Players of the year, the final roundup of the season

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Lydia Dimke went from Creighton to South Carolina to play beach

This is the last roundup.

With the regular season ended and NCAA Tournament play beginning Thursday, the nation’s Division I conferences have named their top players of the year in different categories.

Many of the mid-majors announced last week their players of the year, so those leagues are not included in this roundup.

Too see who won honors in those conferences, here is a link to last week’s roundup.

ACC

Player of the year: North Carolina outside hitter Taylor Leath

Defensive: Duke senior libero Sasha Karlov

Setter: Pittsburgh sophomore setter Kamalani Akeo

Freshman: North Carolina outside hitter Julia Scoles

Coach: Joe Sagula, North Carolina

Worth noting: Leath is UNC’s first POY since 2005. She had 232 kills, 178 digs, 50 blocks and hit .282 in conference play. Teammate Scoles made the All-ACC first-team and ACC freshman team. Sagula won the award for the fifth time.

The complete ACC release

Big 12

Player of the year: Kansas junior right side Kelsie Payne

Libero: Kansas senior libero Cassie Wait

Setter: Kansas junior Ainise Havili

Freshman: Texas outside Micaya White

Coach: Ray Bechard, Kansas

Worth noting: This is the first time Kansas has had the POY or top libero. Payne ranked in the top three in the league with 4.07 kills and 4.77 points per set. Wait averaged a league-best 5.11 digs in conference play. Havili repeats as top setter. White was a unanimous choice of top freshman. She was fourth in the league in kills per set at 3.98. Bechard is the top coach for the fourth time.

The complete Big 12 release

Sarah Wilhite of Minnesota is the Big Ten player of the year
Sarah Wilhite of Minnesota is the Big Ten player of the year

Big Ten

Player of the year: Minnesota senior outside Sarah Wilhite

Defensive: Nebraska senior libero Justine Wong-Orantes

Setter: Minnesota sophomore setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson

Freshman: Wisconsin freshman outside hitter Molly Haggerty

Coach: John Cook, Nebraska

Worth noting: Wilhite finished second in the league with 4.13 kills in conference play. Former teammate Daly Santana won the honor last year. Wong-Orantes was second in the Big Ten with 4.22 digs per set in conference play. Seliger-Swenson averaged 11.09 assists in Big Ten play and in all matches ranks ninth nationally at 11.45 assists. Haggerty is seventh in kills in B1G matches at 3.19 per set.

The complete Big Ten release

Pac-12

Player of the  year: Washington junior outside Courtney Schwan

Libero: UCLA senior libero Taylor Formico

Setter: Arizona senior Penina Snuka

Freshman: Stanford freshman outside Kathryn Plummer

Coach: Jen Greeny, Washington State

Worth noting: Schwan is sixth in the league in kills at 3.76. Formica leads the Pac-12 in digs at 5.03 per set. Plummer is second in the league in kills at 3.24. Snuka is second in the league in assists at 10.71 and all-conference for the third consecutive year. Greeny has taken her team to its best season since she was a player at Washington State.

The complete Pac-12 release

Kentucky's Leah Edmond is the SEC freshman of the year/Elliott Hess, photo, UK Athletics
Kentucky’s Leah Edmond is the SEC freshman of the year/Elliott Hess, photo, UK Athletics

Southeastern Conference

Player of the year: Alabama senior outside Krystal Rivers

Libero: Kentucky junior Ashley Dusek

Freshman: Kentucky outside Leah Edmond

Coach: Wayne Kreklow, Missouri

Worth noting: Rivers is Alabama’s first POY. She was also named the league’s scholar-athlete of the year. She finished second in the nation in kills and averaged 5.77 per set. Dusek is second in the league in digs at 4.80 per set. Edmond was second only to Rivers with 4.29 kills per set. Kreklow also won the award in 2013.

The complete SEC release

American Athletic

Player of the year: Cincinnati sophomore right side Jordan Thompson

Setter: Cincinnati sophomore Jade Tingelhoff

Libero: SMU senior Morgan Heise

Freshman: SMU setter Kendall Patterson

Coach: Molly Alvey, Cincinnati

Worth noting: Thompson is the AAC unanimous POY. She averaged 4.95 kills. Tingelhoff averaged 11.11 assists. Heise was named the league’s top libero for the third consecutive year. She led the league in digs for the third straight year, as well, averaging 5.16 per set. Patterson is the first SMU player to be top freshman. Alvey has turned things around at Cincinnati as it back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011.

The complete American Athletic release

Big East

Player of the year: Creighton junior setter Lydia Dimke

Libero: Seton Hall junior Tessa Fournier

Co-Freshman: Marquette outside Allie Barber

Co-Freshman: St. John’s setter Erica Di Maulo

Coach: Kirsten Bernthal Booth, Creighton

Worth noting: Dimke, who transferred from Purdue, was 11th nationally at 11.6 per set and averaged 2.8 digs and 0.61 blocks in league play. Fournier is the top libero for the third time after averaging 5.03 digs per set. Barber averaged 2.2 kills in Big East matches, while Di Maulo averaged 10.04 assists. Booth and her staff took coaching honors for the second straight year.

The complete Big East release

North Dakota's Mark Pryor is the Big Sky coach of the year
North Dakota’s Mark Pryor is the Big Sky coach of the year

Big Sky

Most valuable player: North Dakota junior setter Sydney Griffin

Top newcomer: North Dakota junior outside Tamara Merseli

Freshman: Northern Arizona middle blocker Abby Akin

Libero: Sacramento State senior Lexie Skalbeck

Coach: Mark Pryor, North Dakota

Worth noting: Griffin is third in the league at 10.61 assists per set and also has 95 kills, 258 digs, 10 solo blocks and 68 block assists. Merseli averaged 2.83 kills and 3.89 digs. Skalbeck led the league in digs with 5.14 per set, 5.82 in conference play. Akin averaged 1.13 blocks per set and hit .361. Pryor 

Click here for the Big Sky players story

Click here for the Big Sky coach story

Nikki Taylor of Hawai'i is the Big West POY/Ed Chan, VBshots.com
Nikki Taylor of Hawai’i is the Big West POY/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Big West

Player of the year: Hawai’i senior right side Nikki Taylor

Freshman: UC Santa Barbara outside Lindsey Ruddins

Coach: Dave Shoji, Hawai’i

Worth noting: Taylor goes back-to-back after leading the league in kills with 4.59 per set and aces, 0.65. She POW four times this season. Ruddins is third in the league in kills at 4.09 and had 31 aces. Shoji is the top coach for the sixth time as the Rainbow Wahine won their fourth Big West title in five years and eighth overall.

The complete Big West release

Missouri Valley

Player of the year: Missouri State junior Lily Johnson

Libero: Illinois State sophomore Courtney Pence

Freshman: Missouri State setter Daniele Messa

Setter: Wichita State junior Emily Hiebert

Coach: Melissa Stokes, Missouri State

Worth noting: Johnson is a repeat winner and the fourth player in league history to lead the conference in kills three times, and averages 4.59 kills, 5.16 points, 3.01 digs, 0.36 aces and 0.35 blocks per set with a .236 hitting percentage. Pence led the Valley with 5.49 digs per set, while Hiebert was second in the league with 10.62 assists per set. She also hit .293. Messa led the league with 11.22 in MVC matches. Stokes is the top coach for the second time.

The complete Valley release

Mountain West

Player of the year: Boise State outside Sierra Nobley

Newcomer: Colorado State freshman middle Kirstie Hillyer

Freshman: Colorado State setter Katie Oleksak

Coach: Shawn Garus, Boise State

The complete Mountain West release

West Coast

Player of the year: San Diego senior outside Lisa Kramer

Defender: Loyola Marymount junior Sarah Sponcil

Freshman: BYU outside McKenna Miller

Coach: Brent Crouch, Portland

Worth noting: Kramer led the league in kills with 4.11 per set and hit .305. Sponcil not only averaged 3.47 kills, but also 2.98 sigs and 0.34 blocks. Miller was third in the WCC in kills with 3.73 per set. Crouch has completely turned things around in Portland, which boasted upsets of league foes USD and BYU this season.

The complete WCC release

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