Coming off a record-breaking first-year at Biola, freshman middle blocker Amy Weststeyn has been recognized nationally as the American Volleyball Coaches Association/NAIA Freshman of the Year as voted on by the NAIA Awards Committee and announced on Wednesday.
Just two days after being the lone freshman named to the NAIA All-America teams and four days after being named to the NAIA All-Tournament team, Weststeyn received the top honor for a first-year player in the NAIA. And it was well deserved as the 6-3 freshman from Visalia (Central Valley Christian HS) recorded one of the best freshman seasons in the program's long history.
"Amy made tremendous strides this year," said Biola Head Coach Aaron Seltzer. "She went from not starting to being a main stay in our offense. I am so proud of how hard she worked to improve in all areas and all of that culminated into an incredible national tournament performance. I could not think of anyone who deserves that more, we are all excited for her.
Weststeyn finished the season as the top blocker in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC), tying the Biola rally-scoring school record for blocks in a season with 150, matching an eight-year old record set by Michelle Warkentin in 2003. She averaged 1.14 blocks per set including 23 solo blocks and established another school record with 11 blocks in a five-set match, missing the overall record by just one.
Weststeyn also had 313 kills on the season, averaging 2.37 per set--the third-best total on the squad this year. She finished the regular season ranked fifth in the GSAC in attack percentage with a mark of .343 during the year.
Weststeyn seemed to save her best for last, earning All-Tournament honors after recording the second-best attack percentage in the field at .389, a team-high 64 kills and adding 14 blocks and seven digs. She came up huge in the biggest upset of the tournament, recording 19 kills as Biola knocked off No. 4 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) to win Pool D.
Biola wrapped up the 2011 season ranked No. 5 in the final NAIA Volleyball Coaches Poll. The Eagles were 27-13 overal and reached the NAIA Quarterfinals for the 10th time in 11 all-time tournament appearances.