Courtesy of MAC Athletic Communications
SEATTLE, Washington - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced Wednesday that three Mid-American Conference student athletes, Ohio’s Abby Gilleland and Kelly Lamberti along with Toledo’s Lauren Rafdal, have been named Division 1 All-American Honorable Mention.
Gilleland recently wrapped up an outstanding sophomore campaign in which she earned AVCA All-Region honors and became the first student-athlete in Ohio history to be named both MAC Player of the Year and MAC Setter of the Year. A three-time MAC East Offensive Player of the Week, Gilleland commanded the league's most efficient offense, which ranked in the top-25 nationally in hitting percentage. She ranked third in the MAC in assists/set (10.79) and hitting percentage (.347) in conference matches and hit a solid .343 against nationally ranked teams in 2013. During the pre-season, the Bull Valley, Ill., native was named the Oregon Classic MVP and also garnered Michigan Invitational All-Tournament honors. She posted 11 double-doubles on the year.
Lamberti provided Ohio's primary attack in 2013 and shined in that role during a season in which she earned AVCA All-Region and First Team All-MAC honors. She ranked eighth in the league with 3.14 kills/set and ranked second on the Bobcats with 2.80 digs/set. The Cary, Ill., posted a team-leading 14 double-doubles on the year and performed well above her season average in kills/set (3.58) and hitting percentage (.270) against nationally-ranked teams. She was named MAC East Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 7 and earned Oregon Classic All-Tournament honors during the preseason.
Rafdal, who led Toledo with 3.97 kills per set and ranked third in school history with 492 kills, paced the Rockets in kills in 25 matches this year, including 16 of her last 17 contests. She was the MAC leader in league play with 4.27 kps and was the only player in the conference to average four or more kills per set. Rafdal registered the top two kill totals in the MAC this season with a career-high 28 and a .300 ATK% vs. Ball State (Oct. 3) and 27 vs. Northern Illinois (Oct. 11). She also tallied a career-best .500 ATK% vs. Akron (Oct. 5) with 18-1-30 totals. Rafdal ranked second on the team in conference action with 2.67 digs per set, including a career-high 21 digs at Buffalo (Nov. 9).
For Ohio, Gilleland and Lamberti are the seventh and eighth individuals to received All-American honors, while for Toledo, Rafdal is the first Rocket in the programs 34-year history to receive All-American honors.