Bradford, Pa. -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford women's volleyball team saw 4 members of its team recognized by the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference on Tuesday. Emily Cleveland was named Co-Player of the Year and named 1st team All-Conference. Riley Anderson joined her on the first team while Tabitha Walker and Laura Hildebrand were named to the 3rd team.
Cleveland, a junior outside hitter from Winchester, Va., was one of the most dominant forces in the conference this season. She led the AMCC in overall kills (376), and in conference play, recorded the highest kill per set average (4.19). She also added 34 service aces and 50 total blocks. When asked about Cleveland, Head Coach Tom Roof said, "Emily is a great choice for player of the year, and she is our third in four years. There's no bigger hitter in the conference and every team we play sets up their defense to try and limit her production but she consistently put up great numbers." Along with the Co-Player of the Year award, which was split with Kristin Reiland of Penn State Behrend, Cleveland was also named 1st Team All-Conference. Previously, she had been named to the 2nd team in 2018 and 1st team in 2017.
Another junior outside hitter, Riley Anderson of Cresson, Pa. was also named to the first team. Anderson finished in the top 10 in both kills (2.45) and digs (3.54) per set. Despite missing 7 games with a mid-season injury, Anderson finished the season with 186 kills, 269 digs, 14 aces and 18 total blocks. Anderson was the 2018 AMCC Co-Player of the year, was named to the 1st team in 2018 and to the 2nd team in 2017.
Libero Laura Hildebrand of State College, Pa. received all-conference honors for the third time in three years. Hildebrand was 6th in the conference in digs with 383 and 5th in digs per set with 4.56. She also chipped in 74 assists, 17 service aces and 5 kills. In 2018 she was placed on the 2nd team, and in 2017 was on the third team. Coach Roof said, Riley and Laura had great conference seasons, making the post-season awards teams for the third time in three years is a great accomplishment."
Freshman setter Tabitha Walker from Butler, Pa. made an instant impact in her first year on campus. Playing 6 of 8 rotations, Walker was 6th in the conference in assists (558) and assists per set (5.37). She also led the Panthers in service aces with 40, and chipped in 21 kills and 236 digs. "I'm really happy with the selection of Tabitha, and I think she was a strong newcomer of the year candidate. We run a 6-2 rotation so her total numbers are not the same as some, but I think shes the best setter in the conference. She made our offense click and I think we are going to be in pretty good hands with her here the next three years.
The Panthers finished their season with an 18-13 record and a 8-2 record in conference play. Their season ended in the AMCC Championship match, as they lost to Penn State Behrend in 3 sets.
The full press release from the AMCC can be found here.