INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Following another successful regular season campaign, the Cleveland State volleyball team was awarded with multiple postseason accolades from the Horizon League Tuesday afternoon, including Shannon Grega being named the Defensive Player of the Year, Gina Kilner earning Setter of the Year honors, and Chuck Voss being named the Coach of the Year.
The Vikings, who enter the Horizon League Tournament with an overall record of 20-7, had three additional honorees, as Alexis Middlebrooks was named to the All-Horizon League First Team, Sara Skeens was named Honorable Mention All-Horizon League and Emily DeGeorge earned a spot on the Horizon League All-Freshman team.
SHANNON GREGA | L | SR | DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Grega picks up Defensive Player of the Year honors after averaging 4.68 digs per set, and leading a Viking defense that has held its opponents to a .196 hitting percentage throughout the year. Grega has tallied 501 total digs on the season – one of just two league players to reach the milestone and one of just three Vikings all-time to eclipse 500 digs in a single season.
Entering the Horizon League Tournament, Grega ranks third in the CSU Career Record Book with 1,445 total digs, and has notched 10 20+ dig performances this season. Grega has also added 44 service aces for the Vikings this season – marking just the eighth time that a Viking has recorded 40+ aces in a season since 2000.
Grega is the first Viking to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors, and also picks up First Team All-Horizon League accolades for the first time in her career.
GINA KILNER | S | SR | SETTER OF THE YEAR
For the second straight season, Kilner has been tabbed the Horizon League Setter of the Year after averaging 10.79 assists per set and leading the Vikings to a league-best .254 hitting percentage. For the season, Kilner has recorded 1,154 total assists, while also recording 157 kills, 201 digs and 46 blocks.
Earlier this season, Kilner became just the fifth Viking all-time to eclipse the 4,000-assist mark for her career, and currently ranks third in the CSU Career Record Book with 4,353 total assists.
Kilner is the lone Viking to earn Setter of the Year honors in program history, and also picked up a spot on the All-Horizon League First Team. This marks the third All-League accolade of her career, as she also earned First Team honors last season along with a spot on the All-Newcomer team as a freshman.
ALEXIS MIDDLEBROOKS | MH | SR | ALL-HORIZON LEAGUE FIRST TEAM
Throughout the 2017 season, Middlebrooks has been one of the most efficient offensive threats in the Horizon League, averaging 3.13 kills per set on a .338 hitting percentage – both of which rank in the top-10 among league players. Middlebrooks has recorded 310 total kills on the year, one of eight league players to notch at least 300 kills this season.
Earlier this year, Middlebrooks became the 16th Viking all-time to record 1,000 career kills, and enters the Horizon League Tournament just shy of a spot in the top-10 in the CSU Career Record Book with 1,082 total kills.
Middlebrooks has also been Cleveland State's top blocker this season, averaging 1.03 blocks per set, while she ranks in the top-five in the CSU Career Record Book in total blocks and block assists.
Middlebrooks is earning All-Horizon League First Team honors for the third straight season, and is one of seven Vikings to be a three-time first team all-league honoree.
SARA SKEENS | OH | SO | HONORABLE MENTION ALL-HORIZON LEAGUE
Skeens has continued her strong offensive play during her sophomore campaign, averaging 3.08 kills per set, while she is averaging a team-best 3.26 kills per set in league matches only. With 286 total kills this year, Skeens has been a major part of a Viking offense that has been tops in the league throughout the season.
Skeens has also added 53 digs and 35 total blocks for the Vikings.
Skeens is earning All-League accolades for the second time in her career, as she was named the Co-Freshman of the Year last season.
EMILY DeGEORGE | OH | FR | HORIZON LEAGUE ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Entering the Horizon League Tournament, DeGeorge has appeared in every set for the Vikings, playing the majority of the matches as a six-rotation player. In her first season of collegiate volleyball, DeGeorge is averaging 1.76 kills, 2.80 digs and 0.36 blocks per set.
DeGeorge ranks second on the team with 300 total digs this year, while the 300 digs also marks a freshman class record in the CSU Record Book.
DeGeorge is the 18th Viking to earn a spot on the All-Freshman Team.
CHUCK VOSS | HEAD COACH | 18TH SEASON | COACH OF THE YEAR
For the third straight season - and the fifth time overall - Voss has led the Vikings to a Horizon League Regular Season championship, and will take the Vikings into the Horizon League Tournament as the No. 1 seed for the fifth time during his tenure. With a five-set victory in the regular season finale, Cleveland State notched its eighth 20-win season under Voss, entering the tournament with a 20-7 overall record.
Voss picks up Horizon League Coach of the Year honors for the sixth time during his tenure at Cleveland State, also earning the accolade during the 2005, 2009, 2012, 2015, and 2016 seasons.
2017 Horizon League Postseason Awards
Player of the Year: Darien Bandel, Oakland
Offensive Player of the Year: Darien Bandel, Oakland
Defensive Player of the Year: Shannon Grega, Cleveland State
Setter of the Year: Gina Kilner, Cleveland State
Freshman of the Year: Taylor Wolf, Green Bay
Coach of the Year: Chuck Voss, Cleveland State
First Team All-League
Shannon Grega, Cleveland State
Gina Kilner, Cleveland State
Alexis Middlebrooks, Cleveland State
Lydia DeWeese, Green Bay
Taylor Wolf, Green Bay
Haley Hoffman, IUPUI
Kori Waelbroeck, IUPUI
Bridget Wallenberger, Milwaukee
Haley Libs, Northern Kentucky
Darien Bandel, Oakland
Sammy Condon, Oakland
Kyisha Hunt, UIC
All-League Honorable Mention
Sara Skeens, Cleveland State
Maddie Yoss, Green Bay
Jenn Dore, Milwaukee
Krysteena Davis, Oakland
Megan Hopkins, Wright State
Jessie Thornton, Wright State
Emily DeGeorge, Cleveland State
Roberta Todd, Green Bay
Taylor Wolf, Green Bay
Bailey Western, Northern Kentucky
Jamie Walling, Oakland
Manuela Conte, UIC
Alex Hicks, UIC