Hanover’s Abby Merritt Named HCAC Volleyball MVP

Hanover’s Abby Merritt Named HCAC Volleyball MVP

GREENWOOD, IN – Hanover College’s Abby Merritt (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) has been selected as the 2011 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference volleyball Most Valuable Player.  Merritt helped guide the Panthers to a share of the HCAC championship and the top seed in the HCAC tournament with a 7-2 mark against conference opponents.

Defiance College’s Alicia Kalik (South Lyon, Mich./H.S.) has been honored as the 2011 HCAC Freshman of the Year, Hanover College’s Kylie Justus (Crawfordsville, Ind./H.S.) claimed the 2011 Defensive Most Valuable Player honor, and Rose-Hulman head coach Brenda Goble picked up her first HCAC Coach of Year Award.

Merritt played in 110 games for the Panthers this season and averaged 3.28 kills per set to rank second in the conference.  The senior posted a .235 hitting percentage and added 21 service aces, 34 total blocks, and ranked fifth in the league with 4.25 digs per set during HC’s 30 matches.  The Indianapolis, Indiana native averaged 3.27 kills and 4.33 digs per set during conference matches this season.

Justus, the Panthers’ sophomore defensive specialist, was the backbone of the Hanover defense all season.  She led the conference with a 5.82 digs per set average during conference play and posted a 5.92 average in all contests.  During Hanover’s 30 matches, Justus totaled 533 digs on the year.

Defiance’s Alicia Kalik averaged 8.08 assists per set, 1.47 digs per set, and added 39 total blocks in her first collegiate season.  She tallied 776 total assists, ranking third in the conference in that category. 

Goble guided the Engineers to their first HCAC title this season with a 7-2 league record.  Rose-Hulman ran the table in the conference tournament to earn the title and berth into the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.  She has led the Engineers to a 24-8 mark this season, setting a school record for wins in a single season while also earning her 200th career victory.  RHIT opens the NCAA tournament Thursday afternoon against Wittenberg at 3PM.

Joining Merritt and Justus as a member of the All-HCAC squad are Anderson University’s Allee Donaghy (Sr., Ossian, Ind.), Bluffton University’s Jenna Eshleman (Sr., Landisville, Penn.), Nicole Wood (Sr., Tiffin, Ohio), and Courtney Zimmerman (Sr., Leesburg, Ohio), Defiance College’s Marlea Rolander (Sr., Napoleon, Ohio), Franklin College’s Chelsea Caldwell (Sr., Fountaintown, Ind.), Hanover College’s Jennifer Wullenweber (Sr., Milan, Ind.), Manchester College’s Amanda Dickman (Sr., Batesville, Ind.), Mount St. Joseph’s Jaclyn Stenger (Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio) and Kat Roedig (Sr., Cincinnati, Ohio), Rose-Hulman’s Anna Lewer (Jr., Indianapolis, Ind.) and Karah Hickman (Sr., Hobart, Ind.), and Transylvania University’s Rebecca Luking (Sr., Louisville, Ky.), and Meghan Bowers (So., Louisville, Ky.).

Most Valuable Player: Abby Merritt, Hanover College

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