SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (SUMMIT LEAGUE) — South Dakota middle blocker Madison Harms was selected as The Summit League Volleyball Player of the Year in a vote by the league’s head coaches after leading the Coyotes to a 12-4 league record and a share of the program’s fourth regular season title during its Division I era. Harms becomes the fifth Coyote to take home the league’s top individual honor and the second straight after Elizabeth Juhnke won the award in 2022.
Harms is the only player in the league that ranked in the top ten in both kills per set (3.03) and hitting percentage (.383) during the 16-game league slate. The Sergeant Bluff, Iowa native also ranked in the top five in points per set (3.84) and was second in the league in blocks per set (1.28).
Harms is four blocks away breaking the league’s all-time career blocks record that is currently held by Buffalo’s Kathy Brinkworth, who tallied 662 career blocks from 1994-97. Harms joins Brinkworth as the only two Summit League players to surpass 600 career blocks. She is currently tied for 12th nationally with 134 total blocks this season and she led the league with a .375 hitting percentage while racking up 194 kills.
The North Dakota State offense is guided by senior Kelley Johnson, who secured the Setter of the Year award for the second straight season. Johnson became the first player to collect two straight Setter of the Year accolades since South Dakota’s Brittany Jessen won three in a row from 2015-17.
The Eagan, Minn., native sits atop the league in assists per set (10.63) and second in total assists (638) in league play. Johnson’s 1,059 total assists are second most in the league and rank 30th nationally.
Kansas City libero Leah Green was named the Defensive Player of the Year and became the second Roo in three years to collect the honor after Maddie Renn received the award in 2021. The junior led the league in digs per set (4.56) and was fourth in total digs (228) in league action.
The Fate, Texas native has notched 20-plus digs in 11 total matches this season and twice surpassed 30-plus digs, including a career-high 34-dig effort in a four-set win against UT Martin. Green anchors a Roo defense that held its opposition to a league-low .185 hitting percentage.
South Dakota State’s Sylvie Zgonc became the first Jackrabbit in league history to claim Freshman of the Year honors. The SDSU newcomer helped lead the Jacks’ offensive efforts as she ranks second in total kills (225) and fourth in the league in kills per set (3.57). The Hartford, Wis., native was the only freshman to rank among the top 10 in those categories league wide.
Zgonc has played six rotations the entire season and averaged 2.68 digs per set in league play. She finished fourth in the league in points per set (3.90), while no other freshman finished in the top 13.
Kansas City’s Christi Posey secured her first Coach of the Year award and first by a Roo head coach since Michelle Nelson claimed the honor in 1996. Posey guided the Roos to their first share of a Summit League regular season title after they were projected to finish seventh in the preseason coaches’ poll. Kansas City went 12-4 in league play and own a 21-7 overall record. The Roos secured the fifth 20-win season in program history and the third since 2018.
The All-League first team is made up of Harms, Johnson, Green and Zgonc, and that quartet is joined by Denver’s Cassie Davis (3.60 kps/4.27 pps/223 kills), Kansas City’s Sydney Henry (10.17 aps/651 assists) and Odyssey Warren (3.66 kps/234 kills), North Dakota’s Marissa Stockman (.438 hitting/129 kills/56 blocks/0.95 bps), North Dakota State’s Ali Hinze (221 kills/3.68 kps/191 digs/3.18 dps), Omaha’s Shayla McCormick (3.13 kps/ 194 kills/.262 hitting/178 digs/3.66 pps) and McKenna Ruch (.327 hitting/ 67 blocks/1.02 bps) and South Dakota’s Kylen Sealock (32 service aces/0.50 saps/3.84 pps).
Honorable mention accolades went to Denver’s Gianna Bartalo (4.00 dps/0.35 saps), Cadi Boyer (2.39 kps/148 kills/.315 hitting/1.16 bps/72 blocks), Briley Decker (9.95 aps/617 assists/21 service aces) and Molly Mirabelli (1.18 bps/73 blocks, Kansas City’s Kaia Dunford (186 kills/2.91 kps/3.00 dps) and Carly Gillen (.363 hitting/2.44 kps/156 kills) and Omaha’s Rachel Fairbanks (3.14 dps/207 digs/2.55 kps).
Zgonc and Decker landed on The Summit League All-Freshman team and were joined by North Dakota State’s Arianna Blohm (1.00 bps/60 blocks) and Lauren Jansen (2.76 kps/152 kills/.275 hitting), Omaha’s Amanda Hardt (.255 hitting/2.66 kps/157 kills) and Emily Huss (1.50 bps/66 blocks) and South Dakota’s Avery Van Hook (9.08 aps).
Six of the league’s nine teams will be in Vermillion Sunday through Tuesday for The Summit League Volleyball Championship at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. The action starts Sunday at 2 p.m. CT when No. 3 Denver takes on No. 6 South Dakota State. All six matches will be televised on Midco Sports and streamed on the Summit League Network with Darron Wallace and Angie Stokee calling the quarterfinal matches while the semifinals and championship match will be called by Tom Nieman and Stokke.
Player of the Year
Madison Harms, South Dakota
Defensive Player of the Year
Leah Green, Kansas City
Setter of the Year
Kelley Johnson, North Dakota State
Freshman of the Year
Sylvie Zgonc, South Dakota State
Coach of the Year
Christi Posey, Kansas City
2023 All-Summit League Volleyball Team
Cassie Davis, Denver, OH
Leah Green, Kansas City, DS
Madison Harms, South Dakota, MB
Sydney Henry, Kansas City, S
Ali Hinze, North Dakota State, OH
Kelley Johnson, North Dakota State, S
Shayla McCormick, Omaha, OH
McKenna Ruch, Omaha, MB
Kylen Sealock, South Dakota, OH
Marissa Stockman, North Dakota, MB
Odyssey Warren, Kansas City, OH
Sylvie Zgonc, South Dakota State, OH
Gianna Bartalo, Denver, DS
Cadi Boyer, Denver, MB
Briley Decker, Denver, S
Kaia Dunford, Kansas City
Rachel Fairbanks, Omaha, OH
Carly Gillen, Kansas City, MB
Molly Mirabelli, Denver, MB
Arianna Blohm, North Dakota State, MB
Briley Decker, Denver, S
Amanda Hardt, Omaha, OH
Emily Huss, Omaha, MB
Lauren Jansen, North Dakota State, OH
Avery Van Hook, South Dakota, S
Sylvie Zgonc, South Dakota State, OH