Arizona Volleyball

Arizona Wildcats Volleyball Top 10 Players of the Decade (2010-19)

The following is a list of the top 10 players from last decade (2010-19) for the Arizona volleyball program, coached by the legendary David Rubio.

Outside Hitter: Tiffany Owens-Horton (2010)

Owens played at Arizona from 2007-10. She started all four years, earning many honors, including All-Pac-10 selection as a senior and she was voted to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team. She played professionally for two years in Puerto Rico and Switzerland.

Cursty Jackson (YouTube video capture)

Middle Blocker: Cursty Jackson (2011)

Jackson (now known as Cursty Le Roux after her marriage to French pro volleyball player Kevin Le Roux) played at Arizona in 2010 and 2011 after earning all-conference honors at UNLV before her transfer. As a senior in 2011, she earned All-Pac-12 honors. She played in every set and led the Wildcats in hitting percentage (.293) and blocks (102). Had 14 matches with kills in the double-digits. She was member of the United States national team that won the 2015 Pan American Games gold medal. She has played professionally overseas but retired recently when she became pregnant with her son due in May.

Middle Blocker: Courtney Karst (2010-11)

Karst was a four-year letter winner who earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention accolades. She played in every set, led the team in kills with 360, also had 21 aces and 102 digs for the Wildcats. Posted kills in the double-digits in 15 out of her last 16 matches in her senior season. Led the team in kills in nine of the last 12 matches. She went on to play professionally at Indonesia.

Madison Kingdon (YouTube video capture)

Outside Hitter: Madison Kingdon (2011-14)

Kingdon ranks second in both career kills (1,943) and career digs (1,366). She led the Wildcats to three NCAA tournament appearances. As a senior, Kingdon was named AVCA All-American Third-Team. She was the only player in the country to receive All-American honors in both indoor and sand volleyball during the 2014-2015 season. A distinguished member of the U.S. National Team from 2017-19. She is currently a member of the Turkish Airlines professional volleyball club.

Libero: Candace Nicholson (2010-13)

Nicholson was a four-year starting libero and two-year captain for Rubio. She earned numerous accolades and currently holds five school records including career digs leader. Nicholson graduated with a double major in Sports Administration and Economy and Industry with a minor in  Arts, Media, and Entertainment and Sociology.  After completing her career, Nicholson signed to play professionally in the Czech Republic. She presently is an assistant coach at Santiago Canyon College at Orange, Calif.

Penina Snuka (Arizona Athletics photo)

Setter: Penina Snuka (2013-16)

As a senior, Snuka was named Pac-12 Setter of the Year, the first player in Arizona history to earn the award. She was also named third-team All-American, her third straight AVCA All-America honor after being an honorable mention selection in 2014 and 2015. She left Arizona second in school history in both career assists (5,212) and digs (1,610) and the all-time leader in sets played (489). Also an all-region and all-conference performer for three straight seasons. She went on to play professionally in the Philippines.

Outside Hitter: Kalei Mau (2014-16)

As a senior, she was named third-team AVCA All-American. Battled through injuries that threatened her senior season and volleyball career to become one of the most feared hitters in the nation. She finished second in the Pac-12 in kills/set (4.07). An all-Pac-12 and all-region performer in consecutive years. She plays professionally in the Philippines and is a member of the Philippines National Team.

Libero: Laura Larson (2013-16)

Larson was named Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2016. She competed in every match (school-record 35), completing a career in which saw action every match, a school-record 136, including 482 total sets, second in school history. Posted 505 digs, second best season mark in school history. Finished her career fifth in school history in career digs (1,228). Ended her career with 83 victories, making her, along with Snuka, part of the senior class with the most wins at Arizona since 2003. Helped lead the team to its fourth straight NCAA Tournament berth, the first senior class to do so since 2005. She presently is an accountant in Minneapolis and an assistant coach of the Minnesota One Volleyball Club.

Kendra Dahlke (Arizona Athlietics)

Outside Hitter: Kendra Dahlke (2015-18)

Dahlke was named a Volleyball Magazine third-team All-American and was named AVCA All-America honorable mention after one of the most successful individual seasons by an outside hitter in Arizona history in 2018. Led the Pac-12 and finished fifth in the country, averaging 4.77 kills/set, becoming the third Wildcat to lead the conference in kills and first since 2005 (when Kim Glass achieved the honor). Named all-Pac-12 and AVCA all-Pacific South Region. Led the team with 487 kills despite missing six games due to injury, bringing her career total to 1,408, the seventh most in Arizona history. She is now playing professionally in Italy.

Middle Blocker: Devyn Cross (2016-19)

Cross was selected first-team All-Pac-12 last season as a senior. She became Arizona’s first middle blocker to be named to the all-conference team since Cursty Jackson in 2011. She averaged a career-most 2.18 kills/set on a career-high .381 hitting, second highest hitting percentage in the Pac-12 during the season and fourth-best in Arizona history. Cross is the first Wildcat to average more than 2.00 kills and hit better than .380 in a season in modern scoring history and first overall since Jolene Killough in 2004.

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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