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Georgia McGovern went over 1000 assists this season (photo by Stella Cheng)
Georgia McGovern went over 1000 assists this season (photo by Stella Cheng)

Georgia McGovern Earns Region X Player of the Year for CMS Volleyball

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Setter Georgia McGovern captured the American Volleyball Coaches Association Region X Player of the Year in a vote of the region's coaches, the organization announced this week prior to the start of the NCAA Division III Championships.

McGovern was joined on the all-region first team by three of her teammates, outside hitter Jenna Holmes, libero Dede Carranza and middle hitter Audrey Sawyer, while right-side hitter Brenna Bell earned honorable mention distinction. 

McGovern became just the second setter in CMS history, and the first since 1994, to reach 1000 assists in a season when she crossed the milestone in a SCIAC Championship win over La Verne. She enters the NCAA Tournament with 1008, which ranks fourth in school history, and can climb as high as second during this weekend's regionals if the Athenas advance through to the finals. Natalya Preiser is the only other setter to reach 1000 assists, which she did three times from 1992-94, with a record of 1257 in 1992, as well as 1066 in 1993 and 1034 in 1994. 

McGovern was a three-rotation setter her first two seasons with the Athenas, but has been a six-rotation setter this year, and has contributed 127 of her own kills as well (1.41 per set), while hitting .374. She also has 242 digs, 40 service aces and 35 blocks for CMS this year.

Holmes was the AVCA National Player of the Year last season and has had virtually as strong of a year this fall as well, increasing her points per set to 4.5 from 4.3 a year ago. She has 353 kills this season (3.92 per set), leading CMS by a wide margin (Bell is second with 203), while hitting .279, just off her .299 from last year but right on her career percentage of .277. She has also added 267 digs and 38 aces for the Athenas this season. 

Carranza was named the SCIAC Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row after tallying 456 digs (5.07 per set) and also adding 309 serve receptions and only 10 errors. She was twice named the SCIAC Defensive Player of the Week, and has recorded 31 digs in a match twice, once against Southwestern (five sets) and once in a three-set win over Pomona-Pitzer, when she added 20 serve receptions without an error. 

Sawyer has continued on a pace which will shatter the CMS record for hitting percentage in a career, recording 166 kills on .382 hitting this fall. She already has the No. 2 (.395 last year) and No. 4 (.381 in 2021) single-season hitting percentages in CMS history, and should add another top-five season this year. Her career percentage of .385 is over 60 points ahead of the old school record of .323, held by Melanie Moore (2017-19). Sawyer has also added a team-high 63 blocks on the season and has 20 service aces. 

Bell was a first-team All-American a year ago, when she hit a school record .404 with 210 kills. She is approaching that same kill number again this season with 203 (2.39 per set) and has added a career-best 62 blocks while hitting .282. 

CMS opens NCAA Tournament play on Thursday when it faces UMass-Dartmouth at MIT, with the opening serve at 2 p.m. (EST). The winner will meet the Williams-Salisbury winner in the semifinals on Friday, with the regional championship on Saturday. The regional winner will then fly west to CMS, where nationals will be held at Roberts Pavilion from Nov. 29-Dec. 2.