Rio’s Pelphrey named All-RSC 2nd Team

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

RICHMOND, Ind. — University of Rio Grande senior Aleah Pelphrey was named to the All-River States Conference Volleyball Second Team on Friday.

Conference officials announced the first- and second-team honorees, as well as special award winners during a break in the quarterfinal round schedule of the RSC Tournament at Indiana University East.

Pelphrey, a native of Piketon, Ohio, started all 34 matches for the RedStorm this season and recorded a team-high 355 kills and .190 attack percentage. She ranked on the team with 328 digs and also finished with 11 service aces and 32 blocks.

Pelphrey also joined the program’s 1,000-kill club this season.

IU Kokomo, the RSC regular-season champion, headlined the honorees with three of the big individual awards and tying for a conference-best with three players named to the All-RSC First Team.

The Cougars, who entered the tournament at 28-8, 16-0 RSC, had freshman middle hitter Nyssa Baker named both RSC Player of the Year and RSC Newcomer of the Year. IU Kokomo also had fourth-year head coach Heather Hayes named the RSC Coach of the Year.

Baker leads the NAIA and RSC in total blocks with 188 and also has 346 kills to rank seventh in the conference. She led the Cougars to an undefeated conference regular season and 22 straight wins entering the tournament. She is joined on the All-RSC First Team by teammates Lindi Thomas, an outside hitter, and Casey Colgate, the Cougars’ setter.

Hayes led the Cougars to their third straight NAIA national tournament qualification by virtue of their RSC regular-season championship and RSC West Division title at 16-0 RSC. IU Kokomo is going for its third straight conference tournament championship this weekend.

Madison Yoder took home the other individual award as RSC Libero of the Year. A senior from IU East, Yoder is second in the conference in digs with 583, which led the Red Wolves’ defense. She was a big reason why IU East won the RSC East Division to host the postseason tournament.

IU East tied IU Kokomo for the most All-RSC first teamers with three each. Named to the first team for the Red Wolves along with Yoder were right-side hitter Bre Kopke and setter Danielle Mitchell.

Brescia (Ky.) University placed two players on the first team with outside hitters Natalie Jones and Brianna Ungerer pacing the Bearcats’ offense. Point Park (Pa.) University earned a pair of first-team nods for right-side hitter Ashley Taylor and setter Julia Menosky. Asbury (Ky.) University also had two first teamers with middle hitter Kayla Morlan and libero Bailee Settle.

IU Southeast setter Hannah Sipe represented the Grenadiers on the All-RSC first team. WVU Tech setter Konstantina Pateli made the first team for the Golden Bears.

There were 14 players named to the All-RSC First Team and 15 on the All-RSC Second Team. The second team was spread around to nine different schools. Point Park had a league-high three players on the second team followed by two each for Asbury, IU Southeast and Cincinnati Christian. Five schools had one player each on the second team.

Also recognized was the RSC Volleyball Champions of Character Team, which identifies on member of each team who best exemplifies the five core values of the NAIA’s Champions of Character program. Those values are respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship.

Pelphrey was also Rio’s Champions of Character honoree.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.