The Fall Sports Banquet was held on the campus of Grace Bible College, Thursday night. It was great time honoring the Men’s Soccer and Women’s Volleyball teams. Coach Spooner started the evening on behalf of the Volleyball team thanking the Soccer team for their support during the year. “This was one of the best supporting teams I’ve seen in a long time.” Coach Spooner noted especially the excellent support each team had for each other recently at the ACCA National Tournament.
The Volleyball team was then honored for an outstanding year. Most wins, (10) since 1996. First National tournament since 1996. Set a new single season block record at 326. Most aces in a season at 240 and most digs in a season-2056. “The most telling statistic of all,” Coach Spooner pointed out was; “After playing 126 sets in 36 matches the overall point differential was less than 3 pts per set. That tells us we were competitive in almost every match!”
Notable individual accomplishments were acknowleded. Laura Melton, freshman setter from Phoenix, had 614 assists. That’s 2nd on the all-time list and the most since Jennifer Jewell in 1994. Tabitha Ryan led the team in total serves at 405 and serve % at 92. She was also 2nd on the team with 438 digs.
Karen Spykerman, sophomore middle hitter from Grandville, MI was selected as the Most Improved Player. “Karen stepped into arguably the most difficult front row position at middle hitter working hard and showing significant improvement.” Coach Spooner also noted her outstanding play in the ACCA National Tournament. “Karen had 6 kills and 4 blocks in one of our matches. It was so encouraging to see her hard work pay off for her.”
Amanda Wall, the only senior was one of two players to receive the Tiger Award-110%. “Amanda was one of our tri-captains and accepted my challenge at the beginning of the year to play right side hitter. She worked hard on serving consistency 3rd on the team with 35 aces and finishing the year at 87% serving. Her attitude both in practice and matches demonstrated leadership by example to the younger players. I am very proud of how she stepped into that leadership role and earned the respect of her teammates.” Coach Spooner.
Naomi Kemper, freshman from Hudsonville, MI was also given the Tiger Award. “Naomi’s work ethic in practice and in matches clearly showed her level of skill and expectations. At times during the year, being a freshman, she struggled with the pressure, but as the season progressed understood more her attitudes value to the team.” Coach Spooner noted the consistency in her defensive play that really set the tone for so many matches. “Naomi loves digging out a great hit even more than hitting one herself. Defense is what defined her high school career and was a great motivation for us in many matches. I’m excited to see her develop over the next three years.”
Naomi was the team leader with 300 kills. Team leader with 455 digs- placing her 3rd on the all time list. She was 2nd in aces-48 and the team leader in serve receive at 92%. She was selected to the Moody Invitational All-Tournament Team and the All-Regional Tournament Team. She was chosen ACCA Honorable Mention All-American and is well deserving of this award.
Joleana Spooner was selected as the Most Valuable Player. “Joee’s contribution went way beyond statistics,” her coach and dad pointed out. “She was the most vocal in leadership and worked hard to infuse energy and excitement every time she took the court.” Joee led the team in hitting at 31%. She led the NCCAA Div. II and the ACCA nationally in blocks per set at 1.44. She set a new single season record with 175 total blocks surpassing Hall of Famer Trish Whittaker’s 146 set in 1994. She was 2nd in kills at 276 and led the team to a 5th place ranking in blocks per set.
Joee was selected to the Marygrove All-Tournament Team. She was voted to the NCCAA Div. II Mid-West All-Region 1st team. She was also selected to the ACCA All-American first team. “Joee loves volleyball and worked especially hard this year after being gone from the sport last year. With her leadership and another class of new recruits joining this years team, the future of Tiger volleyball looks very bright.” Coach Spooner said after the banquet was concluded.