Hometown/Residence: Dubuque, Iowa/Dubuque, Iowa
Birth Date: Jan. 21, 1989
College/Major/Grad Year: University of Nebraska/English/2012
Joined Team: January 2011
MAJOR INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION: 2013 - Pan American Cup (Gold)...USA Volleyball Cup...FIVB World Grand Prix (6th)...NORCECA Championship (Gold)...FIVB Grand Champions Cup (Silver). 2012 - Pan American Cup (Gold). 2011 – Pan American Games (Bronze).
INTERNATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS: 2013 - Named USA Volleyball Indoor Female Most Improved Player of the Year...Tallied a team-leading 2.25 dig average in 2013 while serving as libero in 20 of 31 matches…Named Best Receiver of Pan American Cup after producing a 67 positive reception percent in five matches helping the U.S. win second straight event title…Totaled 32 digs in 17 sets…Started opening match of USA Volleyball Cup series versus Japan, totaling 14 digs and three assists in a four-set win…Started five matches at libero during FIVB World Grand Prix, averaging 1.62 digs per set, including 21 total in the final two matches of the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round…Recorded 11 excellent receptions on 24 chances versus Serbia on Aug. 11…Served as libero leading Team USA to gold medal at NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship…Averaged 3.00 digs per set during NORCECA Championship, along with a 79 positive reception percent…Ranked atop the Best Receivers list at NORCECA Championship with a 89.6 efficiency percent on 67 attempts, and was second overall in Best Libero…Finished the FIVB Grand Champions Cup as the event’s second-leading digger with a 3.19 digs per set average…Provided 18 digs in four-set win over Japan, while tallying 11 digs and six assists against Russia in the Grand Champions Cup. 2012 – Starting U.S. libero in all seven matches of the Pan American Cup in which the U.S. captured the gold medal…Averaged 3.14 digs per set during the Pan American Cup, including a tournament-best 24 digs versus Brazil in the gold-medal match. 2011 – Played in 12 sets during the Pan American Games helping the U.S. to the bronze medal.
COLLEGE HIGHLIGHTS: 2010 – Named All-Big 12 honorable mention and served as Nebraska’s team co-captain…Finished four-year career with 1,706 digs…Averaged 4.89 digs per set as a senior, reaching double-digit digs in all but two matches. 2009 - Proved to be one of the Big 12's best liberos, earning honorable-mention all-conference honors…Ranked second in the Big 12 with 4.96 digs per set…Finished the year ranked second on Nebraska’s single-season list with 570 digs…Recorded 20 or more digs on 13 occasions, including four matches with 25 or more digs. 2008 - Put together one of the best seasons by a libero in school history, helping the Huskers to 31 wins and a berth in the NCAA semifinals…Averaged 4.12 digs and 0.84 assists as she appeared in 33 matches • Ranked third in the Big 12 in digs per set and helped the Huskers hold foes to a league-best .149 hitting percentage…Ranked third on NU's single-season list with 470 digs becoming just the third player in history to average more than four digs per set…Reached double figures in digs 29 times, including five matches with at least 20 digs. 2007 - Became a major contributor as a true freshman, winning the starting job at libero during the second half of the year…Appeared in 22 matches, averaging 2.75 digs.
CLUB/HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE: Named an alternate for the 2007 U.S. Women's Junior National Team...Played club volleyball for the Six Pack Volleyball Club and Coach Jay Grassley, helping the program to an appearance at the USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships in 2007...Banwarth was one of the nation's top high school seniors playing for coaches Julie Kieffer and Tom Keating at Wahlert Catholic High School...Totaled 1,155 kills, 1,093 digs and 364 aces during her four-year career, as Wahlert Catholic won three Iowa Class 3A state titles (2003-05)...Finished her career holding school marks for career digs and aces...Tabbed a Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selection and ranked the No. 62 player nationally by Prepvolleyball.com and garnered all-American by the publication as a senior...Chosen as the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year in 2006 after averaging 4.00 kills, 3.70 digs and 1.43 aces per game...Was a three-time Iowa Elite Team selection (all-state, all classes) in each of her final three seasons and chosen the Iowa Player of the Year as a junior after averaging 3.50 kills and 3.80 digs per set...Named the Class 3A Player of the Year for three consecutive years (2004-06)...First started playing club volleyball in 1996 for Courtmasters Volleyball Club.
PERSONAL: Born Kayla Grace Banwarth on Jan. 21, 1989, in Dubuque, Iowa…Parents are Thomas Banwarth and Anne Banwarth…Mother played volleyball at University of Northern Iowa…Older brother is Eric Banwarth, who played baseball at University of Iowa in 2007…Hobbies are reading, Broadways, the beach and sun…Favorite foods are mac and cheese with hot dogs, cheesy potatoes, cookie dough, Carlos O’Kelly’s…Favorite book is Harry Potter…Favorite musical category is anything but heavy metal…Favorite musical groups are Mumford and Sons, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Zac Brown Band and Taylor Swift…Favorite television shows are Big Bang Theory, Duck Dynasty and Glee…Favorite movie is anything animated…Favorite actor is Robert Downey, Jr…Favorite professional team is Chicago Cubs…Favorite athlete is Phil Dalhausser…Happiest moment in life is “I’ve had so many happy moments it’s hard to pick just one.”…Interesting story is “I was in show choir, a capella choir and musicals in high school.”…Graduated from Dubuque Wahlert High School in 2007.
Last Updated: Dec. 15, 2013