ATLANTA – Benedict’s V’Aira Harris was named the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Volleyball Preseason Offensive Player of the Year along with Jordan Wallace of Claflin University who was selected as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, announced Tuesday by the league office.
All conference honors are voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.
Harris, a 5’6 junior outside hitter recorded 159 kills in conference matches, averaging 3.0 per set. The Columbia, S.C. native hit .272 against SIAC opponents while finishing with 188 digs, 136 assists, 20 aces, and 19 blocks. Harris recorded four triple-doubles last season against North Greenville University (13 kills, 12 assists, 10 digs), Tuskegee University (15 kills, 16 assists, 12 digs), Central State University (10 kills, 11 assists, 15 digs), and Clark Atlanta University (19 kills, 11 assists, 20 digs). She also finished with 13 double-doubles and led her team in kills (317).
Wallace led the conference in blocks (96) averaging 1.02 per set. The 6’2 middle blocker from Charlotte, N.C. tallied 182 kills and was third in the conference in hitting percentage (.301). She finished with five or more blocks on 10 occasions and recorded 64 blocks (1.10/set) in conference matches. Wallace finished with a season-high 18 kills against Benedict (Nov. 17).
Claflin was picked to win the east division for the third consecutive season. The Panthers garnered 78 points in the poll and nine first-place votes. Benedict (58) was predicted to finish second, followed by Clark Atlanta (56), Albany State (55), Fort Valley State (26), and Paine (21).
Spring Hill (90) was picked atop the west division for the third straight year. The Badgers, who received 11 first-place votes have amassed a 54-1 conference record over the last three seasons. Kentucky State, the reigning SIAC champion followed in second with 84 points and three first-place votes. Tuskegee was picked third (77) ahead of Miles (49). LeMoyne-Owen (36), Central State (32), and Lane (31).
First Team Position
|Outside Hitter||Ashleigh Green
|Outside Hitter||Jessica Johnson
|Outside Hitter||Taylor Prude
|Middle Blocker||Adrionna Washington
|Middle Blocker||Tayler Phillips
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: V’Aira Harris, Benedict
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Jordan Wallace, Claflin
Preseason Predicted Order of Finish
(First-place votes in parentheses)
- Claflin – 78 (9)
- Benedict – 58 (1)
- Clark Atlanta – 56 (3)
- Albany State – 55 (1)
- Fort Valley State – 26
- Paine – 21
- Spring Hill – 90 (11)
- Kentucky State – 84 (3)
- Tuskegee – 77
- Miles – 49
- LeMoyne-Owen – 36
- Central State – 32
- Lane – 31