Volleyball's Robinson and Shields Earn All-SEC Honors
This is the first time since 2002 that the Gamecocks had multiple all-conference honorees
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Southeastern Conference announced its 2018 volleyball postseason awards Sunday afternoon, and South Carolina’s Mikayla Robinson and Mikayla Shields made the 18-woman All-SEC team. This is the first time in 16 years that the Gamecocks put multiple student-athletes on the conference’s postseason team, chosen by the league’s 13 coaches.
This is Robinson’s first all-conference honor but second postseason recognition, as the sophomore made the all-freshman team in 2017. This year, Robinson led the Gamecocks in blocks (96 total, 22 solo) and hitting percentage (.298). She was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week twice, and her 22 solo blocks are the third-most for any Gamecock in the rally-scoring era (since 2001). Offensively, Robinson’s hitting percentage also ranks in the top ten for highest in a season during this scoring era.
Shields is now a back-to-back All-SEC honoree, making her the ninth Gamecock to do so since South Carolina joined the conference in 1991. The junior led the team with 3.22 kills per set and hit .272 despite leading all Gamecock hitters with 837 total attacks. She is just the fifth junior in program history to reach 1,000 career kills in three seasons, and currently ranks in the program’s all-time top 10 for kills. She hasn’t just been solid as an attacker, as she also led the team with eight double-doubles, ranks second on the team with 2.38 digs per set, and also reached a career high for service aces (26).
The team last put multiple members on the all-conference team in 2002. The Mikaylas have helped South Carolina (19-9, 10-8 SEC) reach its highest win total since 2008 and jump from 12thin the SEC last season to fifth this season.
Kentucky’s Craig Skinner was named Coach of the Year, Wildcat junior Leah Edmond was named Player of the Year and teammate Gabby Curry was named Libero of the Year. Kentucky also had the Freshman of the Year, Alli Stumler, and Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors went to Arkansas’ Hailey Dirrigl.
With the regular season complete, South Carolina will await the NCAA tournament selection show Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU to see what its postseason fate will be. The team has not made the postseason since 2002.