LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (GCAConf.com) – Southern University at New Orleans senior Ana Privrat has been named GCAC Volleyball Player of the Year. The announcement was made tonight at the conference’s annual awards banquet, held on the eve of the 2015 GCAC Volleyball Championship in Little Rock, Ark.
Privrat, from Belgrade, Serbia, led the GCAC in digs per set (5.8) and finished second in total digs (491). Her 491 digs were the second most of her career, just below the 506 Privrat posted last season. Privrat posted 20 or more digs in a match 12 times, recorded 30 or more twice, and was credited with 49 digs in a win over Philander Smith on Sep. 28 of this year. She was named the GCAC Defender of the Week five times this season, most by any player in the conference. Those efforts also earned her the nod as the conference Defender of the Year.
SUNO, which earned a share of a GCAC regular season championship for the first time in program history, dominated this season’s awards with the Lady Knights claiming five of the conference’s seven individual honors.
Setter Marija Stojijkovic was named Freshman of the Year after finishing second in the conference in both assists (553) and assists per set (7.4). She is the first SUNO player to win the award since Jana Reininghaus in 2012.
Teammate Shannon Jones was selected as the GCAC Attacker of the Year. Jones ranked second in the conference in kills per set (3.0), third in total kills (254), and seventh in hitting percentage (.204).
SUNO’s first year head coach Zipporah Washington was rewarded for leading the Lady Knights to their first conference crown with Coach of the Year honors. She was the GCAC Player of the Year in 2013.
Philander Smith sophomore Autumn Trimble was named the conference’s Newcomer of the Year. Trimble finished in the GCAC top ten in hitting percentage (.175), kills per set (2.4), and total kills (242).
Xavier University senior Franziska Pirkl received the Setter of the Year award after leading the GCAC in assists per set (8.9) and total assists (697), both by wide margins. Pirkl, a four-time All-GCAC selection, has more than 3200 assists in her career.
The Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Volleyball Championship begins Friday at Mims Gymnasium on the campus of Philander Smith College. All seven teams will compete for the tournament crown and the GCAC’s automatic bid to the NAIA Volleyball tournament. Xavier University and Southern University at New Orleans are the tournament’s top two seeds for the fifth consecutive season. Xavier has won the previous four conference tournaments.
2015 GCAC Volleyball Awards Winners
Player of the Year – Ana Privrat, SUNO, Sr., DS/L
Freshman of the Year – Marija Stojijkovic, SUNO, Fr., S
Newcomer of the Year – Autumn Trimble, Philander Smith, So., RS
Attacker of the Year – Shannon Jones, SUNO, Fr., OH
Defender of the Year – Ana Privrat, SUNO, Sr., DS/L
Setter of the Year – Franziska Pirkl, Xavier, Sr., S
Coach of the Year – Zipporah Washington, SUNO