INDIANAPOLIS – Cleveland State’s Grace Kauth has been named as the Horizon League Player of the Year as well as the League’s Offensive Player of the Year. The senior had 379 kills for a 3.61 kills-per-set clip on the year and notched 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs for her stellar career.
Morganne Longoria claimed Defensive Player of the Year tallying 649 digs, averaging 5.23 digs-per-set which both led the League. In addition to playing libero, the versatile senior was also the Crusaders’ setter which is not that common in the sport.
A pair of Vikings claimed more hardware for the squad as Gina Kilner was named Setter of the Year and Sara Skeens was selected as Co-Freshman of the Year along with Milwaukee’s Bridget Wallenberger. Kilner paced a strong Vikings attack with over 10 assists-per-set and totaled 1,125 assists on the year.
Skeens capped off her rookie campaign finishing third on the team in digs. Wallenberger stood out among a very strong freshman class for the Panthers leading the team in kills playing in 101 of 103 possible sets on the year.
The League also had Co-Coaches of the Year in Chuck Voss and Sean Burdette. Voss led Cleveland State to the regular season title with a 14-2 conference record while Burdette guided the Phoenix to a second-place finish in just his second year at the helm of the program.
The All-League First Team was headed by Kauth who is a member on the team for the third year in-a-row. Alexis Middlebrooks and Kilner also joined Kauth on the team after the Vikings led the conference in offense during the season. The honorees also featured three Northern Kentucky student-athletes in Haley Libs, Keely Creamer, and Taylor Snyder all of whom were big factors in the Norse finishing third in the League.
Adding to the First Team was Lydia DeWeese and Megan Powers who helped Green Bay finish the highest place in the standings (second) since joining the Horizon League. Several more schools were also represented with Morganne Longoria (Valparaiso), Kelsie Groot (UIC), Sammy Condon (Oakland), and Bridget Wallenberger (Milwaukee) rounding out the recipients of the First Team All-League.
New for this year, an All-League Honorable Mention team was comprised with Oakland having two student-athletes, Melissa Deatsch and Jessica Dood heading the list. Senior’s Emily Campbell of Valparaiso, Aaliyah Slappy of Cleveland State, and Val Jeffery of Youngstown State were honored while junior Katie Klusman of Wright State earned recognition as well.
The All-Freshman Team featured seven student-athletes with Skeens and Wallenberger standing out as the Co-Freshman of the Year. Jenn Dore and Kylie Wilks also joined Wallenberger as Panthers that made the cut on the team. Green Bay’s Maddie Yoss, Oakland’s Jordan Lentz, and Northern Kentucky’s Laura Crawford completed the squad receiving accolades.
The Horizon League Volleyball Championship is set to take place on Friday, November 18 with all rounds being hosted by Cleveland State. No. 3 Northern Kentucky squares off against No. 6 Valparaiso in the 3:00 p.m. ET game on Friday, while No. 4 Oakland is set to take on No. 5 Milwaukee in the second game at 6:00 p.m. ET on Friday as well. On Saturday, November 19, No. 1 Cleveland State will be pitted against the lowest remaining seed at 3:00 p.m. ET as No. 2 Green Bay will face the highest remaining seed at 6:00 p.m. ET. The championship game is set to be played on Sunday, November 20 at 2:00 p.m. ET.
All rounds of the Horizon League Volleyball Championship will be streamed on ESPN3.
2016 POSTSEASON AWARDS
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Grace Kauth, Cleveland State
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Grace Kauth, Cleveland State
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Morganne Longoria, Valparaiso
SETTER OF THE YEAR
Gina Kilner, Cleveland State
CO-FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Bridget Wallenberger, Milwaukee
Sara Skeens, Cleveland State
CO-COACHES OF THE YEAR
Chuck Voss, Cleveland State
Sean Burdette, Green Bay
FIRST TEAM ALL-LEAGUE
Grace Kauth, Cleveland State (Sr., OH)
Lydia DeWeese, Green Bay (Jr., MB)
Haley Libs, Northern Kentucky (So., OH)
Alexis Middlebrooks, Cleveland State (Jr., MH)
Keely Creamer, Northern Kentucky (Sr., MH)
Morganne Longoria, Valparaiso (Sr., L/S)
Gina Kilner, Cleveland State (Jr., S)
Megan Powers, Green Bay (Sr., RS)
Kelsie Groot, UIC (Sr., OH)
Taylor Snyder, Northern Kentucky (Sr., S)
Sammy Condon, Oakland (Jr., MH)
Bridget Wallenberger, Milwaukee (Fr., MB)
HONORABLE MENTION ALL-LEAGUE
Emily Campbell, Valparaiso (Sr., OH)
Aaliyah Slappy, Cleveland State (Sr., MH)
Melissa Deatsch, Oakland (Sr., OH)
Jessica Dood, Oakland (Sr., RS)
Val Jeffery, Youngstown State (Sr., S)
Katie Klusman, Wright State (Jr., OH)
Bridget Wallenberger, Milwaukee (MB)
Sara Skeens, Cleveland State (OH)
Maddie Yoss, Green Bay (S)
Jenn Dore, Milwaukee (S)
Jordan Lentz, Oakland (S)
Kylie Wilks, Milwaukee (OH)
Laura Crawford, Northern Kentucky (OPP)