GENESEO, N.Y. – SUNY Geneseo sophomore outside hitter Grace Cergol was named the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Women's Volleyball Player of the Year while sophomore libero Sam Mendelsohn was named Tri-Defensive Player of the Year as the league announced its 2017 All-Conference Team, Tuesday.
Cergol and Mendelsohn were named first-team all-stars while junior setter Emily Ast landed second-team honors and sophomore outside hitter Abby May received third-team recognition. It was the second-straight season Cergol and Mendelsohn had been named All-SUNYAC after copping second and third-team honors, respectively, in 2016, while Ast and May were honored for the first time.
Cergol was named the conference's top player after finishing the season ranked seventh nationally and first in the league with 4.34 kills per set. Also finishing 10th in the SUNYAC with 3.55 digs per set, she was the only player in the conference to rank in the top-10 in both categories. Named the SUNYAC Player of the Week a conference-high four times throughout the season, Cergol's 486 total kills are currently the 12th highest total in the nation and rank as the third-highest single-season total in program history.
Mendelshohn finished the fall leading the SUNYAC with 4.82 digs per set, compiling double-digit dig totals in 29 of the 32 appearances she made during the seasons. Her 550 total digs were also the highest mark in the SUNYAC and also marked the sixth-highest single-season total in program history. Finishing two digs short of 1,000 for her career, Mendelsohn's 998 stand as the 11th highest total in the Knights' record book.
Ast finished her third year with the squad ranked second in the SUNYAC with 9.89 assists per set, while her 1,128 led the conference, were the 16th-highest total in the nation and seventh-highest single-season total ever by a Geneseo player. Moving into second place on the Knights' career assist list during the campaign, she will enter her senior season with 2,745 assists.
May finished 12th in the SUNYAC and second for the Knights behind Cergol with 2.31 kills per set while her 252 kills were the 11th-highest total in the league. She totaled a career-high 18 kills to go along with nine digs in the Knights' victory over Plattsburgh (Sept. 23) and also added 12 kills in the squad's 3-0 win over Cortland (Oct. 31) during last week's SUNYAC Tournament Quarterfinals.
Geneseo finished the season with a 23-11 record for its highest win total since 2004. Compiling a 7-2 SUNYAC record, Knights clinched the third seed and a bid to their second-straight conference tournament. Advancing to the semifinals for the second year in a row after sweeping the sixth-seeded Red Dragons in its first home playoff match since 1996, Geneseo's season came to a close after a 3-0 setback to second-seeded Fredonia.