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Gaston, Wilson Named Program's First All-Americans

rachel gaston and victoria wilson

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Rachel Gaston and Victoria Wilson were named AVCA Honorable Mention All-Americans, announced by the American Volleyball Coaches Association on October 13. This marks the first time the Bridgewater College volleyball team has boasted any All-American, let alone two in one season. 

Gaston, an outside hitter from Mechanicsville, Va., had a record junior year that ended with her being named the ODAC Player of the Year and the Virginia Farm Bureau Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She was named to the All-South region team before picking up her All-American nod. The junior was also named the ODAC Player of the Week three times during the regular season. 

She started the year putting up huge numbers from the get-go. She posted her season and career high of 24 kills and 28 digs in the team's first match against Marymount, which they would win 3-2. As if those stats weren't enough, the junior followed it up the next day with 24 more kills and 19 digs against Salem. Gaston was named to the Route 42 Classic All-Tournament team for her efforts. 

She recorded 19 double-doubles on the year, including a stretch of eight in a row from September 29 to October 20. Other highlights from her All-American campaign include a .714 hitting percentage against Goucher on September 22, 17 kills and 25 digs against Christopher Newport on October 2, 21 kills and 19 digs against Randolph-Macon on October 17, and a .516 hitting percentage with 18 kills against Emory & Henry on October 23. 

Gaston finished second the ODAC in both kills with 416 and kills per set with 4.16. She also ranked sixth in digs per set with 4.07, the most for any player not wearing a libero jersey. The junior complimented that 407 total digs, good for seventh in the conference, and led in total points with 462.5. She as high as 11th in the country in kills per set. 

The junior has currently put down 757 kills and is in good position to break 1,000 next season. Her 416 kills put her at fourth all-time in a single season at Bridgewater, while her 24 kills against Marymount and Shenandoah are good for fifth most kills a match in Bridgewater volleyball history. 

Wilson, a senior setter from Gloucester, Va., finished her career with a bang. She was named first team All-ODAC before being named to the All-South region team. She was also named to the Roanoke Maroon Classic All-Tournament team. 

The senior began her final year by posting a then career high 49 assists in the season opening win against Marymount. She would best that with 53 assists against Christopher Newport before hitting 2,000 career helpers against St. Mary's (Md.) on October 27. 

The team's primary setter kept teams on their toes as an offensive threat all season. She notched at least one kill in every match, posting a season high nine against Averett on September 8. As a setter, she finished fourth in the conference in hitting percentage with a .301. 

Wilson also posted 11 double-doubles on the year, including a season high 15 digs to go along with 38 assists in the final match of her career against Lebanon Valley on October 27. She also contributed 14 digs on two occasions at both Christopher Newport and Randolph-Macon.

She wraps up her stellar career with 2,055 assists, 406 kills, and 746 digs. Her 1,032 assists this season rank fifth all-time in a single season in Bridgewater volleyball history. She led the ODAC all season in assists and assists per set and ranked as high as 19th in the country in assists per set, finishing the year with 10.53. 

The Bridgewater College volleyball team finished 2018 with a 24-7 record and an appearance in the ODAC semifinals. The team was featured in each South Region ranking, peaking at No. 6. Head Coach Erin Harris was named ODAC Coach of the Year as the team posted one of the best seasons in Bridgewater volleyball history.