Shields and Robinson Earn All-SEC Honors
This is Shields' third all-conference recognition and Robinson's second
BIRMINGHAM, ALA. – The Southeastern Conference announced its 2019 volleyball postseason awards Sunday afternoon, and South Carolina senior Mikayla Shields and junior Mikayla Robinson made the 18-woman team. Shields is the first three-time honoree for the Gamecocks since Shonda Cole Wallace in 2006, Robinson makes the team for the second consecutive season. This is the first time since 2002 that South Carolina had multiple honorees in back-to-back seasons. The Gamecocks are 19-11 overall for the year and 11-7 in conference play. The 11 SEC wins are the most for the program since 2008.
Shields ranks ninth in the SEC for hitting percentage and is tenth in kills, making her the only pin hitter in the conference to rank in the top ten for both categories. The Orlando, Fla. native also ranks third in the SEC for aces, seventh for points and 11th for double-doubles. Despite attempting over 200 more attacks than any other player on the roster this season, her .324 hitting percentage is the sixth highest for any member of the program in the rally-scoring era and higher than any other Gamecock pin hitter in the era.
Shields’ 379 kills this season rank seventh-most for a single season in the program’s rally-scoring era, and the senior stepped up her game in conference play, averaging 3.75 kills, 2.44 digs, 0.41 aces and 0.72 blocks per set to help the team finish sixth in the final standings. In the program’s all-time history, Shields ranks in the top 10 in kills, attacks, hitting percentage and points, and cracked the 1,500 career kill milestone in the team’s regular-season finale against Arkansas Friday night.
Robinson enjoyed a career year on offense and defense, totaling 2.42 kills and 1.24 blocks per set with a .338 hitting percentage. The junior’s 130 total blocks (26 solo) are the second-most by any member of the program in the rally-scoring era and ranks 45th nationally, and her 26 solo blocks were the most of any SEC blocker. In conference matches only, she totaled 96 blocks, more than any conference rival despite the team playing the second-fewest sets (61) in SEC play. Those 96 blocks in conference matches only are more than any member of the program in the rally-scoring era, she also set the record for solo blocks (18). On offense, her .338 hitting percentage is the fourth-highest for a single season in the program’s rally-scoring era, and highest since 2008.
The All-SEC Team was chosen by the league’s 13 head coaches. Leah Edmond of Kentucky was named the Player of the Year, while fellow Wildcat Gabby Curry was tabbed as the Libero of the Year. Kacie Evans of Georgia was chosen as the Freshman of the Year, Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors went to Rachael Kramer of Florida and Texas A&M’s Laura Kuhn was voted the 2019 Coach of the Year.
The team will learn its postseason fate on Sunday night, when the NCAA holds its annual tournament selection show. It will air live on ESPNU at 8:30 on Sunday, Dec. 1. The Gamecocks are looking to make their ninth NCAA tournament, and earn back-to-back postseasons bids for the first time since 2002.