Rio’s Taylor named 2nd team All-RSC volleyball

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

KOKOMO, Ind. — University of Rio Grande freshman Ashley Taylor was among those named to the 2018 All-River States Conference Volleyball Second Team on Friday.

The all-conference teams and individual award winners were announced during an on-court ceremony at the RSC Volleyball Championship.

Taylor, an outside hitter from Chillicothe, Ohio, led the RedStorm with 265 kills and ranked second on the team with a .127 attack percentage.

Taylor also had 88 digs and ranked second among RedStorm players with 10 solo blocks.

Regular season conference champion Indiana University Kokomo had a conference-high three players selected to the All-RSC First Team, including RSC Player of the Year Nyssa Baker – a sophomore middle hitter who won the award for the second year in a row.

The Fort Wayne, Ind., native leads the RSC and ranks third in the NAIA with a hitting percentage of .433. She also leads the conference with 108 total blocks and ranks eighth nationally and first in the RSC with 1.19 blocks per set.

IU Kokomo’s sixth-year head coach Heather Hayes was named RSC Coach of the Year. The Cougars have already locked up their fourth straight NAIA National Championship bid as RSC regular-season champions.

IU Southeast libero Kenna Burman, a sophomore from Arcadia, Ind., was chosen as the RSC Defensive Player of the Year. She has compiled 563 digs and 4.94 digs per set to pace the Grenadiers in the back row and rank among the conference leaders on defense.

IU Southeast right-side hitter/setter Alyssa Cosgrove was named RSC Newcomer of the Year. The junior from Louisville, Ky., and transfer from Spalding University is third in the conference in hitting percentage at .297. She is also among the RSC leaders with 308 total kills.

In addition to Baker, IU Kokomo’s First Team honorees included sophomore libero Macee Rudy and junior outside hitter McKenna Lundy.

Four schools had two players each on the first team – Point Park (Pa.) University with Ashley Taylor (RS, Sr.) and Jordan Dixon (OH, Sr.), IU Southeast with Monica Loftus (OH, Sr.) and Alyssa Cosgrove (RS/S, Jr.), WVU Tech with Konstantina Pateli (S, Jr.) and Carolina Bologna (MH, Jr.) and Asbury (Ky.) University with Lizzy Rempel (OH, Jr.) and Laura Bird (S, Sr.).

Natalie Jones (OH, Jr.) from Brescia (Ky.) University, Breanna Kopke (RS, Jr.) from IU East and Olivia Frazier (MH, Jr.) from Cincinnati Christian represented their respective schools on the first team.

Point Park and IU East placed three players each on the All-RSC Second Team, while IU Southeast and Brescia were next with two representatives each.

The first and second teams included 14 players each. There were eight of the 12 volleyball schools represented on each of the lists.

Also named was the 2018 River States Conference Volleyball Champions of Character Team. One player from each school was named as the team member who best displays the five character values of NAIA Champions of Character, which are respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship.

Rio Grande’s representative on the list was junior Kinnison Donaldson (Jackson, OH).

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.