SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) has announced the 2017 GPAC Volleyball All-Conference selections. Midland University placed five student-athletes on the team after placing fourth in the regular season and advancing to the semifinals of the GPAC Postseason Tournament.
Katie Placke from Hastings College was named the GPAC Player of the Year and her coach Matt Buttermore was selected her as GPAC Coach of the Year. This season Hastings, Northwestern and Dordt were the regular season tri-champions.
Junior middle blocker Priscilla O’Dowd and junior setter Jessica Peters were named to the All-GPAC First Team for their third straight season. O’Dowd led the conference in attack efficiency (.398). She was also fourth in kills/set (3.5) and fifth in blocks/set (1.1). Peters led the Warriors in sets for the third straight year, moving into second play all-time in program history, and was fourth in the GPAC for assists/set (10.0).
Senior Jessica Nekl was selected to the All-GPAC Second Team as a libero. This season she had 17 games with double-digit digs including two matches with over 30 digs. In conference games she averaged 5.6 digs/set to lead the GPAC.
The Warriors also had juniors Mackenzie Wecker and Jenny Bair receive All-GPAC Honorable Mention honors. Wecker, a transfer from Northeast Community College, shored up the Midland back row as a defensive specialist. She had 217 digs this year and a passing percentage of .927. Bair was one of Midland’s weapons on the attack at her outside hitter position. She hit .117 with 231 kills. She also led the team with 36 service aces.
“I am very happy for our players that received all-conference honors,” stated coach Paul Giesselmann. “The GPAC is the toughest conference in the country, so for our players to be selected by the other coaches is a real honor for them. Priscilla is on track to have her best year statistically yet. Jessica has been a true warriors all year with the way she has competed with her injuries.”
“I’m really happy for Nekl to be recognized in hre first year as the libero and of course Mackenzie has been playing well down the stretch. Jenny contributes in so many ways, but especially her serving. All of these players recognize that these are nice honors, but our program is focused on the team’s success and not the individual awards. For our players, especially our seniors, to finish their season the National Championship is the best honor.”