Volleyball nets four first or second team all-conference selections

By on Nov. 19, 2014 in Volleyball

Volleyball nets four first or second team all-conference selections

GPAC all-conference volleyball teams

SEWARD, Neb. – Following its highest league finish in 13 years, the Concordia University volleyball team placed two representatives on the GPAC’s all-conference first team and two apiece on second team and honorable mention, as announced by the conference on Wednesday. With both sophomore setter Alayna Kavanaugh and junior outside hitter Claire White earning first team recognition, 2014 marks the first season since 2007 in which two Bulldog volleyball players received placement among the GPAC’s most elite grouping.

Meanwhile, seniors Mariah Schamp and Carli Smith collected second team all-conference honors and sophomores Paige Getz and Tiegen Skains garnered honorable mention status.

Kavanaugh emerged as one of the nation’s most reliable setters in her second season at the collegiate level. Her 1,189 assists in 2014 ranks as the fourth-highest single-season total in program history. The former Lincoln Christian High School star ranked 21st nationally (second in the GPAC) with an average of 10.16 assists per game in directing an attack that posted 12.9 kills per game. Kavanaugh contributed in many other ways, chipping in 103 kills and 24 aces.

White, an honorable mention choice last season, moves up to the first team this year. The native of Exeter, Neb., did it all for the Bulldogs in 2014. She led the team with 375 kills (14th most in school history) while ranking 29th among all NAIA players with 55 aces. She also piled up 282 digs and passed serve receive at a 93.6 percent rate. White has 714 kills over two seasons at Concordia and 729 in three collegiate seasons. She also has 584 digs in her two years as a Bulldog since transferring from Washburn University.

For the third-straight year, Schamp has appeared on the all-conference list. An second team choice as a junior and honorable mention pick as a sophomore, the middle from Arvada, Colo., put up 244 kills, 87 blocks and a team best .301 hitting percentage over 116 sets in her final season as a Bulldog. In her career, Schamp compiled 852 kills and 349 blocks.

Smith has also collected her third-consecutive all-conference honors (two second teams, one honorable mention). A two-time GPAC defensive player of the week during her career, the Temecula, Calif., native again led Concordia defensively from the back row. She topped the team in digs for the fourth year in a row by recording 408 as a senior. She also passed serve receive at a clip of 92.6 percent in 2014. In her career, Smith totaled 1,761 digs and an average of 4.18 per set.

Both Getz and Skains have been named all-conference for the first time in their careers. Getz, an outside hitter from Paola, Kan., went over 300 kills for the second-straight season with her career high figure of 306. From the right side, Skains, named GPAC overall player of the week on Oct. 28, racked up 206 kills and 47 blocks. Her career best 20 kills on Oct. 25 helped the Bulldogs upend No. 21 Dordt in five sets.

Led by its six all-conference performers, head coach Scott Mattera’s squad went 20-12 overall, reached the GPAC semifinals and knocked off three ranked teams during a breakthrough 2014 campaign.