Rio Grande/RSC Sports Information
CINCINNATI, Ohio - University of Rio Grande senior Chandler Brown was named the 2016 Libero of the Year and was one of four RedStorm players to earn All-River States Conference Volleyball honors during last week's conference tournament at Cincinnati Christian University.
The awards were based on the results of the voting from the 12 RSC volleyball head coaches. There were 14 players named to the All-RSC First Team and 14 named to the All-RSC Second Team. Individual awards and the RSC Volleyball Champions of Character team were also presented.
Brown, a native of Stockdale, Ohio who became Rio's all-time digs leader earlier this year, was named Libero of the Year for the second consecutive season. She led the RSC and ranks 24th nationally with 692 total digs.
Brown also earned first team honors along with fellow senior setter Kayla Briley (Marion, OH), who became the RedStorm's all-time assist leader earlier this year. Brown finished as the second highest vote-getter in the balloting.
Briley ranked fourth in the RSC in total assists (1,011) and ranked fifth in assists per set (7.3). She also had 244 kills, 350 digs and 92 blocks for the RedStorm, which finished 23-14 after a loss to eventual tourney champion Indiana University Kokomo in the semifinal round.
Rio Grande also placed senior Autumn Snider (Marion, OH) and junior Aleah Pelphrey (Piketon, OH) on the second team.
Snider led the team and ranked second in the league in hitting percentage (.313), while also finishing second in the league in blocks (130) and 11th in kills (317). Pelphrey was second on the team and 20th in the RSC in kills (289), while also tallying 246 digs and 54 blocks.
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.
Rio Grande, IU Southeast and regular season champion Point Park all had two first-teamers each. Point Park setter Emily Meng made the first team along with teammate Shiloh Simonson, the vote leader. 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.
Point Park (Pa.) University took home two of the big, individual awards with Simonson, a senior outside hitter, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Rio's representative was Pelphrey.