Thompson, Tingelhoff, Melville, Civita Earn AAC Player of the Year Awards

  0 volleymob | November 27th, 2018 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News

Courtesy: American Athletic Conference

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The American Athletic Conference has announced the winners of the league’s regular season volleyball honors for the 2018 season, which were voted on by the conference’s 12 head coaches.

No. 21 UCF, The American’s 2018 champion, brought home two major conference awards with head coach Todd Dagenais earning his second American Coach of the Year nod, and freshman outside hitter McKenna Melville picking up the Knights’ first Freshman of the Year honor.

Cincinnati also received a pair of major awards with redshirt junior outside and right side hitter Jordan Thompson collecting her second-career unanimous Player of the Year accolade and senior setter Jade Tingelhoff earning her second-career Setter of the Year honor. Thompson and Tingelhoff also both earned these awards in 2016. In its second season as a member of the American Athletic Conference, Wichita State earned its fifth major award with sophomore libero Giorgia Civita voted Libero of the Year.

A three-time Preseason Player of the Year and 2015 Freshman of the Year selection, Thompson remains the only athlete in American history to earn the unanimous Player of the Year designation twice, as she earned her sixth major conference accolade. Thompson guided Cincinnati to its second NCAA at-large bid in three years and continues to establish herself as one of the most electric hitters in the country this season. She leads the nation in kills (791), points (872), kills per set (6.28) and points per set (6.92), while hitting a conference-high .338 with 15 double-doubles. A two-time American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Player of the Week selection, Thompson has set seven conference records in 2018. Her lifetime 5.07 kills per set leads all active players in the NCAA. Earning eight weekly conference accolades this season, Thompson has fueled the Bearcats’ attack with Cincinnati boasting one of the nation’s top offenses, ranking third in the NCAA in kills (1,770), 13th in hitting percentage (.273) and 14th in service aces (184).

Tingelhoff has paced Cincinnati’s offense, which holds the top hitting percentage in The American. Her 801 assists have helped the Bearcats in leading The American and ranking fourth in the NCAA (1,665). The senior setter broke the conference’s all-time assists record with 4,106 in her career and leads the league, averaging 9.21 assists per set this season. She has 11 double-doubles this year, adding 2.40 digs per set. Tingelhoff becomes the conference’s second setter to earn the Setter of the Year honor twice, joining SMU’s Avery Acker on that list.

Dagenais has led UCF (27-3, 18-0) to new heights in 2018, as the Knights prepare for their first NCAA appearance since 2014 after winning their second conference title in five years. He will take UCF to back-to-back postseason trips for the first time in his tenure after the team earned an at-large bid to the NIVC in 2017. The program received The American’s highest seed in the NCAA Tournament at No. 13, becoming the second program in as many years to host the First and Second rounds. UCF also cracked the nation’s top 25 for the first time in program history and has spent the past six weeks in the national polls. Under Dagenais, UCF continues to ride a 24-match winning streak, averaging 11.3 blocks per match and a .163 opponent hitting percentage during its swing. Picked to finish fifth in The American, the Knights became the third conference team to go undefeated in league play and own the seventh-best record in the NCAA. UCF leads The American and ranks top 20 in the NCAA in kills (13.96), assists (13.28) and blocks (2.73) per set.

Melville has had a tremendous rookie campaign, leading the conference with 21 double-doubles and receiving four American Offensive Player of the Week accolades. The freshman outside hitter leads the Knights and ranks No. 10 in the nation in kills (505) and No. 12 in points (561). She additionally ranks in the top 20 nationally in kills (4.51) and points per set (5.01)—each good for second in the conference’s rankings. She has reached double-digit kills in 26 matches this season, including a career-high 28 against SMU on Oct. 28. Melville is also averaging 3.63 digs per set with a .959 reception percentage and has registered 49 blocks and 24 service aces.

Civita leads the conference and ranks third in the nation with 5.91 digs per set this season. Her mark currently ranks third all-time in conference history, while her 5.57 career digs per rank No. 1 all-time in The American. Civita’s 692 total digs this season also lead the league and ranks 10th nationally in that category. The sophomore libero owns a .972 reception percentage on 787 attempts, as the Shockers have given up the second-fewest service aces per set in the conference (0.92). She recorded 40 or more digs twice this season, bumping the third-most digs in a single match in conference history with 42 against Tulsa on Sept. 29. Civita has averaged an impressive 6.36 digs per set in conference play this season with a league-high 445 against American opponents.

Player of the Year
Jordan Thompson, OH/RS, R-Jr., Cincinnati *

Setter of the Year
Jade Tingelhoff, Sr., Cincinnati

Libero of the Year
Giorgia Civita, So., Wichita State

Freshman of the Year
McKenna Melville, OH, UCF

Coach of the Year
Todd Dagenais, UCF

First Team All-Conference
Kristina Fisher, OH, So., UCF
McKenna Melville, OH, Fr., UCF *
Jordan Pingel, L, Sr., UCF
Maria Mallon, OH, Fr., Cincinnati
Jade Tingelhoff, S, Sr., Cincinnati
Jordan Thompson, OH/RS, R-Jr., Cincinnati *
Caylee Parker, OH, Fr., UConn
Jac’cara Walker, OH, Jr., USF
Erika Hansel, RS, Jr., Tulane *
Dayna Kern, MB, Sr., Tulane
Emily Thorson, OH, Sr., Tulsa
Giorgia Civita, L, So., Wichita State

Second Team All-Conference
Anne-Marie Watson, OH, So., UCF
Emma Turner, S, Sr., UConn
Shelby Martin, S, So., ECU
Hannah Flowers, RS, So., Memphis
Clara Payne, MB, R-Sr., USF
Brittany Adams, OH, Sr., SMU
Taylor Horsfall, L, Jr., Libero, Tulsa
Rachel Moore, OH/MB, Sr., Tulsa

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