Sophomore middle hitter Sam Kersting earned the highest-ever award in Webster University volleyball history with an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American third team and All-Region first team selection.
Announced on Tuesday, Nov. 13, she received a call from Webster coach Merry Graf that she had unofficially been selected as one of the top 42 women’s volleyball players in the country.
Coming into the season as a transfer from Indiana State University, Kersting was worried about getting playing time, but now she has made Webster history.
“I remember texting Coach (before the season) and asking her if I will even get playing time,” Kersting said. “I was very, very excited. I didn’t even consider that (All-American) as an option.”
Even when she first was awarded the All-Regional first team award just before their first round in the NCAA tournament match against Elmhusrt College (Ill.), she said she was stunned.
“I had no idea it even existed,” Kersting said. “I didn’t even know it was going to happen, so I was really shocked and really excited.”
This season, Kersting earned the fourth highest hitting percentage in Webster history (.368). Her national ranks in the hitting and blocking shot her up on the list for potential regional award winners. In Division III across the country, she ranked 14th in hitting percentage and also eighth in blocks per set.
Graf said Kersting’s blocking ability is what made her top in the country. Kersting was surprised by it because she thinks the complete opposite.
“I hate it (blocking) and I think I’m horrible at it,” Kersting said. “I think the best part of my game is my hitting, but I guess it’s not. Everybody else says I’m good at blocking, but I hate it.”
Even though Kersting hates it, she said she will still work on improving her blocking in the offseason.
Not only does Kersting hope to win the awards again next year, but what she wants to see more Webster players winning the award.
“I hope we can just get more players on there,” Kersting said. “I think it would be really cool for me to win it twice, but if anyone from Webster would get it, I think it would be really beneficial and it will be just like another battle.
“I know I just want to win it (All-American) again,” Kersting said.