Brenna Bell, Jenna Holmes, Georgia McGovern Earn All-America Honors
CLAREMONT, Calif. - Sophomore right-side hitter Brenna Bell and junior outside hitter Jenna Holmes earned first-team All-America honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association, and Georgia McGovern captured second-team All-America accolades, the organization announced today.
In addition to three All-America winners, sophomore middle hitter Audrey Sawyer and sophomore libero Dede Carranza were honorable-mention All-America selections.
Bell set a new program record with a .404 hitting percentage, which was the highest in the nation among outside hitters. She had kills on over half of her swings on the year, tallying 210 kills on 406 attempts with only 46 errors. She also had some big performances against top teams, including 16 kills in 23 attempts at nationally ranked Emory to cap off the East-West Battle. She was also 16-for-27 hitting at the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational against Endicott and Colorado College, and 26-for-51 in the NCAA Regionals.
Holmes was a six-rotation player all season and led CMS with 348 kills (3.47 per set), which was 138 more than her closest teammate (Bell), finishing the year hitting .299. In addition to her attacking prowess, Holmes was also a valuable back-row player, leading the Athenas with 549 serve receptions, and finishing second with 304 digs (3.27 per set). She contributed 38 blocks and 29 service aces as well.
McGovern was part of a two-setter system that helped CMS become by far the most efficient offensive team in the country, finishing the year with a .315 hitting percentage (second-highest in Division III was Northwestern at .275). She had 681 assists (6.88 per set) and also contributed 196 digs and 42 service aces. The one match where she played all six rotations was at Redlands (while co-setter Spencer Hagenbuch rested an injury), and McGovern had 34 assists in a three-set win, and added seven kills in 11 attempts. That was her season high in assists, until she broke it with 35 in the regional finals against Trinity.
Carranza was the Defensive Player of the Year in the SCIAC and led CMS in digs with 461, including a season-high 26 in both meetings with Trinity. Sawyer set the school record in hitting percentage last year at .381, and broke it this year at .397 with 178 kills in 363 attempts, except that Bell finished slightly higher at .404.
CMS earned its first undefeated regular season in program history (28-0) and to a No. 1 national ranking for 10 weeks. The five honorees will all return next year, as the Athenas will try to pursue a national title after coming up a couple of points short of advancing to the quarterfinals this year. CMS will serve as the host site for nationals in 2023, which means that they could have a unique chance to compete for the national championship on their home floor.