Senior middle blocker Megan Sharpe and sophomore outside hitter Allie Brak took home two slots on the all-MIAA volleyball first-team, as seven Truman players were named to all-conference squads Friday morning by the league office.
Freshman right-side hitter Abby Heise also was named league Freshman of the Year. Sharpe and Brak were joined by second-team sophomore setter Meghan Zimmerman, third-teamer Heise, and honorable mention picks senior middle blocker Emily Briseno, sophomore libero Abby Moser and freshman outside hitter Ali Patterson. Sharpe (Edwardsville, Ill., Edwardsville) earned her third straight all-MIAA first-team award and fourth all-conference recognition in as many years.
The senior saved arguably her best numbers for last, finishing the regular season averaging both career-highs in kills (3.13) and blocks (1.26) per set.
She hit .346 on the year, topping her career-average that, regardless of possible post-season play, will leave her as Trumanâ??s all-time hitting leader.
She ranks seventh in program history with 1,435 kills and fourth with 500 blocks. In 2012, she set a new career-high against Winona State on Sept. 1 with 22 kills before matching it later that day against Missouri-St. Louis.
She is a three-time AVCA all-American and was one of just two players to earn unanimous first-team all-MIAA votes this year. Joining Sharpe on the first team for the first time is Allie Brak (The Colony, Texas, The Colony) the MIAAâ??s regular season leader in kills per set at 3.80.
She has totaled 414 kills this year through Tuesdayâ??s action and ranks second on the squad at 2.79 digs per set.
Brak was an honorable mention all-MIAA selection as a freshman and led the Bulldogs in kills in 25 of the teamâ??s 33 matches this year. She was named the AVCA player of the week on Oct. 9 and received conference player of the week honors twice. Zimmerman (Papillion, Neb., Gross Catholic) jumped onto the MIAAâ??s second-team, continuing a five-year trend of Bulldog setters earning league accolades after averaging 10.55 assists and 2.74 digs per set in 2012.
After the program changed to a 5-1 setter system this offseason, Zimmerman guided the Bulldog attack to 13.49 kills per set and a collective .239 hitting percentage.
Individually, she recorded16 double-doubles and was named MIAA specialist of the week on back-to-back occasions in mid-October. Heise (Jacksonville, Ill., Springfield Lutheran) joined the Bulldogs in 2012 and made an immediate impact, earning recognition from league coaches as the conferenceâ??s freshman of the year.
She is the seventh player in Bulldog history to earn that honor from the league, with Sharpe having most recently acquired the distinction in 2009.
On the season, the right-side hitter averaged 2.22 kills and 0.47 blocks per set, with those numbers increasing to 2.62 kills and 0.53 blocks per set in MIAA-only action.
She hit .355 in 64 conference sets and posted 11 total matches with double-digit kills. Briseno (Lee's Summit, Mo., Lee's Summit West) earned honorable mention status for the second straight season after averaging 1.57 kills and 0.79 blocks per set, while hitting .250 on the season.
She led the team in blocking in one-third of the teamâ??s matches and recorded a season-high 11 kills in a pair of five-set Bulldog victories against Missouri S&T and Emporia State. Moser (Wildwood, Mo., Lafayette) picked up conference accolades for the second time in as many seasons, landing on the honorable mention squad after leading the Bulldogs with a 4.34 digs per set mark.
She also served 19 aces and was one of three Bulldogs (Zimmerman, Allyson Stellmach) to play in all 124 sets during the regular season and MIAA tournament.
She became Trumanâ??s all-time leader in matches with 20 or more digs, adding 10 this season for a two-year total of 29. A middle-turned-outside hitter rounds out the Bulldog seven, as freshman Ali Patterson (Lee's Summit, Mo., Lee's Summit) made the transition to the outside less than a week before the start of the season due to injuries on the team roster.
In her first season playing the position, Patterson averaged 2.14 kills per set and hit .178 during the regular season and MIAA tournament.
She recorded 11 matches with double-digit kills, including a season-high 16 in a five-set win at Missouri S&T. The seven Bulldogs marked the most of any MIAA program this season, besting Washburn and Emporia Stateâ??s six selections each.
It also was the most since 2006 for the program, giving the Bulldogs 72 all-conference players since the 2000 season.
The 2012 season was the last as an MIAA member for the Bulldogs, who shift to the Great Lakes Valley Conference for 2013. WU middle hitter Jessica Fey was named the conferenceâ??s player of the year, with Nebraska-Kearney head coach Rick Squiers earning coach of the year honors. Truman, currently 27-6 and ranked seventh in the Central region, now awaits word regarding possible selection to the NCAA tournament on Sunday night at 9:00 pm.
Courtesy Truman State University