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Tritons Johnson, Anderson named All-Americans

Photo by Paul DeCoursey: Iowa Central's Alesha Johnson was named a first team NJCAA All-American.

For the second consecutive season, the Iowa Central volleyball team has officially landed two players on the NJCAA Div. II All-America list.

Alesha Johnson became just the fourth Triton ever to garner first team honors, while Kealey Anderson became just the second to be named twice, making the second team.

Iowa Central won its third consecutive ICCAC regular-season title this year, advancing to the semifinals at the national tournament with a third-place finish. Johnson also earned league player of the year status and both made the all-conference team.

Johnson and Anderson were captains along with Karli Eckert. Both are 4.0 students and on track to be named academic All-Americans.

“I don’t think anyone realizes just how much organization, dedication and tenacity it takes to accomplish everything they accomplished this year, particularly with all of the uncertainty that has happened,” Iowa Central head coach Sara Horn said. “It is really, really hard to be successful in all areas of life, particularly for a college student-athlete, but these two have unlimited potential.

“I’m excited to see what they do beyond college, too.”

Johnson finished fourth in the nation with 934 assists to go along with 242 digs, 57 total blocks and 40 kills. She also recorded 28 aces.

“It’s amazing,” Johnson said. “I couldn’t imagine getting here without my coaches and teammates pushing me. This year was very different compared to all the others especially with a reversed season and COVID affecting the players, but that’s what led to this unbelievable honor.

“To be one of four is an incredible recognition at Iowa Central and that says a lot of the coaching staff here. All-American athletes are hard-working in their respective sports and it’s just an honor be a part of this team that helped contribute to this merit.”

Anderson, who also made the second team as a freshman in 2019, recorded 349 kills with 247 digs, 44 total blocks and 25 aces.

“To have two All-Americans both years just shows how much fight we put in everyday in trainings and games,” Anderson said. “This just shows that Iowa Central is a force to compete with and that comes from practice, coaches and teammates.

“As a sophomore who is not sure if they’re coming back, it’s bittersweet being able to have been an All-American both years at Iowa Central.”

The only other player to be named an All-American twice was Alicia Moreno in 2011 and ’12. Moreno, Amaya Finley and current Triton assistant coach Gabby Sullivan are the only other first team selections.

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