Dec. 6, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The American Volleyball Coaches Association announced its 2016 All-Region teams Tuesday, and South Carolina’s Mikayla Shields earned a spot on the honorable mention team for the Southeast. She is the 25th Gamecock in program history to earn a spot on the AVCA’s regional list, and the first Carolina freshman since Ashley Edlund in 1995 to make a regional team.
“It’s a tremendous accomplishment to be recognized by coaches across our region as just a freshman, we’re very proud of Mikayla and the impact she has already made on our program,” head coach Scott Swanson said. “Her future is so bright, and we’re excited to see her continue to grow.”
The first-year pin adds to a postseason resume that already includes a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team and the program’s rally-scoring era for highest hitting percentage by a freshman (at .308). Shields led the team this season in hitting percentage, attacks and kills, all while playing in all but one of the team’s 106 sets.
Juliette ThÃƒÂ©venin was the last player from South Carolina to be recognized for AVCA All-Region honors, coming in 2013. Shields is the fifth Gamecock in the last decade on the postseason list. Nationwide, just 21 freshmen total were recognized across the AVCA’s 10 regions. Kentucky’s Leah Edmond claimed the title as the Southeast Region’s Freshman of the Year.
South Carolina ended the 2016 season with a record of 18-12, the best winning percentage since 2008. The Gamecocks will welcome back seven players who appeared in 20 or more matches to pair with a three-member signing class for the 2017 season. Stay tuned to GamecocksOnline.com all year for updates on the team’s spring exhibition season and other developments ahead of next year.