Dawgs Garner AVCA South All-Region Honors
Published 4:26 pm Thursday, December 9, 2021
STARKVILLE – Mississippi State head volleyball coach Julie Darty Dennis and the Bulldogs continue to receive recognition following the historic 2021 campaign with the announcement of the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I All-Region Awards.
After being named the 2021 SEC Coach of the Year on Nov. 28, Dennis was voted as the South Region Coach of the Year on Tuesday (Dec. 7). Dennis and the Bulldogs wrapped up the most successful season in school history last weekend with the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance. MSU finished the 2021 campaign with a 25-6 overall record and 16-2 mark in SEC matches. The 25 overall wins and 16 conference victories marked new MSU single-season records in both categories.
MSU’s Lilly Gunter and Gabby Waden were voted to the South All-Region Team, while sophomore Shania Cromartie and junior Lauren Myrick were named Honorable Mention for the South Region.
Waden, who was recently named to the All-SEC Team for the second straight season, also earned a spot on the South All-Region team for the second consecutive year. Waden led the Bulldogs in almost every offensive category this season, registering a team-best 429 kills and an average of 3.43 kills per set with a .328 attacking percentage. She also totaled 97 blocks on the year and ranked second on the team with an average of 0.78 blocks per set. Overall, Waden accounted for 479.5 points and 3.84 points per set in 2021.
Gunter led the Bulldogs this season with 3.93 digs per set and a total of 480 digs in 122 sets played as MSU’s libero. She ranked third on the team with 125 assists and ranked fourth in assists per set with 1.02 on the year. Gunter also tallied 24 aces behind the service line and average 0.20 service aces per set. This marks the second straight year she has received recognition by the AVCA after garnering honorable mention accolades in 2020.
As for Myrick, the junior ranked second on the team in several categories, including kills (368), kills per set (3.12), digs (326), digs per set (2.76) and total points (432.5). She saw action in 118 sets over the course of the 2021 season and led the Bulldogs 36 service aces and an average of 0.31 aces per set. Her eight solo blocks on the season ranked second on the team.
Cromartie’s 279 kills and 2.51 kills per set ranked third on the team and secured her a spot on the 2021 AVCA South Region Honorable Mention squad. She played in 111 sets this season, while tallying 20 service aces, 25 total blocks, 254 digs and accounted for 312. Points for the Dawgs.
A total of 210 student-athletes were named to the 10 All-Region teams, including honorable mention selections. Each of the selection committees also named a Region Player of the Year, Region Freshman of the Year, and Region Coach of the Year. Players named to All-Region teams are eligible for selection to the AVCA Division I All-America teams, which will be announced Dec. 14.