BARBOURVILLE, Ky. – The Union College volleyball team nearly added another first to its history season as it missed out on cracking the Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll.
Having never been ranked in program history, Union garnered 95 total voting points to land one spot outside the top 25.
The Bulldogs final two wins of the year came against ranked opponents – a 3-2 win over then-No. 20 Cornerstone (Mich.) in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round and a 3-1 victory over then-No. 19 Jamestown (N.D.) at the NAIA National Championship in Sioux City, Iowa. Cornerstone finished with 36 voting points to put it five spots outside the top 25, while Jamestown is ranked No. 20 in the postseason poll.
Union posted a 34-11 overall record, tying the program record for wins in a season that was first set in 2007. The Bulldogs also captured the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) regular-season championship and their third AAC Tournament title in a row.
Rachel Andrews (JR/Louisville, Ky. ) made program history in becoming the first Bulldog to land on the NAIA All-America Team as she made the third team. Prior to her, Union had five to receive honorable mentions.
Andrews led Union with 381 kills and a 0.315 hitting percentage, which ranks 36th in the NAIA. The 2016 AAC Player of the Year, Andrews twice posted 19 kills in a match with the most recent coming in a 3-1 win at Bluefield (Va.) on Oct. 18. She recorded double-digit kills in 24 matches this season.
Other highlights of the 2016 campaign include:
- Paulina Hileman (JR/Johnstown, Colo.) collecting 791 digs in the season, ranking her fourth in program history;
- Andrews, Marissa Elam (JR/Muncie, Ind.) and Julia Edmonds (SR/Burlington, Ky.) earning All-AAC First Team honors with Hileman making the second team;
- Bulldogs collect 500th win in program history;
- Andrews and Elam earn AVCA All-Northeast Region honors;
- Union becomes first team in AAC history to win a match in the national tournament, going 2-2 in the event;
- The Bulldogs won the AAC Tournament without dropping a set, winning all three matches 3-0.
To view the NAIA postseason poll, click here.