Jan. 19, 2020
After finishing second in a very close race for the Golden State Athletic Conference, No. 3 Biola is leading the postseason awards race by a wide margin after getting five athletes named to the All-GSAC team and winning the conference player of the year and coach of the year awards.
Biola is in the midst of another stellar season, finishing the regular year with a 22-3 overall record and a 12-2 record in conference play. Head Coach Aaron Seltzer guided the team to its success after losing a three-time All-American, and earned his fourth conference coach of the year honor because of it.
The coach could not have won the award without the tremendous team effort put in by all of the Eagles’ players, led by middle blocker Amy Weststetyn, the new GSAC player of the year.
“I am very proud of Amy and all the work she has put in this year,” said Seltzer. “However, with that said, these awards would never be possible without great players around you. This is indicative of her teammates doing all the things necessary for each of our girls to shine.”
The conference player of the year is Weststeyn’s first, but she also tacked on her third straight All-GSAC honor. She becomes the 41st player in GSAC history to make the all-conference volleyball team at least three times.
Weststeyn had a phenomenal regular season, finishing second in the conference in attack percentage (.426), sixth in kills (249), second in service aces (37) and first in blocks (1.09 per set),
Joining Weststeyn on the all-conference squad is Chelsee Arnitz, Gracee Gallarda, Joclyn Kirton and Alyssa Mason.
Arnitz, a senior middle blocker, picks up her second consecutive all-GSAC nod, giving her two in her three seasons as an Eagle. She was huge on the right side all season long for Biola, finishing fourth on the squad with 198 kills and hitting .355 on the season to finish behind only Weststeyn.
Gallarda, a senior setter from Yorba Linda, Calif. also tacked on her second career all-conference nod after an exceptional season setting all of Biola’s big hitters. Gallarda earned one GSAC player of the week award this season, and was solid throughout all 25 of the Eagles’ matches.
She averaged over 11 assists per set throughout the season, the highest of her career and the seventh most in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The four-year Eagle has gotten at least 661 assists in every season she’s been on the team, her 11.08 sets per game this season gave her nearly 3.0 more assists per set than any other setter in the conference.
Joclyn Kirton had a huge coming out party this season as she shot up the ranks to become the overall kill leader on this Biola squad that brings in a lot of kills. She was the only player on the team to have more than 250 kills, and she got them in just 83 sets played. The sophomore outside hitter earned her first all-conference nod, and she was also named a player of the week earlier in the season.
Alyssa Mason earned her first all-conference honor, after a stellar first season on the squad following her transfer from Pepperdine. The sophomore outside hitter got off to a jaw-dropping start, picking up double-digit kills in six of the first ten matches of the season. She ended the season third on the team with 226 kills and also came up with 53 total blocks, asserting herself as a presence at the net and and anchor for Biola for the next few years.
The five all-conference nods gave Biola the most in the conference, one more than repeat-champion No. 2 Concordia.
Biola’s season continues with the NAIA national tournament. They earned the first At Large bid and were awarded an opening round bye. They will open postseason play with the national pool play Dec. 3-5 in Sioux City, Iowa.
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