Special to the Herald
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON – Four Ashford University volleyball players earned Association of Independent Institutions first-team all-conference recognition Thursday night at the A.I.I. Volleyball Tournament banquet, hosted by Ashford University.
Junior Samantha Schultz was named A.I.I. Libero of the Year and earned a spot on the first team. Joining her on the first team were outside hitter and Freshman of the Year Victoria Day, as well as middle hitters Kristen Kotch and Danielle Tombolato.
Schultz, from Juneau, Wis., led the Saints with 694 digs, 12th overall in the nation, on a team that finished 10th in the country with 2,425 digs. Schultz also added 125 assists and 36 service aces.
A redshirt freshman from Crystal Lake, Ill., Day paced the Saints with 328 kills, averaging 2.41 a set. She also chipped in with 265 digs, 34 blocks, 18 service aces and four assists on the year, becoming the first player in program history to earn Freshman of the Year honors.
In her debut season in the purple and gold, junior Kotch finished second on the Saints with 281 kills and third on the club with 79 blocks. The South Beloit, Ill., native added 68 digs and a pair of assists.
Berwyn, Ill., native Tombolato topped the Saints and finished 16th in the NAIA in total blocks, turning aside 132. The junior also finished third on the Saints with 267 kills and added 36 digs.
Joining the Saints with four selections on the first team was California State University-San Marcos, including Player of the Year Taylor DeGraaf and Setter of the Year Alyssa Foster. San Marcos led all team with five total nominees when including honorable mention nominations.
The 2013 A.I.I. Volleyball Tournament is being held at Ashford's Kehl Arena this weekend. The Saints, the No. 2 seeds, were scheduled to play at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. today.