LINCOLN — Two years ago, Kelsey Robinson attended the All-America banquet in San Antonio after receiving second-team honors as a sophomore at Tennessee. She remembered looking at college volleyball's biggest names, hoping to join them someday as a first-team All-American.
That honor, the latest in Robinson's slew of postseason awards, was confirmed Wednesday when the senior outside hitter was named a first-team All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
Robinson also was an honorable mention All-American in 2012 at Tennessee.
“I'm excited. Definitely feel honored to be on the first team,” she said. “When I was there two years ago, I looked up to a lot of the players. It's exciting to be in their shoes now.”
The senior from Bartlett, Ill., was named Big Ten player of the year in her lone season at Nebraska. She averaged 4.45 kills and 3.33 digs per set, while posting 19 double-doubles and hitting .318. Robinson helped lead NU to second place in the conference and a berth in an NCAA regional final, where the Huskers ended the season Saturday with a loss to Texas.
“She put together one of the greatest seasons of a Nebraska volleyball player we've had,” Nebraska coach John Cook said last weekend, “and she put together one of the greatest seasons an outside hitter has had in the Big Ten with a team that's playing four freshmen and another newcomer setter. That's pretty remarkable. I hope people give her credit for what she's accomplished.”
And there is one final award left. Robinson has an outside chance at being named national player of the year when that's announced Friday at a banquet honoring the All-Americans at the final four in Seattle. But in the last 10 seasons, that honor only once has gone to a player whose team didn't advance to the final four.
“I haven't really thought about it much. I don't really know how they go about it,” Robinson said. “If I get it, it will be exciting. I'll probably be in shock. But I know a lot of the players at the final four have had great years, as well.”
This is the fourth straight season that NU has had a first-team All-American. Robinson follows Lauren Cook (2012), Gina Mancuso (2011) and Brooke Delano (2010).
Three other Huskers earned All-America honors Wednesday. Outside hitter Kadie Rolfzen was named third-team All-America after finishing second on the school's all-time list for kills by a freshman, despite missing the first three matches with a shoulder injury. Her 377 kills trailed only Sarah Pavan, who had 481 kills as a freshman in 2004.
Middle blocker Meghan Haggerty and junior setter Mary Pollmiller were honorable mention All-Americans.
Nebraska improved its nation-leading total to 76 AVCA All-America certificates on either the first, second or third team. The Huskers have had at least one player earning All-America honors in 32 consecutive years. In Cook's 14 seasons as coach, NU has earned 41 All-America honors.