MIAC announces 2019 volleyball awards

Hunter Weiss is Saint Benedict's first MIAC Player of the Year recipient since 1990.
Hunter Weiss is Saint Benedict's first MIAC Player of the Year recipient since 1990.

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) announced its annual volleyball awards on Wednesday.

Saint Benedict right side Hunter Weiss received top honors as MIAC coaches selected the CSB junior as conference Player of the Year. St. Thomas defensive specialist Ellie Meyer was named Defensive Player of the Year and her Tommie teammate Selena Levendoski earned Rookie of the Year honors. St. Thomas head coach Thanh Pham was honored by his peers with MIAC Coach of the Year distinction.

Weiss (Jr. | Shakopee, Minn.) earned MIAC Player of the Year honors after posting 135 kills and a .362 hitting percentage in conference matches. Weiss played in 41 MIAC sets this season, averaging 3.29 kills and 1.10 blocks per set. She is the Bennies' first MIAC Volleyball Player of the Year recipient since Amy Hagen in 1990.

Meyer (Sr. | Des Plaines, Ill. | St. Viator) was named MIAC Defensive Player of the Year after leading the Tommies with 223 digs in 39 conference sets. Meyer added 41 assists and 11 service aces against conference opponents. She is the first former MIAC Rookie of the Year to go on to be named MIAC Defensive Player of the Year. Meyer is also the first Tommie to win MIAC Volleyball Defensive Player of the Year honors since McKenna Reagan in 2013.

Levendoski (Fy. | Clear Lake, Wis. | Clayton) received MIAC Rookie of the Year honors after totaling 131 kills, 31 digs, and 20 blocks in 11 conference matches. Levendoski led all first-year players with an average of 3.36 kills per set and a hitting percentage of .316 against MIAC foes. She is the first Tommie to be named MIAC Volleyball Rookie of the Year since teammate Ellie Meyer in 2016.

Pham guided St. Thomas to an undefeated regular season in conference play and the program's 12th MIAC title in his 17-year tenure. This is his MIAC-record sixth MIAC Volleyball Coach of the Year honor, having previously been recognized by his peers in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2012, and 2017.

In addition to the individual honors, the 22-member All-Conference team was also announced, along with the 2019 MIAC All-Sportsmanship Team. The All-Conference team and individual awards were nominated by and voted on by the MIAC's 12 head volleyball coaches, and each program selected one student-athlete for the Sportsmanship Team.

The 22-player All-Conference Team was headlined by eight three-time All-MIAC honorees including Augsburg's Corrina Evans; Gustavus' Kate Holtan; Saint Benedict's Hunter Weiss and Madison Weiss; St. Olaf's Lauren Rewers and Lexi Wall; and St. Thomas' Madie Kroehler and Ellie Meyer. Only three of those eight are seniors and just 16 women on record have received All-MIAC honors four times in volleyball. Bethel's Maria Claflin and Hannah Wilhite joined Saint Benedict's Katie Koch as All-Conference honorees for the second time in their careers, having each been recognized on the 2018 All-MIAC Team.

The regular season MIAC champion Tommies led all teams with five All-Conference selections. St. Olaf had four, while Augsburg and Saint Benedict each had three. Bethel, Gustavus, and Saint Mary's all had two honorees and St. Catherine had one. The 2019 All-Conference Team included six seniors, nine juniors, five sophomores, and two first-year players.

As part of a continued conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the 14th-annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for volleyball. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the court.

2019 MIAC Volleyball Awards

Player of the Year: Hunter Weiss | Saint Benedict (Jr. | Shakopee, Minn.)
Defensive Player of the Year: Ellie Meyer | St. Thomas (Sr. | Des Plaines, Ill. | St. Viator)
Rookie of the Year: Selena Levendoski | St. Thomas (Fy. | Clear Lake, Wis. | Clayton)
Coach of the Year: Thanh Pham | St. Thomas (17th season)

 2019 MIAC Volleyball All-Conference Team
 Position Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
RS Kate Achenbach St. Thomas Fy. Maple Grove, Minn. | Osseo
S Grace Anetipa St. Thomas So. St. Paul, Minn. | Cretin-Derham Hall
DS DeJaye Baab Saint Mary's So. Wabasha, Minn. | Wabasha-Kellogg
RS Lexi Barth Saint Mary's Sr. Byron, Minn.
MB Maria Claflin Bethel Jr. Dayton, Minn. | Champlin Park
MH Erin Cutts St. Catherine Jr. Osceola, Wis.
DS Hailey Embacher Gustavus Jr. Mankato, Minn. | St. Clair
MB Corrina Evans Augsburg Jr. Blaine, Minn.
OH Kayla Gjerde Augsburg So. Afton, Minn. | Stillwater
OH Kate Holtan Gustavus Jr. Rochester, Minn. | Mayo
DS Emily Jarnigan St. Olaf Sr. Los Gatos, Calif.
S Katie Koch Saint Benedict Jr. Bloomington, Minn. | Jefferson
OH Madie Kroehler St. Thomas Sr. Brooklyn Park, Minn. | Totino-Grace
MB Katelyn Lannom St. Olaf So. Minnetonka, Minn.
MB Selena Levendoski St. Thomas Fy. Clear Lake, Wis. | Clayton
DS Ellie Meyer St. Thomas Sr. Des Plaines, Ill. | St. Viator
RS Megan Quam Augsburg Sr. Kenyon, Minn. | Kenyon-Wanamingo
OH Lauren Rewers St. Olaf Sr. Sierra Madre, Calif. | La Salle
S Lexi Wall St. Olaf Jr. Chanhassen, Minn.
RS Hunter Weiss Saint Benedict Jr. Shakopee, Minn.
MB Madison Weiss Saint Benedict Jr. Shakopee, Minn.
S Hannah Wilhite Bethel So. Louisville, Ky. | Christian Academy

 2019 MIAC Volleyball Sportsmanship Team  
Pos. Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
DS Jaelin Rios Augsburg Sr. Champlin, Minn. | Totino-Grace
DS Dominique Dabu Bethel Sr. Apple Valley, Minn.
OH/DS Grace de Benedetti Carleton So. San Francisco, Calif. | University
MH Kendra Wiggs Concordia So. St. Hilaire, Minn. | Lincoln
OH/RS Ella Johnson Gustavus Sr. Paynesville, Minn.
S/OH Morgen Coleman Hamline Sr. North Branch, Minn.
MH Ashley Helfinstein Macalester Sr. Sunnyvale, Calif. | Homestead
DS Haley LaValle Saint Benedict Sr. Oakdale, Minn. | Hill-Murray
OH Emma Nelson St. Catherine Sr. Byron, Minn.
RS Coral Anderson Saint Mary's Jr. Rogers, Minn.
DS Abigail Wiedel St. Olaf Sr. Steamboat Springs, Colo.
MB Hannah Braun St. Thomas Sr. Highlands Ranch, Colo.