WAYNE – A total of five Wayne State College volleyball standouts and head coach Scott Kneifl took over the All-NSIC Volleyball Team.
According to a release from Wayne State Athletics on Thursday, sophomore middle hitter Taya Beller was voted Offensive Player of the Year, the first-ever player in school history to be named Player of the Year in the NSIC, while head coach Scott Kneifl collected Coach of the Year for the third time (2005/2009). Juniors Kelsie Cada and Rachel Walker along with sophomore Maggie Brahmer and Beller were voted First Team All-NSIC while senior Jessie Brandl was a Second Team selection.
Beller, a 6-2 sophomore middle hitter from Lindsay (Humphrey HS), was voted Offensive Player of the Year and earned First Team All-NSIC honors for a second straight season. She is averaging 3.91 kills and 0.99 blocks per set with a .410 hitting percentage this season, ranking second in the league and eighth in NCAA Division II in hitting percentage, fourth in kills and points per set (4.49) and eighth in blocks. Beller has two NSIC Player of the Week honors this season (9/26 and 10/10) and was named GameChanger/AVCA Division II National Player of the Week September 26th. She has recorded 10 or more kills in 24 of 28 matches this season.
Brahmer, a 6-0 sophomore middle hitter from Pierce (Pierce HS), is another repeat First Team All-NSIC selection for the Wildcats while averaging 3.29 kills and 1.18 blocks per set with a .464 hitting percentage this season. She leads the NSIC and ranks second nationally in hitting percentage, is second in blocks per set, eighth in points per set (3.99) and 11th in kills. Brahmer has earned three NSIC Player of the Week honors this season, earning Offensive POW honors September 6 and October 31 to go with Defensive Player of the Week honors September 26 and was named Most Valuable Player of the Colorado Premier Challenge.
Cada, a 6-0 junior outside hitter from Wahoo (Bishop Neumann HS), is a First Team All-NSIC selection after earning Second Team honors last season. She is averaging 3.64 kills and 3.03 digs per set with 11 double-doubles this season. Cada ranks fifth in the NSIC in kills and points per set (4.27) and leads the Wildcats in service aces with 32. She was named NSIC Offensive Player of the Week October 17th after averaging 4.67 kills per set in home wins over UMary and Minot State. Cada has a career-high 21 kills twice this season – vs. UMary (10/14) and vs. Sioux Falls (10/20) – while also notching a career-best 20 digs vs. #12 West Texas A&M (9/3).
Walker, a 5-9 junior setter from Lincoln (Southwest HS), was a First Team All-NSIC choice after collecting Second Team honors one year ago. She is averaging 10.73 assists and 2.46 digs per set this season, ranking fifth in the NSIC in assists per set. Walker has nine double-doubles on the season and was named NSIC Setter of the Week October 17th. She was credited with a season-high 48 set assists in a 3-2 win over #12 West Texas A&M on September 3 and had a career-high 21 digs in a 3-1 win over Sioux Falls October 20th.
Brandl, a 5-8 senior libero from Stanton (Stanton HS), ranks seventh in the NSIC this season averaging 4.01 digs per set while ranking fifth on the team with 19 service aces. The Stanton native was a Second Team All-Conference selection. She has recorded 10 or more digs in 24 of 28 matches this season, highlighted by back-to-back career-bests of 24 digs in wins at Upper Iowa (9/16) and at Winona State (9/17). Brandl had a career-high four service aces vs. Bemidji State September 30th.
Kneifl was named NSIC Coach of the Year after leading the Wildcats to a #1 national ranking this season and a school-record 24 match win streak to open the year. It’s the third time he has received the honor after being named Co-Coach of the Year in 2005 and Coach of the Year in 2009.
#2 Wayne State College is 27-1 on the season and first place in the NSIC with a 17-1 league mark. The Wildcats close the NSIC regular season at Minnesota State-Mankato Friday evening at 6 p.m. and at #3 Concordia-St. Paul Saturday at 2 p.m.