UCA’s Anderson gets top volleyball honor
The University of Central Arkansas’ Samantha Anderson was named Player of the Year in Southland Conference volleyball and earned First Team honors,.
Senior Megan Nash also took home First Team honors on the all-conference team and sophomore Elizabeth Armstrong earned Second Team honors.
Anderson, a junior from Tyler, Texas, becomes the fourth Sugar Bears to earn SLC Player of the Year honors, following a season in which she was the only player in the Southland to rank in the top ten in the league in both hitting percentage (.338) and kills per set (3.44).
A two-time Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Week in 2017, Anderson reached double-digit kills in 19 of Central Arkansas’ 28 matches this season, including four matches where she reached the 20-kill mark. She also contributed on the defensive end, averaging 0.92 blocks per set. Anderson was just as effective in SLC play, again ranking in the top in both hitting percentage (.330) and kills per set (3.49) while also finishing in the top ten in blocks per set (1.10). Of Central Arkansas’ 18 conference matches on the year, Anderson tallied double-digit kills in 12 of them, hit over .300 in 11 of them, and pulled down at least four blocks in eight of them.
Nash, from Oakville, Ontario, is making her third-consecutive appearance on the All-SLC First Team, after a strong senior in which she averaged 2.36 kills per set and sat fifth in the league standings with a .318 hitting percentage and eighth in aces with an average of 0.32 per set, while adding 0.99 blocks and 0.79 digs.
Armstrong, from League City, Texas, built upon a strong freshman season by emerging as one of the Southland’s top setters during her sophomore campaign. She led the Southland Conference with 1,072 assists, the most by a UCA setter since 2013 when Marissa Collins was named the league’s Player of the Year.
Holmes, Knutson honored for academics
UCA soccer players Chris Holmes of Conway and Daltyn Knutson have been named to the COSIDA all-district academic soccer teams for District VI, which included schools from Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Holmes, a junior, earned All-District honors for the second consecutive year, becoming the first Bear in the Division I era (2006-Present) to make a repeat appearance, and just the third UCA men’s soccer player to earn two selections in program history. He has received the MVC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award and has been named to the MVC Honor Roll in each of the past two years,and has a 4.00 GPA in pursuit of a degree in Health Services Administration. He has been named a Central Arkansas Presidential Scholar in each of his first four semesters at UCA.
Knutson, from Spring, Texas, makes his first appearance on the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team, marking the first time that a pair of players have earned the honor in the same year. He has earned the MVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll in both of the last two years, as well as placement on the MVC Honor Roll, while carrying a 3.95 GPA in pursuit of a degree in Finance. Knutson earned placement on the UCA Dean’s List once, and has been named a Central Arkansas Presidential Scholar in each of the past three semesters.