VolleyMob Year in Review: December 2017

  0 Wendy Mayer | December 31st, 2017 | AVP Tour, Big Ten, CEV European Champions League, College - Women's Indoor, FIVB World Tour, International Volleyball, NAIA, News, Pro Beach, Pro Indoor, SEC

As 2017 winds down, VolleyMob is taking a look back at the past year in volleyball with a month by month recap of the year that was. December brought the close of the collegiate women’s volleyball season, including a national title for Nebraska, as well as multiple coaching changes. Postseason international and beach awards also were announced alongside plans for the 2018 seasons.

  • The NAIA announced that Sioux City, Iowa would play host to its national championship tournament through the 2020 season.
  • N.C. State picked up its first ever NCAA Tournament victory with a five-set win over Oregon State.
  • Cal Poly’s Torrey Van Winden made headlines by stating she was “Glad to Be in Right Jersey” heading into the team’s NCAA Tournament second round matchup with her former team, UCLA.
  • Kentucky comes from behind for five-set win over Western Kentucky to earn a berth in the Sweet 16. The victory prompted an epic postgame speech from head coach Craig Skinner.
  • Five of the 16 national seeds fell in the opening two rounds, which marked the first time since 2013.  Illinois stunned No. 8 Washington in five sets to clinch a Sweet 16 berth.  Colorado knocked off No. 12 Baylor, which was without Katie Staiger. Wisconsin took out No. 14 Iowa State  Michigan State toppled No. 9 Creighton and Missouri edged past No. 16 Wichita State.
  • Lindsey Wilson overcame injuries to win the NAIA title. Makenzie Montano was named NAIA Player of the Year after helping the Blue Raiders to their first ever national title.
  • The AVCA revealed its Division I All-Region and Coach of the Year accolades.  The All-America honorees, including five from Stanford, were announced at a later date.
  • Tennessee coach Rob Patrick resigned after 21 seasons with the Vols.
  • FIVB released the pool assignments for the 2018 Women’s World Championship.
  • Levoranta won its first-ever group match in CEV Men’s Champions League play.
  • The NVA, the newly introduced men’s professional league, kicked off its season with a Las Vegas Showcase and announced future events.
  • Kentucky made NCAA history by ending 30-Year Elite 8 drought, meanwhile Michigan State advanced to its first Elite 8 since 1996.
  • Florida earned a spot in the Final Four for the first time in 14 years with a five-set win over USC. Shainah Joseph led the way for the Gators with 15 kills.  The other three members of the field – Penn State, Stanford and Nebraska continued Final Four traditions.
  • Concordia-St. Paul hit .433 to win NCAA Division II national title, its ninth in the last 11 years.
  • Off the court, Missouri State’s Lily Johnson won the top academic honor in Division I, earning CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year accolades.
  • The Team USA Women announced that they would host a portion of the newly minted Women’s Nations League in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2018.
  • Ole Miss won the first NIVC title since 1995, besting Texas Tech in the championship match thanks to a 17-kill effort by Emily Stroup.
  • Penn State middle blocker Haleigh Washington was tabbed as the Senior CLASS Award winner. Washington finished her career third all-time in NCAA hitting percentage.
  • Florida head coach Mary Wise was dubbed the AVCA Division I Coach of the Year, after leading her squad to an SEC co-championship and the Final Four. The Gators earned a spot in the championship match for the first time since 2003, besting Stanford in five sets.
  • Forty-year old Russian star Lyubov Sokolov announced she is ending her retirement (from 2016) and returning to the court with Dinamo Krasnodar.
  • Stanford outside hitter Kathryn Plummer was named AVCA Player of the Year following 2016 AVCA Freshman of the Year nods.
  • Carli Lloyd was named the USA Volleyball Female Indoor Player of the Year, while Michelle Bartsch-Hackley was tabbed as the Most Improved Player of the Year.
  • USC announced that four-time NCAA title winning coach Mick Haley “Will Not Return” following the team’s Elite Eight appearance –
  • Kelly Hunter quarterbacked No. 5 seed Nebraska to its fifth national title and second in three years, besting No. 2 seed Florida in four sets.  Hunter and Mikaela Foecke were named Co-MVPs of the NCAA Tournament.
  • Zenit Kazan won its first ever FIVB Club World Championship title, topping Lube Civitanova in the finals. Osmany Juantorena wins record fourth MVP at Club World Championships.  Juantorena later claimed that Wilfredo Leon was the real MVP.
  • Kerri Walsh Jennings announced she was launching a new beach tour in 2018.
  • The FIVB announced the Beach World Tour finals would take place at Rothenbaum Stadium in Hamburg, Germany for the second straight year.
  • Italian CEV Champions League side Pomi Casalmaggiore president Massimo Botturi suspended the team’s salaries after a rough start.
  • The NCAA & ESPN came to a multi-year agreement for the network to telecast the NCAA Beach Championships for the next five years.
  • The CEV announced the pools and prize money for the 2017-18 edition of the newly minted Golden and Silver European leagues on the men’s and women’s sides.
  • The FIVB World Tour is set to kick off 2018 with the Four-Star Event in the Hague, January 3-7.
  • Nebraska setter Kelly Hunter claims 2017 VolleyMob Women’s National Player of the Year honors.
  • Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke was tabbed Freshman of the Year, while Florida coach Mary Wise picked up our National Coach of the Year accolade.
  • In the postseason collegiate coaching carousel, Penn State associate head coach Salima Rockwell announced she was retiring from coaching.   Oklahoma hired former Kentucky assistant Lindsey Gray-Walton.  In a unique in-conference move, Maryland coach Steve Aird was hired as the head coach at Indiana.
  • The AVP awarded its postseason honors with Phil Dalhausser and April Ross coming out as the most decorated honorees. Dalhausser also was tabbed as USA Volleyball’s best beach player for the second straight year, while Ross was named female beach player of the year for the fifth straight season.
  • A blowup between Earvin Ngapeth and his Modena coach has been resolved and the star has rejoined the club.

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for Volleymob.com after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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