CNT China Player Bios

  • USAV Women’s Junior National Team, 2015, Global Challenge, gold
  • USAV Women’s Junior National Team, 2014, NORCECA U20, gold; named Best Receiver and Best Digger
  • USAV Girls’ Youth National Team, 2013, FIVB World Championship, silver (USAV Team of the Year)
  • All-ACC, second team, 2016
  • First player in ACC history to earn Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors in the same season, 2015; Defensive Player of the Year, 2017
  • Enjoys Cajun chicken pasta
  • Major, nursing
  • Favorite movie quote (from Pitch Perfect) … “Even though some of you are pretty thin, you all have fat hearts and that is what matters.”
  • Minnesota’s first-ever freshman to garner AVCA First Team All-America honors, 2017
  • Unanimous All-Big Ten and Freshman All-Big Ten selection, 2017
  • USAV Women’s Junior National Team, 2016
  • USAV Girls’ Youth National Team, 2015
  • U14, U16, U18 Elite team’s Most Valuable Player
  • Started playing volleyball in middle school, along with soccer and basketball … “I had to decide from there if I wanted to play basketball or volleyball. I chose volleyball and it worked out.”
  • Still working on getting acclimated to Minnesota, moving north from Florida she had never seen snow
  • espnW feature: How freshman Stephanie Samedy became an MVP …
  • She plays all six positions and is left-handed in everything except hitting a volleyball
  • Summa cum laude graduate of East Ridge HS; honor roll all four years
  • Major, business and marketing education
  • Enjoys sushi
  • USAV Collegiate National Team - Europe, 2017, earned gold at the European Global Challenge
  • USAV Collegiate National Team – China, 2016
  • USAV Summer Training Program, 2015
  • Was the only two-sport athlete at Marquette in 2017, competing in track (high jump, discus)
  • Was runner-up in discus at the Big East Track and Field Championships, 2018
  • Major, environmental engineering
  • Her great-great-grandfather was once the mayor of Fond du Lac
  • AVCA First-team All-American honors as a freshman, 2017
  • Academic All-Conference in high school, 2014-2017
  • Two-time all-state in volleyball
  • Was all-state in basketball, 2015
  • Major, marketing/psychology
  • Enjoys ice cream
  • No. 67 recruit in the country (PrepVolleyball.com)
  • Earned the Principal’s Award all four years of HS (4.0)
  • A three-year letterwinner at Los Alamitos High School, Press Telegram Player of the Year and CIF Los Alamitos Unified School District Female Athlete of the Year as a senior, Named to Press Telegram Dream Team as a sophomore and junior, Team captain and MVP as a senior
  • Major, finance
  • Enjoys Mexican food
  • Favorite Athlete, Kobe Bryant
  • Personal Hero, Melody Nua, club coach, because she took me under her wing and made me the player I am today. She is someone I look up to on and off the court. Mel invested the time and energy to push me into becoming a competitive, hardworking athlete.
  • “I have abnormally small pinkies.”
  • USAV Collegiate National Team – Europe, 2017, earned gold at the European Global Challenge
  • ASUN Player of the Year, 2016
  • AVCA All-American honorable mention, 2016
  • Gatorade Kansas Player of the Year, 2014
  • In 2017, Carlyle and the Lipscomb volleyball team traveled to Malawi, a small country in east Africa, to work with orphans, including sports clinics, nutrition counseling, tutoring and more. Carlyle’s first international trip.
  • Major, business marketing
  • SEC Freshman of the Year, 2017
  • USAV Women’s Junior National Team, 2016
  • USAV Girls’ Youth National Team, 2015, played in FIVB U18 Worlds in Peru
  • Won the Andi Collins Award from PrepVolleyball, which is awarded to the best HS setter in the nation
  • PrepVolleyball National Junior of the Year, 2015
  • USAV four-time All-Tournament team at GJNC
  • The Summit League All-League Team, 2017
  • USAV Girls’ Junior National Championship All-Tournament team, 2014
  • Major, digital marketing
  • Enjoys macaroni and cheese
  • Favorite Athlete, Dak Prescott
  • Hobbies: Going to the mountains, camping, cliff jumping (into water of course)
  • Interesting Note: I ruptured my ear drum cliff jumping and had to get surgery on it. I like pickles with peanut butter, I'm part Korean and Japanese. I can sing almost every Disney song (loves Moana)
  • Personal Hero: My mom and my grandma, they're both strong women that have gone through so much in life. There's been so many obstacles that they've had to go through and overcome. My grandma passed away when I was a freshman in college and I got a rose tattoo in her honor. I love my mom and grandma so much, and they've helped me to become a stronger woman.
  • USAV Women’s Junior National Team, 2017, played in the FIVB U20 Worlds
  • "There’s no reason for me to be ashamed of being tall, or think I’m different because I’m tall. It was always something to embrace and celebrate." -- Rachael Kramer (6’8”)
  • “(Florida) recruited me here for potential,” Kramer said. “I was never a superstar. I was always pretty good because I was tall and could get around blocks but I was never an all-star in high school or an all-star in club. I’ve just kind of flourished once I’ve gotten here.”
  • Led the SEC in hitting percentage as a freshman, 2016
  • Major, marketing
  • Enjoys buffalo wings
  • USA Collegiate National Team, 2017
  • National Honor Society
  • Gatorade Player of the Year
  • Under Armour All-American, second team
  • Major, finance
  • Enjoys peanut butter
  • Favorite Athlete, Jordan Larson
  • Personal Hero, Tricia Schwartz, mother She will do absolutely everything in her power to accomplish her goals. She knows what she wants and she achieves it. Nothing can stand in her way, but she is also the most selfless person and will help anyone in need.
  • “I actually hated volleyball and never wanted to play anything but basketball, but my mom forced me out of the car to go to a tryout and the rest is history.”
  • Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year, 2017-18
  • USA Today All-USA Volleyball Player of the Year, 2017
  • PrepVolleyball.com National Junior Player of the Year, 2017
  • USAV Women’s Junior National Team, 2017, FIVB U20 Worlds
  • USAV Women’s Junior National Team, 2017, U20 Pan American Cup (gold, MVP)
  • USAV Women’s Junior National Team, 2016, NORCECA, silver
  • National Honor Society Career All A’s
  • Enjoys sushi
  • Favorite Athlete, April Ross
  • Interesting Note, “In 6th grade I tried out for the talent show, singing "Tear Drops on my Guitar" by Taylor Swift, but soon realized I needed to stick to volleyball - now look where I am :)”
  • Personal Hero,Christopher Ross, my older brother He is the epitome of what hard work looks like, as well as the prime example of how humble athletes should carry themselves, and I love him for it the example he sets for me as a proud baby sister”
  • “Mild-mannered, sweet Thayer off the court, on the court, she’s a beast.” – Paula Kirkland, Thayer’s coach at Dorman HS
  • espnW feature: Florida recruit Thayer Hall named Gatorade National Volleyball POY
  • Named to the All-SEC, All-Freshman Teams in 2017; finished third in the SEC in kills/points per set
  • Named SEC Freshman of the Week seven times, 2017
  • Region 6A Player of the Year, 2016
  • Tore her ACL in August 2016
  • USAV High Performance Championship, led the women’s international junior team to a gold medal
  • RedandBlack.com feature: Ceasar, a legend in the making
  • Major, health promotion