Braden Taylor | Posted: 21 Apr 2021 | Updated: 19 Jul 2021

Three Cougars named AVCA All-Americans

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AllAmerican_Kennedy Eschenberg
AllAmerican_Taylen Ballard-Nixon AllAmerican_Whitney Bower

PROVO, Utah – Senior Kennedy Eschenberg, senior Taylen Ballard-Nixon and sophomore Whitney Bower of the BYU women’s volleyball team were awarded AVCA All-America recognition on Wednesday.

Eschenberg was named to the AVCA All-America Third Team after ranking No. 6 in the NCAA Division I with an average of 1.58 blocks per set and No. 10 nationally with a .435 hitting percentage. The middle blocker totaled 135 kills and only 18 errors in 269 attempts while leading the team with 82 total blocks. An AVCA All-America honorable mention honoree in 2018, this year’s recognition marks the second AVCA All-America award of her career.

Bower and Ballard-Nixon were both named All-America honorable mention. The recognition marks the first career AVCA All-America honors the two players have received.

The 2020 West Coast Conference Player and Setter of the Year, Bower led one of the most efficient offenses in the country. Bower ended the year with 676 assists, 221 digs, 48 kills, 28 blocks and 22 aces while tallying 11 double-doubles in 19 matches. The setter averaged 10.38 assists per set to help the Cougars rank No. 5 nationally in assists per set (13.41), No. 5 in team hitting percentage (.302) and No. 8 in kills per set (14.29).

Ballard-Nixon averaged 3.79 kills per set and 4.38 points per set to lead the Cougars in both categories. The outside hitter took on a much larger role this year and was a key contributor to BYU’s success. Even with the shortened season, she finished with career-high season totals of 239 kills, 133 digs and 15 aces while also adding 38 blocks.

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