After a week of voting last week, the votes have been counted and it is time to announce True To The Cru’s Volleyball Players of the Year, presented by our gold sponsors; Montgomery Chiropractic, Sacrifice Training, and the Crusader Football Alumni Association.
But before we do, we would like to congratulate each member of the 2021 UMHB volleyball team on an excellent season, in which the Crusaders finished with a 24-2 record, and were ranked as high as No. 8 in the AVCA Top 25 poll.
Setter Alli Pierce was voted as the Offensive Player of the Year, as the junior was at the core of UMHB’s offensive attack, which led the ASC in team hitting percentage. Pierce dished out 789 assists during the 26-match season, leading the conference in assists per set (9.51), and was ranked in the Top 40 in the nation in that stat category. The Abilene, Texas native also tallied 36 kills, averaging 1.06 points per set and added a team-high 45 service aces. She posted a season-high 50 assists in a four-set win at UT-Dallas midway through the regular season. For her efforts, Pierce was named the ASC’s Setter of the Year and a Second Team All-ASC selection following the regular season. She earned 43 percent of the vote.
Both Hannah Frasca and Kayla Janikula deserve recognition as the finalists for the Offensive Player of the Year award. Janikula was also recently named Honorable Mention AVCA All-Region and to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team.
Maddie Gillispie earned the Defensive Player of the Year award, as the defensive specialist/libero led the Cru in digs (350) and ranked sixth in the ASC in that stat category. She averaged 4.02 digs per set in her second collegiate season, and also posted an impressive .958 receiving percentage. The Austin native also posted 15 double-digit dig performances during the season, including a season-high 29 in a five-set win over Texas Lutheran. Gillispie finished as an Honorable Mention All-ASC recipient and earned 52 percent of the vote.
Both Hannah Frasca and Kylie Metcalf also deserve recognition as the finalists for the Defensive Player of the Year award.
UMHB finished the 20201 season ranked No. 24 in the country by the AVCA.