The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) released its 2011 MIAC Volleyball Awards on Wednesday afternoon, naming a pair of Gustavus volleyball players to the 2011 MIAC Volleyball All-Conference Team. Middle hitter Angela Ahrendt (Shoreview, Minn.) and setter Malea Noennig (Norwood Young America, Minn.) took home All-MIAC honors, while defensive specialist Katie Ness (Excelsior, Minn.) represented the Gusties on the All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team.
The 2011 MIAC All-Conference team features 22 student-athletes, selected by the league coaches based on their performance this season. The team is made up of 11 seniors, six juniors, two sophomores and three first-years.
Jenna Green of Concordia and Kaitlain Wachter of St. Thomas highlighted the MIAC’s post-season honors, as Green was named Player-of-the-Year, while Wachter was named Defensive Player-of –the-Year. Kelly Foley of St. Thomas earned Rookie-of-the-Year distinction and Concordia Head Coach Tim Mosser took home the Coach-of-the-Year award.
Senior Angela Ahrendt led the Gustavus volleyball team in all offensive categories for the second-straight season in 2011. Ahrendt played in 107 sets, recording a total of 378 kills for an average of 3.53 kills per set. She made the fewest number of attack errors (92) amongst teammates who were given over 450 attempts, finishing the year with a career-high attack percentage of .309.
Ahrendt ended the season in fifth place in the MIAC in both overall hitting percentage and kills per set. The Roseville Area product turned in a total of 92 blocks (26 solo) to lead the team. Her 39 blocks within conference play ranked fourth in the league.
The Shoreview native has certainly made her mark on the Gustavus volleyball program in her four years on the hill. Ahrendt ranks sixth on the all-time kill list with a total of 1,201 career kills. She surpassed Jennifer Thelemann (1,171) and sits behind Amy LeClaire, who ranks fifth with 1,245. Angela played in a total of 419 sets and 115 matches, tallying 2.87 kills per set and a .284 attack percentage over her career. Her 24 matches with double-figure kills this season is the third-best all time at Gustavus, matching Jennifer Thelemann’s back-to-back marks of 24 in 2006 and 2007. Along with her offensive numbers, Ahrendt also finished sixth all-time in career blocks with 386, sitting behind Liz Fell who notched 484.
“Angela was constantly on the leaderboard within conference play on both offense and in blocking this season,” said Head Coach Rachelle Dosch. “This is well-deserving for the hard work she has put in for four years. She picked it up her senior year and was a consistent leader for us offensively all season long.”
Senior Malea Noennig was at her best in her final year wearing black and gold, serving as Rachelle Dosch’s primary setter all season. Noennig recorded career-highs in set-assists, digs, aces, and kills this season. The native of Norwood Young America, Minn. finished the year with a total of 927 assists, averaging 9.36 assists per set to rank sixth in the MIAC. She contributed 40 or more assists in six matches this season – also a career-high mark for the senior. To go along with her assist totals, Noennig registered 225 digs (2.27 dps), 38 kills, and 39 aces.
Malea played in a total of 84 matches and 292 sets over her career. She handed out 2,370 set assists, ranking fifth on the all-time at Gustavus. She is just the fifth player in Gustie volleyball history to reach the 2,000-career assist milestone.
“I was really happy to see Malea get this award and for the other coaches in the conference to acknowledge her hard work,” commented Dosch. “She put a lot of work into becoming the leader of the team, stepping up as our setter and running an extremely organized offense all season long. Malea really stepped up all aspects of her game and is well deserving of the honor.”
As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC also announced the sixth 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. Katie Ness represents Gustavus on this season’s MIAC All-MIAC Sportsmanship team.
Just like Noennig, Ness saved her best season for last. The defensive specialist played in 92 sets, recorded 166 digs (1.80 dps), 22 assists, and 20 aces this season – all are career highs. Ness also finished the year with a receiving percentage of .938, the highest on the team.
Said coach Dosch on Katie Ness, ” Happy to see Katie earn the Sportsmanship Award. She is the epitome of Gustie Volleyball.” She continued, “Katie has the utmost respect for her teammates, coaches and the rest of the conference, and I think that shows in the way she handles herself as a leader on the team.”