Alyssa Taylor Named AVCA Third Team All-America

Posted on November 17th, 2015 by

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) on Tuesday announced its 35th annual All-America teams for NCAA Division III and Gustavus Adolphus College senior middle hitter Alyssa Taylor (Trimont, Minn.) has been named to the Third Team. Taylor becomes just the fifth Gustie to earn All-America honors, and first since 1986, in the 47-year history of the program. Taylor joins Amy LeClaire-Sachs (1984) Linn Erickson (1985, ’86), Valerie Flom (1985, ’86) and Deborah Jungwirth (1986) as the only Gusties to be named All-America.

“Alyssa is the epitome of hard worker, teammate, and servant leader,” Head Coach Rachelle Sherden said. “Her teammates would describe Alyssa as a leader by example who is competitive, determined, and always gives 100-percent effort. In over two years as her coach I have never heard her complain or give anything less than her best; she sets the standard for effort and focus in the gym. On and off the court, Alyssa supports and gives life and energy to her teammates by being an excellent listener and vocal encourager. Her teammates trust and look up to Alyssa, which is why they unanimously voted for her as one of the captains for the 2015 season. Under Alyssa’s leadership on and off the court, the volleyball team has grown immensely and become a close family.”

Alyssa Taylor

Alyssa Taylor

The All-America award caps a decorated senior season for Taylor as she was named the 2015 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Player-of-the-Year as well as AVCA All-Region. Taylor became the first Gustavus volleyball player to be named MIAC Player-of-the-Year in the 26 years of the award, and the first Gustie to earn All-Region honors since 2004.

As a team captain in 2015, Taylor played an important role in the Gusties claiming a program record 27 consecutive wins, their first MIAC title since 1986 and first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008. Taylor led the team with 312 kills (3.09 per set), a .341 attack percentage and a 1.14 blocks per set average (115 total). Her .341 attack rate this season is the third best in program history. The Martin County West product finished her three-year career wearing the Black and Gold with 946 kills, which ranks 15th in program history. She also recorded 326 career blocks, ranking 10th in program history.

Taylor is the daughter of Rodger and Jill Taylor of Trimont, Minn. and embodies what it means to be a student-athlete. She will graduate this December, majoring in Health Fitness and Coaching, and currently holds a 3.74 GPA. Taylor’s All-MIAC selection in 2015 allowed her to become just the third Gustie to earn All-Conference three times. Taylor was also honored by the Gustavus Sports Information Office as the Gustavus Female Student-Athlete-of-the-Month for October 2013, October 2014 and October 2015. Last season, Taylor was named Academic All-Conference.

“Alyssa has a slightly different vantage point than her teammates about what it means to be a Division III student-athlete because she transferred from a Division II program,” Sherden said. “She has embraced the Division III philosophy and truly appreciates what it means to be a Division III student-athlete.

“Alyssa is a fierce athletic competitor and spends a lot of time in the volleyball gym nevertheless, she is a student first and foremost and always places the highest priority on her academics. Along with playing volleyball and holding a full load of courses this Fall, Alyssa is a Health Promotion intern at Verizon Wireless in Mankato and does work study in the volleyball office. In addition to being an exceptional student-athlete, Alyssa also demonstrates her servant leadership in the health and fitness domain. She participates in community service programs and events on campus including the Special Olympics, the Gustie Volleyball Pen Pal Program, and various youth clinics and camps. She has also spent much of her free time coaching a junior club volleyball team for the last four years. Most recently, Alyssa applied and was chosen with 200 other student-athletes out of thousands of applicants to participate in the NCAA Career and Sports Forum in Indianapolis. The forum provided her the opportunity to network, participate in professional development activities, and learn more about career opportunities in the sports and health fitness field. It was at the NCAA Career and Sports Forum that Alyssa learned about and applied for the Graduate Assistantship opening in Volleyball Operations with the South Carolina Gamecocks. She was offered the two-year position late this summer and will begin there immediately following her graduation from Gustavus in December.”

AVCA Release

 

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