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Shields and Robinson Named to AVCA All-Region Team
Women's Volleyball  . 

Shields and Robinson Named to AVCA All-Region Team

This is the first time since 2002 that the team celebrated multiple honorees

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced its annual all-region teams Tuesday afternoon, and South Carolina volleyball was represented by senior Mikayla Shields and junior Mikayla Robinson on the 14-member All-Southeast region team. Shields is now a three-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 three consecutive seasons, the last coming in 2002 (Cally Plummer and Megan Hosp). The program has enjoyed multiple honorees on the regional team five other times in its 47-year history, but it last occurred in 2002.

“It’s well deserved for both student-athletes and I’m very happy for them, both were a huge part of our teams success both within the SEC and nationally,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “Mikayla Robinson continues to get better each year. Her blocking took a huge step forward this season and we look forward to seeing her continue to grow for her senior season. Shields has been a driving factor for the team the past four years and we are incredibly proud of what she has accomplished in a South Carolina uniform. She’ll be remembered as one of the all-time greats both for what she’s achieved individually and for being one of the leaders of some really good South Carolina teams.”

Shields is the only pin hitter in the SEC who ranks in the top ten for both hitting percentage (.317) and kills per set (3.55); in fact, among the 10 SEC hitters who are ranked in the top 10 currently for hitting percentage, Shields has 122 more total kills than anyone else listed. The Orlando, Fla. native also ranks fourth in the SEC for aces, seventh for points and 11th for double-doubles. Despite attempting 234 more attacks than any other player on the roster this season, her .317 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’ 405 kills this season rank sixth-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.

Robinson enjoyed a career year on offense and defense, totaling 2.45 kills and 1.17 blocks per set with a .337 hitting percentage. The junior’s 132 total blocks (26 solo) are the second-most by any member of the program in the rally-scoring era 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 .337 hitting percentage is the fourth-highest for a single season in the program’s rally-scoring era, and highest by any Gamecock overall since 2008.

Outside of these two, only 11 other Gamecocks have made the AVCA’s regional teams, with the group combining for 24 total spots dating back to 1985. Shields and Robinson are now in the running for the AVCA’s All-America team and should one make the cut, they 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 in both 2017 and 2018.

South Carolina finished its season with a 20-12 overall record and another trip to the second round of the NCAA tournament in year two with Mendoza. The Gamecocks upset No. 10 Colorado State in the first round of the tournament to mark the first back-to-back 20 win seasons since 2001-02, but this season marked the first time ever with tournament wins in back-to-back seasons.