Valparaiso sophomore libero Taylor Root (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) currently leads all of NCAA Division I volleyball with 5.84 digs/set, according to the NCAA’s latest statistical report through matches of Oct. 31. Root has helped pace the Crusaders to the second spot in the nation in digs/set as a squad as well.
Root has been a consistent presence in the back row for Valpo all season long, registering double-digit dig totals in all 27 matches, posting 15+ digs 26 times and reaching at least 20 digs on 19 occasions. She has at least tied for team-high honors in digs in every match this year and has led all players in 20 contests. A three-time Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week this season, Root has accumulated 596 total digs this year with at least six matches left to play, already fifth-most in a single season both in program history and in Horizon League history.
Thanks in large part to Root’s efforts on the back line, the Crusaders are averaging 18.76 digs/set as a team this year, second nationally and just 0.08 digs/set behind Yale for the top spot. The sophomore has received plenty of help in the back though, as four other Valpo players are averaging at least two digs/set. Freshman Sarah Dooms (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) is tallying 2.86 digs/set, while junior Jenny Pokorny (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) is registering 2.79 digs/set. A pair of seniors are also chipping in, as Andrea Balsis (Benton Harbor, Mich./Coloma) and Val Bollenbacher (Bremen, Ind./Bremen) are averaging 2.23 and 2.13 digs/set, respectively.