FOREST, Va. - The Bridgewater College volleyball team received three of the top four awards given by the ODAC conference. Junior Rachel Gaston was named the ODAC Player of the Year and the ODAC/Va. Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete, while Head Coach Erin Harris was tabbed as Coach of the Year.
Gaston finished her junior year with 416 kills, putting her at second in the conference in that statisical category. She also was second in kills per set with 4.16. What stands out about Gaston's game, however, is her all-around ability. She nearly matched her kill number with 407 digs on the year, good for seventh in the ODAC. She added 28 service aces. The junior was named the ODAC Player of the Week three times this season as she continued to impress the league all year.
If Player of the Year was not enough, Gaston was also picked as the ODAC/Va. Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete. A Health and Exercise Science major, she maintains a 3.836 GPA. She was named to the ODAC All-Academic team last season while also being a Dean's List student on Bridgewater's campus. She is a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and traveled to South Africa in May of 2018.
Head Coach Erin Harris picks up her first Coach of the Year award since taking over the team in 2011. The 2018 team's 24 wins is the most a Harris coached team has picked up. The team's overall win percentage of .774 also topped the conference this year. The Eagles only lost eight sets on their home court this year.
Senior setter Victoria Wilson earned a place on the All-ODAC team for the second year in a row. A second team pick last year, she moves up the first team in 2018 after ending her career with a bang. Wilson led the conference in assists and assists per set all year, constantly keeping the Eagle offense moving and deceiving opposing defenses. She also broke 2,000 assists on October 27. She added 222 digs on the year and 24 service aces.
Taylor McNeely picks up her first All-ODAC team honor with a spot on the second team. The junior shined in her first year with the libero jersey. She picked up 466 digs while leading the team in service aces with 48. McNeely ranks fourth in the conference in digs and fifth in digs per set with 4.36. Her greatest contributions, however, do not show up on the stat line. She was constantly tracking down balls all season, sacrificing her body more than once.
The Eagles finished the year with a 24-7 record and made it to the conference semifinals.
2018 All-ODAC Volleyball Awards
Player of the Year | Rachel Gaston, Jr. OH, Bridgewater
Coach of the Year | Erin Harris, Bridgewater
Rookie of the Year | Linsey Bailey, Fr., OH, Roanoke
ODAC/Va. Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete | Rachel Gaston, Jr., OH, Bridgewater
ALL-ODAC FIRST TEAM
Rachel Gaston Jr. OH Bridgewater
Victoria Wilson Sr. S Bridgewater
Miranda Hall Jr. OH Randolph-Macon
Linsey Bailey Fr. OH Roanoke
Amber Matalus Jr. MH Virginia Wesleyan
Elly Cosgrove Sr. L Washington and Lee
Allison Webb Jr. OH Washington and Lee
ALL-ODAC SECOND TEAM
Taylor McNeely Jr. L Bridgewater
Tina Eucker Jr. S Guilford
Sydney Frink Jr. OH Lynchburg
Mariah Clark Sr. RS Randolph-Macon
Emily Fitzwater Sr. MH Randolph-Macon
Meg Guignon Sr. OH Washington and Lee
Anna Soroka Jr. S Washington and Lee
ALL-ODAC THIRD TEAM
Christian Ritter Jr. OH Guilford
Lauren Stanford Jr. L Lynchburg
Autumn Troxell Sr. OH Randolph
Sydney Koch Fr. OH Randolph-Macon
Sydney Daniel Sr. OH Roanoke
Kristina Scott Sr. OH Virginia Wesleyan
Courtney Berry So. MB Washington and Lee