« Volleyball 2018

Jordyn Poulter

University of Illinois
Media and Cinema Studies


A media and cinema studies major in the University of Illinois College of Media, Jordyn Poulter owns a 3.53 grade-point average. Not only does Poulter lead by her actions on the court, but also in the classroom as she is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a two-time I-FUND Scholar Athlete of the Week.


Ever since stepping on campus as a freshman in 2015, Poulter has been looked upon as a leader for the nationally ranked Illinois volleyball team. A leader through the position in which she plays, Poulter took over the starting setter duties as a rookie and has worked to improve her leadership abilities, including being selected by the Illini coaching staff to participate in the Illini Leadership Academy, a comprehensive leadership program provided by the academic services office of the Illinois Department of Athletics. Poulter successfully completed the three levels of the program: emerging, veteran and legacy leaders. Through the program, she developed leadership skills to help become an effective leader on the volleyball team as an underclassman and moving forward in her volleyball career.


Along with athletics and academics, Poulter and the Illini have put a focus on giving back to the community that supports them. Poulter and the volleyball squad have adopted two local elementary schools in Champaign, and Poulter has been a consistent volunteer at many events including Walk to School Day, Family Fun Night, reading programs and pep rallies. Poulter also was involved in the team’s adoption of the Cunningham Children’s Home and volunteering with their kids.

Along with these team activities, Poulter has served as a volunteer for the Hometown Heroes Community Service Program since her freshman year, volunteering her time at local retirement homes and playing balloon volleyball with members as well as reading various books to preschoolers and elementary school children at local schools. Poulter has also been actively involved in the community through participating in Jock Jams, an all-student-athlete talent show and charity fundraiser; volunteering for Big Brothers/Big Sisters’ annual I-Bowl Fundraiser; and helping with Thanksgiving basket drives.


One of the most decorated Illini in the history of the volleyball program, Poulter has started 102 of the 105 matches in which she has seen action (as of nomination time) and has directed the nationally ranked Illini to a pair of NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. A Big Ten All-Freshman Team honoree, Poulter also collected the 2015 Illinois Athletics Female Newcomer of the Year award, before going on to earn back-to-back All-Big Ten accolades over the last two seasons and being named the 2017 Illinois Athletics Dike Eddleman Female Athlete of the Year.

A two-time American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Northeast Region honoree, Poulter collected AVCA All-America Third Team accolades as a junior and was an honorable mention All-America selection as a sophomore. She was also named a PrepVolleyball.com honorable mention All-America honoree in 2016 and collected All-America Second Team accolades a season ago. Poulter has earned seven Big Ten weekly honors, including five Setter of the Week accolades and a pair of Freshman of the Week awards, while also being named to seven all-tournament teams, including last year’s NCAA University Park Regional and this season’s Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge.

A three-time Preseason All-Big Ten honoree, Poulter is just 35 assists away (as of nomination time) from becoming just the fourth-ever Illini to register 4,000 helpers and currently ranks fourth all-time with 3,965 assists. Most recently, she made her international debut and was the only player with remaining collegiate eligibility selected to the 2018 U.S. Women’s National Team Pan American Cup roster over the summer, earning a gold medal in the competition.