The Best Volleyball Player in the Conference (A-I)

Post season honors for 2016 awarded to the best volleyball player in each conference.

Best volleyball player: Texas players ranked the top in the countryBest volleyball player: Texas players ranked the top in the country


The best volleyball player in each Division I conference is the recipient of

the highest annual award voted on by each coach in the appropriate

conference. 


This "Player of the Year" volleyball award is announced at the end of

each season and is considered a huge honor to be named as the

absolute best player, especially in competitive power conferences that

have from 6 to as many as 12 teams of players  eligible to be

considered. 


Along with the "Player of the Year" award, top players are chosen by

coaches and sports information directors in each of these conferences

to receive one of the following:


These winners are considered as the best players for the specific

role they've played in for the season. 


Many of the honorees are multiple "Player of the Week" conference

winners and/or statistical category leaders who've accumulated the

highest amount of point scoring hits, spikes, digs, blocks or successful

action attempts both on their team and in their conference. 


For an elite few, a special group of individuals have become the

best collegiate players in the country. 


Below, find the best volleyball player named as "Player of the Year" for

their conference for the 2016 -17 season, in alphabetical order from A to

I.

Congratulations from Improve Your Volleyball.com to all the winners!



The Best Volleyball Player in the America East Conference



Player of the Year: UNH, Demi Muses




In the America East major awards,

Demi Muses of UNH is Player of the Year, 

  • Kristin Watson of UMBC is Defensive Specialist of the Year
  • Keelin Severtson of UNH is Setter of the Year
  • Lauren Kornmann of Binghamton is Rookie of the Year
  • Binghamton staff is the Coaching Staff of the Year



The Best Player in the Atlantic 10 Conference



Player of the Year: Saint Louis, Outside Hitter, Danielle Rygelski




  • Rygelski was the top hitter in the A-10 all season, earning a record seven Atlantic 10 Player of the Week award.
  • She finished the regular season leading the NCAA in kills per set (5.97), total points (710.5) and total kills (627).
  • Rygelski also leads the A-10 in aces per set (0.53, seventh nationally), attacks per set (13.61, fourth nationally), points per set (6.77, second nationally) and total attacks (1,429, seventh nationally).





The Best Player in the Atlantic Coast Conference



Player of the Year: Taylor Leath, Sophomore, OH, North Carolina




North Carolina sophomore outside hitter Taylor Leath has been selected

as the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year. 




In conference play,

  • tallied 232 kills, 178 digs, 50 blocks and 11 aces.
  • Taylor is the first North Carolina Player of the Year since 2005 and sixth overall.
  • Leath was also a two-time ACC Player of the Week and was the first in program history to be honored as the AVCA National Player of the Week and ESPNW Player of the Week.

The Best Volleyball Player in the Atlantic Sun Conference



Player of the Year: Carly Nusbaum


  • Carlyle Nusbaum, First Team
  • Taylor Racich, Second Team (2016)
  • Brittany Thomas, Second Team (2016)
  • Lauren Anderson, Second Team (2016)



The Best Player in the Big 12 Conference




Player of the Year: Kelsie Payne,  Kansas


  • Kansas’ Kelsie Payne is the Player of the Year after helping lead the Jayhawks to their first Big 12 title.



  • The junior ranked in the top three in kills (4.07 per set) and points (4.77) during conference action this year.





The Best Volleyball Player in the Big East Conference



Player of the Year: Lydia Dimke, Creighton, Setter



Creighton junior setter Lydia Dimke, who was voted BIG EAST Player

of the Year, .

  • The second junior to earn the BIG EAST Player of the Year title, Dimke was also a unanimous selection to the all-conference first team.
  • Dimke, led the team with 15 double-doubles, led the BIG EAST, and was 11th nationally, in assists per set (11.6)


  • She averaged 2.8 digs per set and 0.61 blocks per set in league play while helping the Bluejays to an undefeated 18-0 record. 
  • Dimke also boasted a .357 attack percentage.



The Best Player in the Big Sky Conference



Player of the Year:     Sydney Griffin   Setter   North Dakota


Griffin, a junior from Marshall, Minn., was an essential piece in guiding

the Fighting Hawks to a 14-2 Big Sky record for the outright regular season

title and tournament hosting rights. 

  • Third in the league with 10.61 assists per set overall and 10.84 during league play. 
  • Griffin contributed in all aspects totaling 95 kills, 258 digs, 10 solo blocks and 68 block assists.
  • One of 12 players in the league with nine or more double-doubles.
  • Griffin’s 1,188 total assists placed her seventh nationally in NCAA Division I.



The Best Player in the Big South Conference



Player of the Year:  Maddie Palmer, Junior,  Radford   OH


 Radford junior outside hitter Maddie Palmer voted the 2016 Big

South Conference Volleyball Player of the Year,


First Player of the Year honoree since 2013, and a unanimous choice

receiving all eight possible first-place votes. ..

  • Six-time Big South Player of the Week selection in 2016, and led the conference with 447 kills, 43 service aces and 515 points during the regular-season.  
  • The only Big South player with more than 400 kills
  • Among the NCAA Top 30 leaders in points per set (5.05), kills per set (4.38) and aces per set (0.42).
  • Posted at least 15 kills in 18 matches this season -- including six over 20
  • Second on the squad with 326 digs to rank 10th in the Big South with 3.20 per set.



The Best Player in the Big Ten Conference




Player of the Year:  Sarah Wilhite    Minnesota




About Sarah Wilhite...

  • a unanimous All-Big Ten selection
  • finished second in the Big Ten in kills per set (4.13) during conference play. 
  • registered 11 double-doubles. Wilhite is
  • the fifth player in Minnesota history to be named Big Ten Player of the Year, and the second in a row after Daly Santana earned the honor in 2015



The Best Volleyball Player in the Big West Conference



Player of the Year:  Nikki Taylor      OH         Hawaii     Sr





Rainbow Wahine senior Nikki Taylor was named Big West Player of the

Year for the second consecutive year...




  • Taylor also received her fourth All-Big West First Team honor to become just the 10th player in conference history to master that feat.
  • Named to the AVCA All-America Second Team for the second consecutive year,
  • Finished 2016 ranked tied for eighth all-time in the Big West record book for single season service ace average with a .61 aces per set mark.  Her impressive number placed her second in the nation this year. 
  • Opposite Nikki Taylor concluded her stellar career at Hawai’i ranked No. 12 in the UH record book with 1,377 kills and No. 8 with 117 service aces.



The Best Volleyball Player in the Colonial Athletic Association





Player of the Year:  Janey Goodman,  James Madison




  • Second year in a row she received the conference’s top individual honor
  • Finished the year leading the CAA in kills (522) and kills per set (4.64).
  • Had at least 20 kills in a single match 11 times, including two matches of 30 or more.
  • Took home All-CAA honors every season played, including first-team honors each of the last two years
  • Ranks second in career kills (1,716).



The Best Player in the Conference USA



Player of the Year:  Alyssa Cavanaugh,  Jr, Western Kentucky


  • Led C-USA in kills this season with 444, the most of any season in her collegiate career


  • Stood out nationally as her .338 hitting percentage topped all NCAA volleyball players who had 900 or more attacks this season
  • Cavanaugh, helped lead WKU to its third straight regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the C-USA Championship



The Best Player in the Horizon League



Player of the Year:  Grace Kauth, Cleveland State, OH


Cleveland State’s Grace Kauth has been

  • named as the Horizon League Player of the Year 
  • and the League’s Offensive Player of the Year
  • had 379 kills for a 3.61 kills-per-set clip on the year
  • notched 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs for her stellar career.



The Best Volleyball Player in the Ivy League



Player of the Year:  Cara Mattaliano, Princeton Sr. OH, 


  • Also named the Offensive Player of the Year.
  • Paced the Ivy League with 308 kills on the season, for a League-leading average of 3.76 kills per set.
  • Ranks third in the League and 36th in the nation with .41 aces per set.
  • Her 3.48 digs per set average is seventh in the Ancient Eight—the highest by a non-defensive specialist—while her 285 dig tally ranks ninth in the League
  • Second-straight Player of the Year nod, after earning the award as a junior in 2015.
  • Seventh all-time two-time Player of the Year—and the sixth to win the award in back-to-back seasons
  • Mattaliano becomes the 32nd three-time First-Team All-Ivy honoree


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