Queens of volleyball court win academic and athletic awards in best season yet

Mallory Blauser and Head Coach Waddington discuss last season

By Alana Edgin
On January 21, 2016

Opponents were struck down left and right by the Rambelle volleyball team this season.

Match after match the Belles set themselves up for what has been a successful, record breaking season for the 39th year of ASU’s volleyball program.

“This was one of the best years we’ve ever had in volleyball history here at Angelo State,” Head Coach Chuck Waddington said. “We got to host the regional, which we’ve never done before. We had three All-Americans and it was pretty awesome.”

Not only have the Belles made program firsts, but they brought in a slew of awards due to their 33-6 win/loss record. Multiple Lone Star Conference Players of the Week, three All-Americans, one All-Regional and more show the athletic prowess of the Belles.

“We had a lot of girls on our team not only get athletic ability awards but academic awards as well,” outside hitter Mallory Blauser said. “Coach really instills in us that our main focus is academics and we work just as hard on that as we do on the court.”

Several of the Belles took a spot on the commissioner’s honor roll for the Lone Star Conference and Katie MacLeay, libero and recent graduate made her mark in the school’s history academically as well as winning Homecoming Queen.

“Katie MacLeay won a ton of academic awards,” Waddington said. “She was the Lone Star Conference’s Academic Player of the Year and an academic All-American. She’s the first player in Angelo State history to be both and AVC All-American and an Academic All-American, first team.”

“[Fans] should expect the same success at our home gym,” Blauser said. “We only lost one match this whole year in our home gym. The crowd was a huge part of that. We love it when people come out and support.”

Waddington also attributes this season’s success to the supporting fans, especially during the regional meet.

“We played in front of 1,500 people three nights in a row and that was pretty awesome,” Waddington said. “Our senior leadership was excellent this year and our best players on the team were our hardest workers. That is always a sign of a championship level team.”

Among the team’s goals for last season was the desire to win conference, the conference meet and the regional meet. Out of these three, they accomplished one by winning the conference meet for the first time in 23 years. They were second in overall conference and surpassed the previous years by going to the championship in regionals. This was also the first season in program history where the Belles hosted the regional meet.

“We accomplished goals we haven’t been able to accomplish as a program in a while like winning the conference tournament,” Blauser said. “Hopefully we will put ourselves in the same position and will be able to host regionals again.”

Blauser also gives the defensive players credit for being solid year after year and is proud that the offensive end started to heat up this season.

“I think if we are able to do that again, then we’ll have a successful year,” Blauser said. “I think a big reason of why we were so successful this last year was because a lot of us played the year before. This is pretty much the same core group of girls and we will have two years of experience together.”

The team also faced adversity due to injuries. At one point, the Belles were down three starters yet still managed to win the two games while the injured Belles sat out.

After all of the success from this year, Waddington expects next season to be even better.

“We compete at the highest level every year,” Waddington said. “We want to host the regional again and we want to go to an Elite Eight and those are all within reach for us.” Returning players for the Belles will be outside hitters Blauser and Brianna Sotello, two setters, Abbie Lynn, Morgan Seaton and all defensive specialists. “It was a great year from start to finish,” Blauser said.

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