UofL Volleyball Earns All ACC Honors

Melanie McHenry & Maggie DeJong end a rally with a block

Press Release from the University of Louisville athletic department:

Louisville junior setterWilma Riverahas been selected as the 2017 ACC Setter of the Year with teammateMolly Sauerpicking up her second ACC Defensive Player of the Year award.The awards were decided based on a vote of the league’s 15 head coaches, who could not vote for their own student-athletes.

ACC Co-Champion Louisville took home two major awards and 14different schools are represented on the All-ACC Team, led by Louisville with six selections. Five student-athletes were recognized from NC State and Pitt, followed by three from Duke and Notre Dame, two from Florida State, Miami, North Carolina, Syracuse and Virginia Tech, and one each from Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia and Wake Forest.

Sauer claimed her second Defensive Player of the Year award, having first earned the honor as a true freshman in 2015. The Louisville, Kentucky, native tallied 456 digs on the year, averaging 4.11 per set.

Rivera is the second Cardinal in the last three years to be named Setter of the Year, after Katie George received the honor in 2015. The Carolina, Puerto Rico, native recorded 1,183 assists on the year, which ranked third in the league, and averaged 10.60 assists per set.

Louisville outside hitterMelanie McHenryjoinsWilma Riveraon the First Team All-ACC winners, withMolly Sauer,Tess Clark,Maggie DeJongandJasmine Bennettearning Second Team All-ACC kudos. It is Clark’s fourth appearance on the honors list and DeJong’s second time being named.

Miami senior outside hitter Olga Strantzali was selected as the 2017 ACC Player of the Year, and highlights the All-ACC Volleyball Team.Strantzali averaged 4.56 kills per set, and 5.28 points per set, both the best marks in the conference. The Thessaloniki, Greece, native racked up 465 kills, which ranked second in the ACC. Strantzali is the first Player of the Year from Miami since Savanah Leaf earned the honor in 2014.

Taryn Knuth, Florida State’s middle blocker, was named Freshman of the Year. Coach of the Year honors went to ACC Co-Champion Pitt’s Dan Fisher.

Knuth is the first Seminole to be selected as Freshman of the year since Cassie McLaughlin in 2003. The rookie middle blocker from Johnston, Iowa, averaged 1.50 blocks per set, the best mark in the ACC. Knuth’s 158 total blocks ranks second in the league, behind only senior Sam Fry of Notre Dame.

Fisher led Pitt to an 18-2 mark in the ACC, a 25-6 overall record, and its first ACC Co-Championship in program history. In his fifth year at the helm of the Panthers, Fisher has guided Pitt to its second-straight NCAA Tournament bid, and has seen five players named to the 2017 All-ACC Team.

An ACC-record six teams earned berths in the 2017 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship: Florida State, Louisville, Miami, NC State, Notre Dame and Pitt. The first round of play is set for Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

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