The Great South Athletic Conference announced its 2012 All-Conference award winners on Thursday afternoon. Freshman middle hitter Chelsea Van Dyk was named Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, while head coach Heather Taylor earned Coach of the Year honors.
All told, Covenant had four players on the All-Conference team as Van Dyk was joined by junior libero Estes Carlson, senior middle hitter Jessica Chittenden, and sophomore setter Stephanie Kirkpatrick. Van Dyk, and fellow freshman Cora Schroeder were selected to the All-Freshman squad.
Van Dyk, a native of Manhattan, Mont., earned both Player and Freshman of the Year honors after leading the conference in hitting percentage at .381 and kills with 360. Van Dyk had a season-high 25 kills in a five-set, come-from-behind victory over Asbury during Covenant's Homecoming on October 6. She has three matches with 20 or more kills on the season. Her hitting percentage of .381 ranks fifth in the NCCAA.
"She is an outstanding volleyball player," commented Coach Taylor. "Her success is even more notable given that she is only a freshman."
In her eighth season, Taylor has turned Covenant into a consistent winning program. Under Taylor, the Lady Scots have now posted back-to-back 20 win seasons and currently stand at 22-6 this season, including a perfect 10-0 in league play. Taylor also notched her 100th career win at Covenant during the season.
A junior from Eaton, Colo., Carlson leads Covenant with 434 digs (4.43 digs per set) for the season. Carlson had a season-high 36 digs in the Asbury match and has eight matches of over 20 digs, including two matches of 30 or more.
Kirkpatrick has excelled in her sophomore season. The sophomore from Huntsville, Ala., is averaging 9.05 assists per set (18th in the NCCAA) and has 887 assists for the season. She has also accumulated 30 block assists which is fourth on the team.
Chittenden, a senior from Boyds, Md., is second on the team with 211 kills and is tied for the team-lead with 18 solo blocks and 52 block assists. She is also second to Van Dyk eith her .317 hitting percentage which currently ranks 11th in the NCCAA.
Schroeder has been a valuable member to the Lady Scots already as just a freshman. The freshman from Marietta, Ga., has 201 kills on the season to go along with 189 digs and 25 block assists.