SCAC Announces All-Conference Volleyball Voting

SCAC Announces All-Conference Volleyball Voting

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- In exclusive all‐conference voting by the head coaches of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC), Lizzy Counts of Colorado College was selected SCAC Player‐of‐the‐Year while CC head coach Rick Swan was named SCAC Coach‐of‐the‐Year. Complete Release

In the same balloting, Brandi Campos of Southwestern University was selected SCAC Backrow Player‐of‐the‐Year, and Hannah Mikelonis of Texas Lutheran University and Avery Tuggle of Trinity University each earned three votes to share SCAC Freshman‐of‐the‐Year honors.

A sophomore setter from Oakland, Calif., Counts has been the glue for the CC Tigers throughout the team’s historic season. Currently second in the conference in both assists (972) and assists per set (9.92), Counts drove the offense that hit a league-best .262 (ninth in the nation), including .282 in conference competition. She is also seventh in the league in aces (47) and hitting .326 in 187 total attacks. Counts is a three-time SCAC Offensive Player-of-the-Week during the 2017 season and earned AVCA National Player-of-the-Week honors on Oct. 3. It was just the 11th time a SCAC student-athlete had earned AVCA National POTW recognition but Counts is the only one to receive the award twice. She earned the national AVCA POTW award in October of 2016 as a freshman.

Counts’ selection as SCAC Player-of-the-Year marks the fourth consecutive year that a Colorado College student-athlete has taken home the league’s highest honor as former teammate Abbe Holtze won in 2016 and 2014 and Courtney Birkett won the award in 2015. In addition, she is just the fourth sophomore in league history to take home SCAC POTY honors and the sixth setter.

Counts received five first-place votes from the coaches in the balloting for Player-of-the-Year while Southwestern University’s Kate Mitchell picked up the remaining three first-place votes.

Brandi Campos of Southwestern, a junior defensive specialist from San Antonio, Texas, was selected the league’s Backrow Player-of-the-Year after leading the SCAC during the regular season in digs (558) and finishing second in digs per set (4.89). She was even more effective in conference competition, averaging 5.20 digs per set for the nationally third-ranked Pirates. She also added 35 service aces, the 11th most in the conference during the regular season. Campos was a SCAC Defensive POTW selection three times during the regular season.

Campos is the first Southwestern player to earn a SCAC Backrow Player-of-the-Year since all-American Samantha Lingamfelter won the award three straight years from 2007 to 2009. She received four votes from the coaches for the Backrow Player-of-the-Year honor. Sarah Mullens of Trinity picked up two votes from the coaches while Anna Gurolnick of Colorado College and Diana Hassink of the University of Dallas each received one first-place vote.

Hannah Mikelonis of Texas Lutheran, a first-year outside hitter from Spring, Texas, earned a share of SCAC Freshman-of-the-Year honors after leading all first-year conference players in kills (305 – fifth overall), kills per set (2.93 – sixth overall) and total attacks (923 – fourth overall). She was even better in conference competition, averaging 3.29 kills per set in SCAC play (third overall) for the Bulldogs.

Avery Tuggle of Trinity, a first-year outside hitter from Cedar Creek, Texas, finished the regular season averaging 2.40 kills, 1.23 digs and 0.29 blocks per set. She is third on the Tigers in kills (221) and fourth in kills per set (2.30). Tuggle earned SCAC Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors following her Week 2 performance when she led Trinity to victories over then #9 Claremont and #11 Cal Lutheran.

Mikelonis is the first Texas Lutheran player to earn SCAC Freshman-of-the-Year honors while Tuggle is the first Trinity player to receive FOTY recognition since Maggie Emodi earned the award in 2011. Mikelonis and Tuggle both received three votes from the coaches while Mayson Kennon of Austin College and Brittany Risner of Centenary each received one first-place vote.

Coach Rick Swan guided Colorado College to a regular season overall mark of 29‐1 as well as a perfect 14‐0 SCAC record – the second time in three years that the Tigers have run the table during conference play. The top seed at this weekend’s SCAC championship tournament, Colorado College is currently ranked second in the nation and will more than likely move into the top spot when the next AVCA poll comes out on Tuesday. If they do become the No. 1 team in the nation, it will mark the first time a SCAC volleyball program has ever sat atop the national rankings. Owner of a 544‐206 career record (.725), Swan is the winningest coach in CC volleyball history and has guided the Tigers to a school‐record 19 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division III playoffs. This year, the Colorado College set program records with an 18-match winning streak to open the season, its No. 2 ranking in the American Volleyball Coaches Association's Division III Coaches Poll and its current .967 winning percentage.

The award marks the fourth time Swan has been recognized by his peers as the conference’s Coach‐of‐the‐Year – earning the award previously in 2010 and 2015 as well as a co‐COTY nod in 2012.

To view the entire 2017 All-SCAC Volleyball Team, click here.

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