Dec. 5, 2019 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Grand Rapids Community College volleyball player Danielle Johnston has earned All-American honors, the fourth consecutive year a Raider player has been selected.
Johnston, a sophomore and outside hitter, is one of 12 players named to the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division II Second Team All-American.
The Comstock Park High School graduate helped lead GRCC to a 5th-place finish in the NJCAA Division II Volleyball National Championship last month -- the second-best finish in program history. She was named to the Division II National Championship All-Tournament Team, All-Region XII, First Team All-Conference, and was named Most Valuable Player of the NJCAA Great Lakes B District All-Tournament Team.
“Dani embodies everything Raider Nation Volleyball stands for. From day one as a freshman, Dani bought in to improving herself on and off the court, knowing it would make the team better. She was willing to do anything the team needed to be successful,” Coach Chip Will said.
Will said he had a conversation with Johnston during her freshman year about how she could be a strong all-around player. Johnston, he said, was willing to put in the work in serve receive, defensively and becoming a complete college outside hitter.
“I’m proud of the work Dani has put into her play on the court, but more importantly the work she puts in outside the court,” he said. “She is always working to build relationships with her teammates and pushing the values of our volleyball program out to the West Michigan community. She deserves all the accolades she has earned this year.”
As a freshman, she was named Academic All-MCCAA and Western Conference, All-Region XII, First Team All-Conference, NJCAA Region XII District F All-Tournament Team and Western Conference All-Freshman Team.
Johnston, who is majoring in business, is ranked 3rd in all-time career kills at GRCC with 716 and 5th in career digs with 626.
“Dani was a strong leader on and off the court,” Athletic Director Bill Firn said. “She was a solid, all-around player who never came off the floor. She was the person who picked up the team whenever it was struggling.”
GRCC’s volleyball team has been dominant in Michigan, earning the state championship in seven of the last 10 years, including four straight. A GRCC player has been recognized with All-American status in each of the last four seasons.
Johnston joins Lauren Weiber, who was an All-American honorable mention in 2016, and Kendra DeJonge, who was named to the Second Team in 2017 and the First Team in 2018.
Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.