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Louisville's Top Performers of 2021-22

From Gabriela Leon to Tori Dilfer and Nicolas Albiero, there were several stand-out student-athletes from Louisville Athletics this season.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The 2021-22 athletics season saw quite a few University of Louisville student-athletes experience a high level of individual success in their respective sport.

Many Cardinals were named First-Team All-ACC, a few garnered All-American recognition, and there was even a national champion.

With the 2021-22 athletics season now completely in the books, here are the top individual performers from Louisville's 2021-22 athletic season:

Nicolas Albiero - Men's Swimming and Diving

Albiero capped off his Louisville career by going out strong, as he was named the ACC Men's Swimmer of the Year for the second year in a row. At the ACC Championship, he won the 200 butterfly for an ACC-record fifth straight year, and was one of just 12 swimmers to make a final in three events at the NCAA Championship (200 butterfly, 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke).

Trey Allen - Men's Track & Field

Amongst a phenomenal crop of Louisville track & field athletes, Allen was arguably the top performer on the men's side. At the NCAA Outdoor Championship, he earned a seventh place finish in the men's high jump with a height of 2.18 meter, which also earned him First-Team All-American honors.

Alli Bitting - Field Hockey

Louisville had a tremendous defensive presence this past season in field hockey, and Bitting was their heart and soul. The fifth-year senior was tabbed as the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, helping the Cardinals allow just 18 goals in 20 games. She was also named a First-Team NFHCA All-American and First-Team All-ACC selection

Aboubacar Camara - Men's Soccer

In just his second year in college, Camara turned in one of the top goal-scoring seasons in Louisville history. His 13 goals was not only good for 10th-best in the nation, but was third-most in a single season in program history. Add in two assists that gave him 28 points, and he was named a Second-Team United Soccer Coaches All-South Region selection, as well as First-Team All-ACC.

Caleb Chandler - Football

Chandler established himself as the dominant force on arguably the best offensive line of the Scott Satterfield era. Not only he voted as a First Team All-ACC selection, but he was also named as one of the top 101 players from the 2021 season according to Pro Football Focus. His 87.7 PFF grade led all ACC guards, as did his 88.9 run blocking grade.

Malik Cunningham - Football

He might not have been named to an All-ACC team, but there's no denying his impact on Louisville. Cunningham completed 62.0 percent of his passes for 2,941 yards and 19 touchdowns to only six interceptions, while also rushing for 1,031 yards and 20 touchdowns. Like Chandler, he was also named as one of PFF's top 101 players from the 2021 season.

Anna DeBeer - Volleyball

DeBeer was a crucial component behind Louisville's 32-0 start and first ever Final Four berth. She led the team in kills with 343, had 20 matches with double digit kills, and was nationally ranked in kills per set at 3.23. She was named to the AVCA All-American Third-Team, while also making First Team All-ACC.

Tori Dilfer - Volleyball

On a star-studded volleyball roster, Dilfer was arguably the one that shone the brightest. She was named a First-Team AVCA All-American selection, and tabbed as both the AVCA East Region Player of the Year and ACC Setter of the Year. She led every match against top 25 opponents in assists, had 23 aces including seven matches with two or more, and had 14 matches where she had serving runs of more than five points.

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Emily Engstler - Women's Basketball

She was only with the program for one season, but Engstler played a large role in helping Louisville get back to the Final Four. Named an AP All-American honorable mention and tabbed to the All-ACC First-Team and ACC All-Defensive Team, she averaged 11.9 points and a team-best 9.4 rebounds per game while shooting 46.1 percent from the field. She was picked No. 4 overall by the Indiana Fever in the 2022 WNBA Draft. 

Pedro Fonseca - Men's Soccer

Fonseca was the thunder to Camara's lightning for Louisville, scoring eight goals while notching a team-best eight assists. Like Camara, Fonseca was named a Second-Team United Soccer Coaches All-South Region and First-Team All-ACC selection, and was later drafted in the second round of the 2022 MLS SuperDraft by Real Salt Lake.

Carmyn Greenwood - Softball

Greenwood put together one of the best seasons in Louisville softball history. She led the team with a .400 batting average, collected an ACC-best 70 hits, while ranking second in RBIs with 52. Producing a career-high 14 home runs - including two grand slams - she was tabbed as a Third-Team All-American selection by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, while also making First-Team All-ACC.

Gabriela Leon - Women's Track & Field

Remember the national champion we referenced? Here she is. With a height of 4.60 meter in the women's pole vault at the NCAA Championship, Leon became the first women's outdoor national champion in program history. Her 4.61 meter mark at the Clark Wood Invitational ranked as the the eighth best all-time outdoor performance mark in collegiate history. She was tabbed as the ACC Outdoor Women's Field Performer of the Year and the USTFCCCA NCAA D1 Outdoor Track & Field Southeast Region Women's Field Athlete of the Year.

Dalton Rushing - Baseball

Taking over as the full-time catcher after Henry Davis' departure, Rushing was just as impactful behind the dish. He hit .310 with a team-high 23 home runs and 62 RBI, becoming the first Cardinal to hit 20 homers since 2017. He made Second-Team All-ACC, but was named a Second-Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

Anna Stevenson - Volleyball

With the Dilfer as Louisville's premier setter and DeBeer as their go-to player on the offensive, Stevenson was their defensive bedrock. She ranked No. 13 in blocks per set at 1.35, No. 7 in hitting percentage at .427, and was No. 11 in total blocks with 150. Like Dilfer, Stevenson was also a First-Team AVCA All-American and First-Team All-ACC selection.

Levi Usher - Baseball

Usher had a bounce-back year after a down 2021 season. While he did his .285 with seven home runs and 49 RBI, he established himself as one of the top defensive players in college baseball. He took home ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors, and was named one of the nine winners of the ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove.

Hailey Van Lith - Women's Basketball

While Engstler was the All-American, Van Lith was the driving force behind Louisville's Final Four run. She averaged a team-best 14.4 points per games, including four straight 20-point games in the NCAA Tournament. Also shooting 43.2 percent from the field and 36.3 percent on threes, she was named a First-Team All-ACC selection.

(Photo of Gabriela Leon via University of Louisville Athletics)

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