8 volleyball players nab postseason NJCAA, Region XIV honors
12.20.2016 | By Amanda Fenwick
PASADENA, Texas – Eight San Jacinto College volleyball players have been recognized by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and Region XIV for their outstanding play on the court this season.
Freshman middle blocker Madison Rhoder (Houston / Fort Bend Stephen F. Austin HS) led the way with NJCAA first-team all-American honors, after being named the Region XIV player of the year, selected to the all-region first-team, and named to the Region XIV all-tournament team at the conference tournament. She played in all 35 matches for San Jac, averaging 2.32 kills per set (272 total). Her blocking skills up front ranked her ninth in the nation in solo blocks (50), 11th in block assists (118) fifth in total blocks (168), and seventh in blocks per set (1.44).
Joining her on the Region XIV first team were outside hitter / middle blocker Kayden Thomas, freshman defensive specialist / libero Addie Bryant, hitter Ines Bawedin, and freshman right side / middle blocker Savannah Sheridan. Second-team all-region honors went to sophomore Hannah Westerlage, while Juel Rayburn and Nakia Taylor received honorable mention recognition.
“This year’s team is a brilliant and talented group of young ladies,” said Head Coach Sharon Nelson, who grabbed her 10th Region XIV coach of the year honors. “They not only excel in their athletic endeavors, but in their academics as well. They were a dynamic team on the court with great team chemistry, and I look forward to coaching them throughout the spring.”
Thomas, a sophomore from Huffman (Hargrave HS), averaged 1.56 kills and 0.67 blocks per set. Her 78 total blocks were second on the team.
Bryant was named the league’s libero of the year. The San Antonio (Johnson HS) native ranked eighth in the nation in total digs with 645, and 10th in the country in digs per set, with a 5.61 mark. She was also named to the Region XIV all-tournament team at the conference tournament.
Bawedin ranked fifth on the squad in kills per set with a 2.16 average. The sophomore from Reunion Island, France (Louis Payen HS), was also solid defensively with 1.06 digs per set and 30 total blocks.
Chicago native Sheridan (Prairie Ridge HS) was second on the team in kills with a 2.49 per set average and 253 total.
“I’m so proud of Juel (Rayburn) and Hannah (Westerlage), who will graduate from San Jacinto College in just three semesters with Phi Theta Kappa honors,” added Nelson. “They both also earned STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) scholarships. And what’s more is that every sophomore donned the Dean’s List as freshmen and earned NJCAA academic all-American honors.”
San Jac went undefeated in conference play in 2016, and was ranked as high as 10th in the nation during the season. The team finished with a 26-9 overall record while remaining undefeated at home.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. As a fiscally sound institution, the College currently holds bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. San Jacinto College is a 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 10 finalist and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Approximately 30,000 students each semester benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success. The College offers seven areas of study that prepare a diverse body of students to transfer to a four-year college or university or enter the workforce with the skills needed to support the growing industries along the Texas Gulf Coast. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.