Mikayla Shields Earns Honorable Mention All-American Recognition
The junior is the first Gamecock ever to make the team twice
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina junior Mikayla Shields earned a spot on the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s (AVCA) All-America list, released Wednesday afternoon. She followed up on her All-Southeast Region team recognition from Dec. 4 with Honorable Mention All-America laurels, making her the first student-athlete in the program’s 46-year history to be recognized nationally twice in a career. The program’s previous honorees were Shonda Cole (honorable mention in 2006) and Juliette Thévenin (honorable mention in 2013).
Shields led the team in kills for the third-straight season, making her just the third player in the program’s 46-year history to lead the team for each of their first three seasons. Her 362 total kills were the eighth-most for a single season in the rally-scoring era, she led the team with nine double-doubles and finished second in total digs (241) and service aces (29). Her efforts helped the team improve its win total from 12 in 2017 to 20 in 2018, capped off by its first NCAA tournament berth in 16 years and a win in the first round over Colorado. Also in the postseason, Shields made the All-SEC team for a second-straight season, making her one of nine members of the program to be all-conference in back-to-back seasons since South Carolina joined the league in 1991.
Looking ahead to her senior season in the fall of 2019, the Orlando, Fla. native ranks ninth all-time for career kills with 1,132 through three seasons, the second-most for any junior in program history. Shields also ranks seventh in program history in career hitting percentage (.288), ranks in the top ten for career attacks and blocks for the rally-scoring era, and sits just outside the all-time top ten for career points (1,307.0).
Heading into the spring training period, the team returns all six starters from its NCAA tournament run. Including Shields, the team returns its top-five contributors for kills and blocks in 2018, four of its top-five dig leaders, and starting setter Courtney Koehler (1,121 assists in 2018).