CINCINNATI, Ohio - Sophomore Monica Loftus and senior Hannah Barker were named to the RSC All-Conference First Team while seniors Mary Dye and Katie Fischer and freshman Natalie Keene earned recognition on the second team as conference awards were announced at the RSC Volleyball Tournament. Barker was also the IU Southeast Champion of Character representative.
IU Southeast led all teams with a total of five players selected to the first and second teams.
Loftus, a right-side hitter led the Grenadiers with 389 kills this season which ranked third in the league. Setter Hannah Barker ranked second in the conference with 1,173 assists and 9.5 assists per set.
On the second team, middle blocker Katie Fischer led the Grenadiers with 86 blocks, good for 12th in the league. Middle blocker Mary Dye was second on the team and 15th in the league with 304 kills in her first volleyball season since high school. Libero Natalie Keene had a stellar freshman campaign with 611 digs which ranked third in the league.
There were 14 players named to the All-RSC Volleyball First Team and 14 named to the All-RSC Volleyball Second Team. Individual awards and the RSC Volleyball Champions of Character team were also presented.
RSC regular-season champion Point Park (Pa.) University took home two of the big, individual awards with senior outside hitter Shiloh Simonson being named RSC Volleyball Player of the Year and Pioneers head coach Mike Bruno being named RSC Volleyball Coach of the Year.
Simonson, a 5-9 native of Venetia, Pa., led the Pioneers to a 15-1 RSC regular-season record by compiling 272 kills, 386 digs and 53 service aces as a six-rotation player. She was the top vote-getter among the all-conference awardees and thus was player of the year.
Bruno, in his 12th season as Pioneers head coach, led Point Park to the RSC East Division title and an automatic bid to the NAIA national tournament with the best conference record. He picked up his 400th career win in the regular-season finale and ranks tied for 14th among active NAIA head coaches.
University of Rio Grande senior Chandler Brown was named the RSC Volleyball Libero of the Year. It is the second year in a row that she won the award from the conference. She leads the RSC and ranks 23rd nationally with 666 total digs.
Brescia (Ky.) University freshman outside hitter Natalie Jones was named the RSC Volleyball Newcomer of the Year. She led the conference and ranks 15th in the NAIA with 472 kills. She is eighth in the country and first in the conference with 4.37 kills per set. Jones won the award as the top vote-getter among freshmen and transfers in the conference.
RSC West Division champion IU Kokomo led the All-RSC First Team with three players selected. Outside hitter Lindi Thomas, middle hitter Keeana Walton and libero Kaleigh Ensley represented the Cougars.
Point Park, Rio Grande and IU Southeast had two first-teamers each. Point Park setter Emily Meng made the first team along with teammate Simonson, the vote leader. Rio Grande setter Kayla Briley made the first team with her teammate Brown, who was second overall in the voting. IU Southeast had right-side hitter Monica Loftus on the first team along with setter Hannah Barker.
Rounding out the All-RSC First Team were Brescia's Jones, Asbury (Ky.) University middle hitter Kayla Morlan, Cincinnati Christian setter Ellie Abel, IU East middle hitter Sydney Durham and WVU Tech setter Konstantina Pateli.
IU Southeast led the All-RSC Second Team with three players selected. Rio Grande and IU East had two second-teamers each. For the complete award winners, view the honorees below.
The RSC Volleyball Champions of Character Team was selected with one player from each school chosen who best exhibits the five character values of the NAIA's Champions of Character program of respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship.
2016 ALL-RIVER STATES CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL TEAMS & INDIVIDUAL AWARDS
RSC Volleyball Player of the Year -- Shiloh Simonson (Point Park), Sr., Outside Hitter
RSC Volleyball Coach of the Year -- Mike Bruno (Point Park), 12th season
RSC Volleyball Libero of the Year -- Chandler Brown (Rio Grande), Sr., Libero
RSC Volleyball Newcomer of the Year -- Natalie Jones (Brescia), Fr., Outside Hitter
2016 ALL-RIVER STATES CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL FIRST TEAM
|Shiloh Simonson||OH||Sr.||Point Park|
|Chandler Brown||L||Sr.||Rio Grande|
|Lindi Thomas||OH||Jr.||IU Kokomo|
|Keeana Walton||MH||Sr.||IU Kokomo|
|Monica Loftus||RS||So.||IU Southeast|
|Kayla Briley||S||Sr.||Rio Grande|
|Ellie Abel||S||Sr.||Cincinnati Christian|
|Sydney Durham||MH||Jr.||IU East|
|Emily Meng||S||Sr.||Point Park|
|Hannah Barker||S/OH||Sr.||IU Southeast|
|Konstantina Pateli||S||Fr.||WVU Tech|
|Kaleigh Ensley||L||Sr.||IU Kokomo|
2016 All-RIVER STATES CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL SECOND TEAM
|Bailey Lotozo||OH||Jr.||WVU Tech|
|Mallory Morris||OH||Sr.||Cincinnati Christian|
|Ashley Taylor||OPP||So.||Point Park|
|Katie Fischer||MB||Sr.||IU Southeast|
|Bailey Gates||RS||Jr.||IU East|
|Madison Yoder||L||Jr.||IU East|
|Mary Dye||MB||Sr.||IU Southeast|
|Natalie Keene||L/DS||Fr.||IU Southeast|
|Megan Morrison||MB||Jr.||Ohio Christian|
|Aleah Pelphrey||RS||Jr.||Rio Grande|
|Autumn Snider||MB||Sr.||Rio Grande|
2016 RIVERS STATES CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONS OF CHARACTER TEAM
|Grace White||Cincinnati Christian|
|Morgan Steinbrunner||IU East|
|Keeana Walton||IU Kokomo|
|Hannah Barker||IU Southeast|
|Megan Morrison||Ohio Christian|
|Courtney List||Point Park|
|Aleah Pelphrey||Rio Grande|
|Michala Dean||WVU Tech|