The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) released its 2016 AVCA All-Region Teams today and five Big West athletes were recognized.
Hawai’i’s Nikki Taylor nabbed her second AVCA All-Pacific North Region Team, while her teammate Emily Maglio and Cal Poly’s Taylor Nelson earned All-Pacific North Region Honorable Mention honors. Long Beach State’s Nele Barber picked up an All-Pacific South Region accolade and UC Santa Barbara’s Lindsey Ruddins landed on the honorable mention list.
Taylor, the two-time Big West Player of the Year and four-time all-Big West first teamer, led the league and Hawai’i with 4.54 kills per set, 0.61 service aces per set and 5.76 points per set. She finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the NCAA DI in aces per set; No. 5 in points per set; and No. 14 in kills per set. Taylor, a senior opposite from Honolulu, O’ahu, also led Hawai’i with 386 kills, 52 total aces, 490.0 total points, was second on the team with 97 blocks, and third on the squad with 196 digs. Her averages in kills, aces, digs (2.33), and blocks (1.15 p/set) were all career-highs. In her four years, she amassed 665 digs, 373 blocks, and 1,694.5 career points.
For Maglio, a junior middle hitter from Coquitlam, B.C., Canada, this marks her first AVCA All-Region honor on the indoor court after earning several accolades on the Hawai’i beach volleyball team last season, including All-America honors and the Big West Pairs Team of the Year award. On the hardcourt, Maglio was a force in the middle for Hawai’i. She lead both the league and the team overall with a .400 hitting percentage and 133 total blocks (1.33 per set). Her hitting percentage ranks at No. 14 in the NCAA and she was No. 30 in the nation in blocks per set. Maglio set new career highs across the board with 231 total kills, 56 digs, 12 solo blocks, 119 block assists, 131 total blocks and 303.5 total points.
Grabbing her first all-region honorable mention honor is Nelson, who held down the No.1 spot in the Big West for overall and conference assists. The Granite Bay, Calif., native tallied 1,192 assists this season, giving her a career total of 3,124. Nelson’s season average has landed her in NCAA’s Top 10 with 11.64 assists per set. Nelson set her career high this season against CSUN with 65 assists.
Barber, an outside hitter from Berlin, Germany spent two seasons at the Beach, and was a two-time First Team All-Big West selection. Barber led the 49ers in kills and digs in both seasons, and was an eight-time Big West Player of the Week. As a senior, Barber averaged 4.10 kills and 3.51 digs per set with a .260 hitting percentage. She was second on the team with 27 aces, led the team in solo blocks with 16, and recorded a total of 45 double-doubles in her career.
Ruddins established herself as one of its best players, finishing third in the Big West, 41st in the nation, and fourth among Division I freshmen with a 4.09 kills per set average. Over the course of the season, her serving game would develop into a formidable weapon as well, as she ranked second during league play with 0.53 aces per set. Overall, the Big West Freshman of the Year led UCSB with eight double-doubles, 0.31 aces per set, 4.7 points per set, while finishing fourth on the team in hitting percentage (.243) and third in digs per set (2.08).