Volleyball players, head coach take home multiple awards

By Adam Schabel

Despite their early exit from the NCAA Tournament, the Cleveland State women’s volleyball team had another successful season. A few players are being recognized for their individual accomplishments on the court this season, and several players took home awards.

Middle hitter and senior Alexis Middlebrooks was named to the All-Horizon League First Team for the third straight season. She was a valuable piece to the Vikings offense, averaging 3.13 kills per set and a .388 hitting percentage. Both of those rank in the top ten in the Horizon League. Middlebrooks is just the 16th player in program history to accumulate 1,000 career kills. She also averaged 1.03 blocks per set this season, which made her the team’s top blocker.  

Setter and senior Gina Kilner won the Setter of the Year award for the second straight year. She helped Cleveland State achieve a league-best .254 hitting percentage, and Kilner averaged 10.79 assists per set this season.

Earlier in the season, Kilner became the fifth player in Cleveland State volleyball history to get over 4,000 career assists. She is the first Viking in Cleveland State history to be named Setter of the Year and was also named to the All-Horizon League First Team this season.

Defensive specialist and senior Shannon Grega won the Defensive Player of the Year award. She was a critical part of the team’s defense as she helped the Vikings hold opponents to a .196 hitting percentage throughout the season. Grega averaged 4.68 digs per set and accumulated 501 total digs this season. She is one of three players in Cleveland State volleyball history to surpass 500 digs in a season.

Grega also had 44 aces this season. It is just the eighth time since 2000 that a Viking compiled 40 or more aces in a season. Grega also picked up First Team All-Horizon honors and is the first Viking in Cleveland State history to be named Defensive Player of the Year.

Opposite hitter and sophomore Sara Skeens was named honorable mention All-Horizon League this season after averaging a team-best 3.26 kills per set in league matches. She also compiled 286 total kills this season along with 35 blocks and 53 digs. This is the second time in her career that she is earning All-League honors.

Outside hitter and freshman Emily DeGeorge was named to the All-Horizon League Freshman Team. In her first season with the Vikings, DeGeorge averaged 0.36 blocks, 1.76 kills and 2.80 digs per set. She has compiled 300 digs during the season, which is second on the team and is also a Cleveland State freshman record.

In his 18th season with Cleveland State, head coach Chuck Voss was named Horizon League Coach of the Year. This was his third straight season and fifth total time being named coach of the year. Voss lead the Vikings to their eighth 20-win season under his leadership. Cleveland State went into the NCAA Tournament as the number one seed for the fifth time under Voss.