Four-Timer: Harper Headlines Volleyball All-Conference Team
Kayleigh Harper is just the third player in GNAC volleyball history to be named First Team All-GNAC four times.
Kayleigh Harper is just the third player in GNAC volleyball history to be named First Team All-GNAC four times.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. – Simply put, Western Washington’s Kayleigh Harper has been one of the most dominant players the conference has seen in some time on one of Division II’s most dominant teams.

The senior middle blocker will end her storied career as the conference Player of the Year, leading the selections to the 2019 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Volleyball All-Conference Team.

Harper becomes just the third player in conference history to be named a First Team All-Conference selection four times, joining former Vikings’ teammate Abby Phelps (2015-18) and Alaska Anchorage’s Julia Mackey (2012-15). The conference’s all-time leader in blocks with 583 and counting, Harper is also on pace to become the all-time leader in hitting percentage with a .374 percentage entering the NCAA West Regional Tournament.

The conference leader with a .386 hitting percentage (also 16th in Division II), Harper is second in the nation with 1.45 blocks per set, third in the GNAC with 4.15 points per set and eighth with 3.23 kills per set. She finished with double-digit kills in 16 of her 28 matches and finished with 10 blocks on two occasions. Harper closes her career with 10 GNAC Player of the Week selections, also a conference all-time best.

Joining Harper in the special awards is outside hitter Calley Heilborn, who was the coaches’ unanimous pick for Freshman of the Year. Heilborn proved dynamic right out of the gate and enters the regional ranked sixth in the GNAC with 3.31 kills and 3.91 points per set. Heilborn finished with double-digit kills in 20 matches, including her first 14 of the season, and has 17 double-doubles (kills and digs) on the year.

Harper and Heilborn are joined on the first team by sophomore outside hitter Gabby Gunterman. In all, Western Washington placed six players on the all-conference team to lead all schools.

Central Washington senior libero Kyla Morgan earned her second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year award, marking the third straight year that a Wildcats’ player has won it. Morgan leads the conference and ranks 13th in Division II with 5.87 digs per set. She registered double-digits in digs in all but two of the Wildcats’ 28 matches and surpassed 30 kills in five matches. Morgan is joined on the first team by junior outside hitter Makala Swart, who earned her second-straight first-team nod.

Alaska junior outside hitter AveRee Reynolds was named the conference’s Newcomer of the Year after making an immediate impact in Fairbanks upon transferring from Eastern Arizona College. Reynolds averaged 2.48 kills, 0.77 blocks and 2.89 points per set for the Nanooks and finished with 14 10-plus kill performances. An Honorable Mention All-GNAC choice, Reynolds is joined on the team by junior setter Cate Whiting, who earned her second First Team All-GNAC selection.

For the fifth time in his career, Alaska Anchorage head coach Chris Green was named the conference’s Coach of the Year. Green led the Seawolves to a 22-6 overall record and their fifth NCAA postseason appearance in the last six years. Alaska Anchorage finished second in the GNAC with a 17-3 mark and was the only team so far this season to beat Western Washington, sweeping the season series. The Seawolves lead the GNAC and rank eighth in Division II with 2.17 aces per set and are sixth in Division II with 2.56 blocks per set. The team’s .236 hitting percentage is second in the GNAC and 31st nationally.

The Seawolves placed three players on the first team in sophomore opposite Eve Stephens, who earned her second first-team selection, sophomore setter Ellen Floyd and senior outside hitter Vanessa Hayes. Notable on the honorable mention list is UAA junior middle blocker Kayla McGlathery, who was named to the team after earning first-team honors back in 2014.

Joining Harper as a four-time all-conference selection is Seattle Pacific senior outside hitter Gabby Oddo, who earned her third First Team All-GNAC nod. Rounding out the first team is Simon Fraser senior outside hitter Betsie de Beer and junior setter Julia Tays; Northwest Nazarene sophomore outside hitter Brooke Foster and Montana State Billings junior right-side hitter Bayli Monck.

In addition to Western Washington’s six total selections to the all-conference team, Alaska, Alaska Anchorage and Central Washington finished with four selections apiece.

Player of the Year: Kayleigh Harper, Western Washington
Coach of the Year: Chris Green, Alaska Anchorage
Defensive Player of the Year: Kyla Morgan, Central Washington
Freshman of the Year: Calley Heilborn, Western Washington
Newcomer of the Year: AveRee Reynolds, Alaska

FIRST TEAM          
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
*+#% Kayleigh Harper Western Washington MB 6-3 Sr. Oak Harbor, Wash. (Oak Harbor)
*+ Eve Stephens Alaska Anchorage OPP 6-1 So. Palmer, Alaska (Colony)
Gabby Gunterman Western Washington OH 5-10 So. Lake Stevens, Wash. (Lake Stevens)
Calley Heilborn Western Washington OH 6-1 R-Fr. Auburn, Wash. (Auburn Riverside)
+ Cate Whiting Alaska S 5-10 Jr. Rapid City, S.D. (Rapid City Stevens)
+$ Kyla Morgan Central Washington L 5-4 Sr. Graham, Wash. (Bethel)
*Betsie de Beer Simon Fraser OH 6-1 Sr. West Vancouver, B.C. (West Vancouver)
*+ Makala Swart Central Washington OH 6-1 Jr. Naches Valley, Wash. (Naches)
+#& Gabby Oddo Seattle Pacific OH 5-9 Sr. Alta Loma, Calif. (Alta Loma)
Ellen Floyd Alaska Anchorage S 5-10 So. Pensacola, Fla. (Pensacola Catholic)
Brooke Foster Northwest Nazarene OH 6-1 So. Boise, Idaho (Univ. of Montana)
Bayli Monck Montana State Billings RS 5-10 Jr. Colorado Springs, Colo. (Vista Ridge)
Vanessa Hayes Alaska Anchorage OH 5-11 Sr. Salem, Ore. (McNary)
@ Julia Tays Simon Fraser S 5-10 Jr. Winnipeg, Man. (St. Mary’s Academy)
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
AveRee Reynolds Alaska OH 6-1 Jr. Petersboro, Utah (Eastern Arizona Coll.)
# Lahra Weber Alaska OH 5-10 Jr. Berlin, Germany
(Berlin Brandenburger SC)
@$ Kim Wong Alaska MB 6-0 Sr. Spokane, Wash. (Mead)
! Kayla McGlathery Alaska Anchorage MB 6-0 Jr. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
(Texas A&M-Kingsville)
# Gabrielle Aihara Central Washington S 5-6 Sr. Newberg, Ore. (Newberg)
@ Bridgette Webb Central Washington MB 6-2 Sr. Yakima, Wash. (West Valley)
@ Callie Wilkins Concordia L 5-10 So. Happy Valley, Ore. (Clackamas)
Jessica Wheeler Concordia OH 5-10 Sr. Estacada, Ore. (Estacada)
Mackenzie Carter Saint Martin’s OH 5-8 Jr. Las Vegas, Nev.
(Utah State Eastern Univ.)
Maddie Batiste Seattle Pacific OH 6-0 Jr. Portland, Ore. (Central Catholic)
@ Kirsten Pinkney Simon Fraser OH 6-0 Sr. Red Deer, Alta. (Notre Dame)
Allie Spear Western Oregon L 5-5 Jr. Sisters, Ore. (Concordia Univ.)
Malia Aleaga Western Washington S 5-7 R-Fr. Burien, Wash. (Kennedy Catholic)
Chloe Roetcisoender Western Washington MB 6-0 So. Duvall, Wash. (Cedar Park Christian)
Mae Thungc Western Washington L 5-4 Sr. Kent, Wash. (Kentridge)

* - Unanimous Selection   
+ - First Team Selection In 2018    @ - Honorable Mention In 2018
# - First Team Selection In 2017    $ - Honorable Mention In 2017
^ - First Team Selection In 2016    & - Honorable Mention In 2016
% - First Team Selection In 2015
! - First Team Selection In 2014