous All-Big Ten First-Team selection and finished the 2020 season with a school-record .396 career hitting percentage in the NCAA Tournament, her third-consecutive All-Big Ten First Team selection. 

Yossiana Pressley (Cypress, Texas), Opposite, Baylor 

Introduced by Molly McCage 

Yossiana Pressley has accumulated many recognitions throughout her five years at Baylor. Entering her extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she was unanimously named a Preseason All-Big 12 selection. Throughout 24 matches this season, she had recorded 399 kills. 

She led the country with 488 kills in 2020 and became the Baylor career kills leader during the rally scoring era with 1,942 kills. As a junior in 2019, she was named AVCA and ESPNW National Player of the Year after helping the Bears to their first Big 12 title and NCAA National Semifinals. 

She became the first freshman in Big 12 history to lead the conference in points (4.85 per set) or kills (4.27 per set), which earned her Big 12 Freshman of the Year. 

Pressley owns the Baylor record for single-match (five sets) kills (39) which she set during her sophomore season. She is a three-time AVCA All-American (2018, 2019, 2021) and four-time All-Big 12 First Team selection.

Avery Skinner (Katy, Texas), Outside Hitter, Kentucky/Baylor 

Introduced by Molly McCage 

Avery Skinner became an NCAA National Champion in 2020 as a senior at the University of Kentucky. She was named an AVCA First-Team All-American, All-SEC and a finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year. 

After four years with the Wildcats, Skinner joined the Baylor Bears for her graduate season. She was a unanimous Preseason All-Big 12 selection, has recorded 308 kills and 13 aces across 25 matches this season. 

Dani Drews (Sandy, Utah), Outside Hitter, Utah 

Introduced by Taylor Morgan 

Dani Drews’ career at Utah has been history making in more ways than one for the program. In 2020 she became the first Ute to be named AVCA First Team All-American three times. In 2021, Drews led the Pac-12 with 5.24 kills per set and 5.80 points per set. She recorded 545 kills, 32 aces and 273 digs on the season. 

Drews is a four-time All-Pac 12 selection (2018-2021). She owns many Utah records, including career kills (2,258), single-season kills (643) and single-match kills (22 in a three-set match; 30 in a four-set match). Her 643 kills marked the first time in program history a player eclipsed 600 kills in a season. She is the only player in school history to have 2,000 kills and 1,000 digs. 

She was named AVCA Pacific South Region Player of the Year twice (2019, 2020). 

Brionne Butler (Kendleton, Texas), Middle Blocker, Texas 

Introduced by Taylor Morgan 

Brionne Butler has led the way as a middle blocker for Texas. In 2020 she led the Big 12 Conference with 1.48 blocks per set and a .430 hitting percentage which ranked 11th in the NCAA. She led the nation with 147 total blocks, earning her First Team AVCA All-American and First Team All-Big 112 honors. 

Butler was also named a unanimous 2019 All-Big 12 First Team selection. Over the course of her collegiate career, she has amassed 469 total blocks and 718 kills. 

During the 2021 season, she tallied 97 total blocks and 167 kills as the Longhorns captured their fifth consecutive Big 12 Conference Championship. She earned her third

consecutive AVCA First-Team All-American selection, ranking second in the country in hitting percentage (.466). 

Anna Stevenson (Laurens, SC), Middle Blocker, Louisville 

Introduced by Kristen Tupac 

Stevenson has been a force on the court for Louisville, both offensively and defensively. Throughout her three seasons as a Cardinal, she has accumulated 631 kills and 338 total blocks. She ranks in the top 20 in the country in blocks (142) and blocks-per-set average (1.34). 

She earned Second Team All-American and All-ACC First Team honors in 2020. In 2021, she was named an AVCA First-Team All-American. 

Prior to joining Louisville, Stevenson played two seasons at Auburn University where she set the single season blocks per set record in 2018 (1.15). 

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