St. Paul – The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) released its 2013 Volleyball awards on Wednesday, naming Gustavus Adolphus junior middle hitter Alyssa Taylor (Trimont, Minn.) as one of the members of this season’s All-Conference Team.
“A very deserving honor for Alyssa after a great year,” said Head Coach Rachelle Sherden. ”She was consistently our go-to hitter and proved to be one of the top defensive middles in the conference. She was our strongest attacker and led our defensive effort at the net.”
Alyssa Taylor, who transferred to Gustavus from Southwest Minnesota State University this fall, was Sherden’s top offensive player throughout the course of the 2013 season. Playing in all 31 matches and 116-of-117 sets, Taylor led the Gustie offense with a total of 350 kills. Her kill total this year ranks sixth amongst Gustavus hitters over the past decade while she is also the first player to reach the 350-kill mark since 2011 when Angela Ahrendt `12 recorded 378.
Match-after-match, Taylor was Gustavus’s most consistent and targeted hitter. She was offered a team-high 891 attack opportunities and finished with a team-best hitting percentage of .249. The junior averaged 3.02 kills per set and 11.3 kills per match after posting double-figure kills in 18 contests. In 12 matches, Alyssa tallied at least 10 kills to go along with an attack percentage above the .250 mark.
Within conference play, Taylor registered 109 kills and hit at a rate of .211. Alyssa also ranked second in the league in total blocks with 46 against league foes. She finished the year with a team-best 119 blocks, 30 of which were solo.
Alyssa Taylor is the fourth All-Conference performer during Coach Sherden’s tenure at the head of the Gustie volleyball program. All-MIAC recipients under Sherden include Angela Ahrendt `12 and Melea Noennig `12 in 2011, and Emily Phillips `13 in 2012.
For the second season in a row, Tommie middle blocker Kelly Foley received the MIAC’s highest honor for the second-straight season as the 2013 MIAC Volleyball Player-of-the-Year. Augsburg Head Coach Jane Becker was voted the MIAC Volleyball Coach-of-the-Year by her peers for guiding her team to its first-ever share of the MIAC title.
The Tommies led the way with five All-Conference selections, while Augsburg, Saint Benedict, Concordia and Hamline had three apiece. Saint Mary’s had two All-MIAC honorees and Macalester, Carleton, Bethel and Gustavus each had one player honored. The team was heavy on veterans with 11 seniors and eight juniors dominating the selections, along with three sophomores and one first-year player.
As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the eighth-annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for volleyball. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.
This year, middle hitter Kelle Nett (So., Spring Valley, Ill.) represents the Black and Gold on the All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team. Nett finished third on the team with a total of 245 kills for an average of 2.19 kills per set this season.
The Golden Gusties completed their 2013 season with an overall record of 11-20 and an MIAC mark of 4-7.