Shields Named to AVCA All-Region Team
The junior has made the 14-member team in back-to-back years
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced its annual all-region teams on Tuesday afternoon, and South Carolina volleyball junior Mikayla Shields made the 14-member All-Southeast region team. She is now a two-time honoree for the all-region team, and made the honorable mention list as a freshman. Only five other Gamecocks in program history have made the regional team in back-to-back seasons, the last coming in 2002 (Cally Plummer and Megan Hosp).
“I’m thrilled for Mikayla to be recognized once again as All-Region,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “She is deserving because of her performance on a daily basis and the leadership she provided to help the team take such a big step forward this season. It’s rare to see such a phenomenal player have her level of confidence but also be so humble, and I’m just glad we get her for another year!”
Shields led the Gamecocks to 20 wins and their first NCAA tournament trip in 16 years, and had a double-double (19 kills, 15 digs) in the team’s first-round victory over Colorado. For the third-straight season, the Orlando, Fla. native led the team in kills, making her just the third player in the program’s 46-year history to lead the team in the category for each of their first three seasons. Her 362 total kills are the eighth-most for a single season in the rally-scoring era, and she also finished second on the team in total digs (241) and service aces (29).
As she heads into her final season with the program, Shields ranks ninth all-time for career kills – her 1,132 through three seasons are the second-most for any Gamecock junior in program history – and is also seventh in career hitting percentage (.288).
Only 11 other Gamecocks have made the AVCA’s regional teams, combining for 22 total spots dating back to 1985. Shields is now in the running for the AVCA’s All-America team, should she make the cut, she would be the first in South Carolina history to be honored at the national level. Shonda Cole in 2006 and Juliette Thévenin in 2013 earned honorable mention All-America honors, and Shields also made the honorable mention list after making the regional team last season.